Germany pushes green hydrogen use in transport as national infrastructure takes shape
Clean Energy Wire
The national infrastructure for producing and using green hydrogen in Germany is beginning to take shape, as the government seeks to support market scale-up for the renewable fuel. In a map, the Renewable Energy Agency (AEE) listed 60 running projects in Germany for hydrogen production with renewables, with another 80 currently being planned or constructed. The largest installation has a capacity of 110 megawatts (MW), comparable to a large solar PV farm. “Hydrogen no longer is a thing of the future," AEE head Robert Brandt said. “The technology is already in use and under development in many regions.” The AEE estimated that hydrogen will be primarily used in industry and heavy transport and stressed that it will remain a scarce resource that requires targeted use and much larger clean energy production capacities. The country’s regions are preparing for the scale-up in different ways, the agency said. Northern states with large wind power capacities plan to use excess electricity that is currently being curtailed due to grid bottlenecks to generate hydrogen, while eastern states hope to substitute the outgoing coal energy infrastructure with the green gas. Industrial regions in the west and south of the country aim to integrate hydrogen into production processes and further develop and improve the technology, the AEE found.
The transport ministry (BMDV), meanwhile, earmarked 80 million euros for investments that enable the integration of the fuel produced with renewables in mobility. “Lorry producers estimate that nearly one in five registered utility vehicles will be powered by hydrogen,” transport minister Volker Wissing said in a statement. Hydrogen and fuel cell solutions could be used as supplementary fuel that supports propulsion of battery-driven heavy freight vehicles on long journeys, he added. “It’s about strengthening the entire hydrogen ecosystem, increasing supply and demand, and making the transport sector a reliable and well-funded buyer,” Wissing argued. Investors can apply for support until late April this year with projects with a capacity of at least one MW that use 100 percent renewable power to produce green hydrogen that will be exclusively used in the transport sector.