28 Jun 2023, 13:36
Julian Wettengel

Domestic green hydrogen from Germany “more competitive than expected” – renewables lobby

Clean Energy Wire

A new analysis shows that domestic green hydrogen is “more competitive than expected” compared to imports of the snythic gas made with renewable power sources, which are the focus of the German government's procurement strategy, said Christian Mildenberger, managing director of the renewables lobby group LEE NRW in western state North-Rhine Westphalia. Researchers from the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy published a meta-analysis on hydrogen costs and projected demand as Germany aims to achieve its target of climate neutrality by 2045. “Strengthening a domestic green hydrogen economy makes sense not least for the associated value creation in the country itself,” said Wuppertal Institute president Manfred Fischedick. “Importing hydrogen is not necessarily associated with cost advantages.” The expected production costs of green hydrogen will mostly be below the import costs of hydrogen that arrives by ship, and in many cases also competitive with imports by pipeline, said the institute. The report also shows that blue hydrogen – made from fossil gas, while capturing CO2 – is not the big solution for the transition, said the institute. From today's perspective, larger quantities of blue hydrogen would not be available before 2030, as the necessary production facilities and transport pipelines are yet to be built.

The German government is currently working on an update to its National Hydrogen Strategy, and also drafts the country’s first hydrogen import strategy. Until now, the government has said that large quantities of climate-friendly hydrogen will have to be imported, because Germany will lack the necessary renewable energy capacity to produce capacity domestically. Critics of green hydrogen imports have pointed at high costs and unresolved logistical challenges as well as the problem of potentially withdrawing clean energy from countries which have not yet decarbonised their own national energy systems.

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