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04 Jun 2021, 11:56
Julian Wettengel

Germany’s future hydrogen needs significantly higher than expected – report

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s industry, transport and heating sectors will need significantly more hydrogen to help reach future climate targets than the government currently expects, said the head of the national hydrogen council Katherina Reiche, based on a comparative report by Fraunhofer ISI, ISE and IEG. The institutes examined several reports on hydrogen needs in Germany. The country’s hydrogen production is currently 57 terawatt hours (TWh) per year, produced almost entirely with fossil fuels, says the report. From 2030, the report shows the first relevant demand quantities for green hydrogen and derivatives of up to 80 TWh. This demand grows to 100 - 300 TWh by 2040. For the year 2050, the demand for hydrogen and hydrogen-based synthesis products is expected to increase to between 400 and almost 800 TWh, with industry needing the most. Imports will become the leading source of supply, particularly after 2040. To establish a hydrogen economy, Germany needs to build large domestic capacities of electrolysers, massively expand renewables and the hydrogen transport infrastructure, and set up energy partnerships for imports, said Reiche.

In the fight against climate change, hydrogen made with renewable electricity is increasingly seen as a silver bullet for sectors with particularly stubborn emissions, such as heavy industry and aviation. Germany has set out to become a global leader in the associated hydrogen technologies, and the government has penned a National Hydrogen Strategy to fulfil these ambitions. The German government last week selected 62 large-scale projects that are to be funded as part of a joint EU investment in hydrogen technology. Germany is providing more than eight billion euros in federal and state funds for the 62 German projects.

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