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28 May 2021, 12:48
Edgar Meza

Germany invests 8 billion euros in 62 EU-backed hydrogen projects

Clean Energy Wire

As part of Germany’s long-term strategy to make hydrogen a cornerstone of its energy transition, the federal ministries for economic affairs and energy (BMWi) and of transport and digital infrastructure (BMVI) have selected 62 large-scale projects that are to be funded as part of a joint EU investment in hydrogen technology, the government announced today. In taking part in the joint Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI), Germany is also implementing a significant part of its own National Hydrogen Strategy, the ministries said in a statement. “We want to become number one in the world when it comes to hydrogen technologies,” said economy minister Peter Altmaier, adding that Germany and the EU were pooling their strengths and initiating massive investments in hydrogen technology. Germany is providing more than 8 billion euros in federal and state funds for the 62 German projects, which will cover the entire value chain, from hydrogen generation and transport to industrial applications. The steel and chemical industries are a major focus of the projects, which could eventually save several million tonnes of CO2 annually in the sectors. Aside from heavy industry, hydrogen will be used in the transport and mobility sectors. Germany and the EU aim to reshape mobility, from the energy system and drive technologies to the fuelling infrastructure, added transport minister Andreas Scheuer. “At present, traffic is still more than 95 percent dependent on the use of fossil fuels. We therefore urgently need mobility that relies on renewable energies. Green hydrogen and fuel cells are -- across all modes of transport -- a great addition to pure battery electric vehicles."

Among the 50 projects selected by the economy ministry are generation plants that would have a combined electrolysis capacity of more than 2 gigawatts for the production of green hydrogen, corresponding to 40% of the goal set in the National Hydrogen Strategy of 5 gigawatts by 2030. Also planned are 1,700 kilometres of hydrogen pipelines. The transport ministry’s 12 selected projects focus on the development and manufacture of fuel cell systems and vehicles, from cars and trucks to municipal vehicles, as well as the development of a nationwide and cross-border hydrogen refuelling network.

Earlier this week, industry leaders expressed concerns that Germany would fall behind in establishing a hydrogen economy. They called for an "accelerated ramp-up" of the hydrogen market, a faster roll-out of renewables, lower electricity prices, the scaling of hydrogen technology and more financial support.

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