German-Russian resources forum discusses joint hydrogen economy
Clean Energy Wire
Business and government representatives and researchers from Russia and Germany want to establish a bilateral cooperation on hydrogen, the German-Russian Resources Forum (DRRF) announced after a meeting on 28 August. "Germany was, is and will remain dependent on energy imports, and hydrogen will play a central role in energy and climate policy,” Klaus Töpfer, former environment minister and patron of the DRRF said according to a press release. The development of a hydrogen economy was a great opportunity for both countries which were linked by an “energy partnership rich in tradition”. Thorsten Herdan, head of "energy policy - heat and efficiency" at the German energy ministry, said that international cooperations such as this one were necessary to advance the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier.
The working group has set out to explore approaches for the development of a joint hydrogen economy. The 40 participants spoke about hydrogen production technologies and infrastructure development as well as mutual hydrogen trade relations. In the next step, joint workshops are to be organized this year before the German-Russian Hydrogen Conference takes place on December 1 this year.
Germany relies heavily on imported fossil fuels such as oil and gas and, for both of them, Russia is one of the main suppliers. This dependence is often viewed, however, with scepticism both at home and abroad with tensions culminating in the US senate threatening “crushing sanctions” on companies connected to the construction of the new gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 through the Baltic Sea. Meanwhile, Russia is urging the country's leading energy companies to quickly expand their hydrogen production capacities and is considering using the controversial offshore gas pipeline to transport the synthetic gas to Germany, media reported at the end of July.