01 Jun 2022, 14:16
Julian Wettengel

Gas still a bridge technology, must “think big” on hydrogen – BDEW head

Clean Energy Wire

Renewable energies will be at the heart of supply security in Germany in the future, but the country will continue to need gas and must “think big” when it comes to ramping up hydrogen, energy industry association BDEW head Kerstin Andreae has said. “Gas will always be necessary – not always natural gas, but we will always need molecules to stabilise our energy system and energy security,” she said at this year’s BDEW Congress in Berlin. Germany has long considered natural gas a bridging technology to get the country to a climate neutral energy system, but with looming severe shortages brought on by Russia’s war against Ukraine many have said the bridge has crumbled. “This bridge has not collapsed. We are standing on this bridge. It may have become shorter, and we may have to cross it faster,” said Andreae, but on the other side would be alternatives to natural gas, such as hydrogen. Here, Germany had to “think big,” the lobbyist said. The new attitude towards hydrogen would have to be “cheap and in large quantities, nothing less,” Andreae said, adding there must not be any “champagne discussions.”

Due to the high costs and short supply, green hydrogen has been called the champagne of the energy transition, which should only be used where there are no better alternatives. A lot of renewable electricity is necessary to produce large quantities of hydrogen through electrolysis and a lot of energy is lost in the conversion. Germany will likely have to import high volumes of green hydrogen, as there are limits to renewables expansion, and green electricity will be needed across all sectors.

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