16 Nov 2021, 13:35
Kerstine Appunn

Germany should keep its options open on green hydrogen - govt advisers

Clean Energy Wire

Germany's should not jeopardise its national climate goals by committing to green hydrogen on a long-term technology path today, as it is still out in the open how innovations and technological changes will pan out, researchers from the Ariadne project write in a new analysis. The authors propose to make Germany’s hydrogen strategy adaptable by initially using hydrogen for “no-regret” applications, for example in industry (steel) or e-fuels in the petrochemical industry and in long-distance aviation and shipping. Following this, the use can be broadened once pioneering projects show in the next few years which hydrogen costs and quantities are feasible. At the same time, direct electrification of many activities and renewables expansion within the country must be accelerated significantly, the researchers say. Since the German hydrogen strategy allows for the import of “blue” hydrogen in the transition to a fully green hydrogen supply, there will be a need to clearly certify, regulate and assess its life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions. “Green hydrogen should be promoted and developed independently of blue hydrogen in order to realise the innovation potential and cost reductions,” they write.

The country plans to use hydrogen generated with renewable energy sources as a key element in its energy transition, especially in sectors where emissions are otherwise difficult to reduce. In its hydrogen strategy, the German government identifies a demand of 90-110 terawatt-hours of climate-neutral hydrogen by 2030. Given the energy intensity of producing the synthetic gas with wind or solar power, a high proportion will have to be imported, which is why Germany has started entering into cooperation projects with a wide range of countries around the world that could potentially become significant green hydrogen suppliers.

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