13 Feb 2024, 13:21
Julian Wettengel

EU countries should form European hydrogen import alliance – researchers

Clean Energy Wire

Countries like Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany should form a joint hydrogen alliance to use their market power as future importers of hydrogen derivatives, said researchers from Fraunhofer ISI. The institute analysed several reports on hydrogen production and trade in a meta study, and made recommendations for a German hydrogen import strategy, which the government is currently developing. Pure hydrogen would be imported via pipelines into regional markets, and the government should ensure diversification, while favouring imports from neighbouring EU countries or Norway. The market for hydrogen derivatives, such as ammonia or methanol, would become competitive and international, as these products all can be transported via ships. Germany should consider Japan and South Korea in particular – the other two countries with high import requirements – "as competitors, but also as potential cooperation partners," Fraunhofer ISI said. The upcoming strategy should take into account the specifics of hydrogen derivatives, such as e-kerosene, ammonia or methanol, because the different products require different approaches.

Green hydrogen is set to play a crucial role in the decarbonisation of many hard-to-abate sectors, such as steelmaking and the chemical industry. But neither Germany nor Europe as a whole will be able to meet the entire projected demand with local production. Importing from world regions with better potential for renewable electricity production, such as Australia, Africa or South America, is therefore going to be key for a reliable supply. The German government assumes that only 30 percent of the country’s future need for green hydrogen can be produced domestically. Green hydrogen is made in a process called electrolysis, where water is split into its constituent parts, oxygen and hydrogen, but it requires large amounts of renewable electricity.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
« previous news next news »


Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee