13 Jan 2023, 13:38
Julian Wettengel

Germany might not have enough hydrogen for government plans - researchers


Several researchers interviewed by business daily Handelsblatt are sceptical that Germany will be able to ramp up its hydrogen supply to the extent the government plans to. It is “highly uncertain when the hydrogen volumes that politicians are planning on will actually be available,” said Gunnar Luderer of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The innovation needed for hydrogen to achieve the high goals set by the government — e.g. when it comes to electrolyser capacity and transport infrastructure — is “without historical precedent in the energy sector,” Luderer told the newspaper. Furthermore, it’s not only the ramp-up of the domestic hydrogen economy. “Whether hydrogen imports can make a significant contribution to covering demand as early as 2030 is not foreseeable at the moment. Import trends are the great unknown in the hydrogen ramp-up.” Researcher Andreas Goldthau of Erfurt university agreed: “The question of whether the plans regarding future import volumes of green hydrogen are realistic or not has yet to be answered.”

So-called green hydrogen – made from renewable energy through electrolysis – is seen as crucial to decarbonise certain industry processes and for large scale renewable power storage; thus helping the economy become climate-neutral. The German government is betting on the fuel and has recently launched a 900-million-euro auction scheme for green hydrogen imports, as the country will not be able to produce all its green hydrogen it needs domestically. The country is building up the necessary transport infrastructure, and industries say Germany must coordinate and cooperate with other countries across Europe and the world.  

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