News
13 May 2024, 13:39
Julian Wettengel

Expert council raises Germany's projected 2030 hydrogen demand

Clean Energy Wire

Germany will need more hydrogen than previously expected across all economic sectors by 2030, said the national hydrogen council in an updated assessment of future demand. The council gauged demand to be 94 – 125 terawatt hours (TWh), with the lower end of demand being 68 percent higher than what the experts had forecast in the previous year. However, the new numbers included "a certain proportion of grey hydrogen" made from fossil gas, which is currently used in the chemicals sector and will not be fully switched to green hydrogen by 2030, the council said. Most of the fuel would be needed in industries like steel or chemicals production, and a significant share for heavy-duty freight transport, but initially only very little in the heating sector or in electricity generation, the assessment found. "If we don't want to remain at the bottom of the league for economic growth among industrialised countries, we must finally make progress in ramping up the hydrogen economy," said council member Uwe Lauber, who is also CEO of combustion engine and turbine procucer MAN Energy Solutions.

Hydrogen made from renewable electricity is seen as crucial to decarbonise certain industry processes and for large scale renewable power storage; thus helping to make the economy climate-neutral. However, there are many unknowns about the feasibility of switching large parts of the economy to run on green hydrogen. The German government is betting heavily on the fuel and has launched an auction scheme for green hydrogen imports, as the country will not be able to produce its demand domestically. The country is building up the necessary transport and import infrastructure, and industries have urged Germany to coordinate with other countries across Europe and the world.

The council assessment assumes there will not be a large-scale relocation of hydrogen-relevant industries abroad, as the country bolsters its economic resilience and aims to avoid carbon leakage. The report does not look into the question of how much will be produced in Germany, and what share is set to be imported. The government established the national hydrogen council in 2020. It is made up of experts from hydrogen production, research and innovation, decarbonisation of industry, transport and buildings, infrastructure, and international partnerships. The council's task is to sketch possible pathways for implementing Germany's hydrogen strategy.

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 »

Ask CLEW

Sören Amelang

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

info@cleanenergywire.org

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee