07 Jul 2021, 13:13
Kerstine Appunn

German government and industry agree vision for greening chemicals industry

Germany's chemical industry has called for massive amounts of cheap green power to go carbon-neutral. “Our industry is key to the transformation towards climate neutrality. We will only pass it if we get huge amounts of renewable energy at low prices,” said Christian Kullmann, president of the country's Chemicals Industry Association VCI. The industry says it needs more than 600 terawatt-hours (TWh) of green electricity per year, more than Germany's entire current electricity consumption of around 500 TWh, according to its Roadmap 2050. The industry and the federal economy ministry published an action pact for the transformation of the sector, including a range of climate and clean energy objectives. In accordance with Germany’s goal of becoming greenhouse gas neutral by 2045 the document states that the chemicals industry is striving for climate-neutral production.

The industry said it assumes that the electricity must be made available at a total final price of a maximum of four cents per kilowatt hour – less than what energy-intensive companies have been paying in recent years. The paper lists the build-up of a hydrogen economy and infrastructure as another key to transformation, as well as carbon capture and utilisation (CCU).

The German government has previously agreed on a similar paper with the steel industry. Sectors such as steel, cement and chemicals are some of the Energiewende's toughest nuts to crack, because deep emission reductions can't be achieved simply by replacing fossil fuels with renewable power. Companies and industry groups have tabled their own plans on how to slash CO2 output, but insist that substantial financial support worth many billions of euros will have to trigger the necessary investments.

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