09 Mar 2020, 13:42
Sören Amelang Rachel Waldholz

Germany's hydrogen strategy doesn't include green gas for heating – report

Die Welt / Clean Energy Wire

The most recent draft of Germany's highly anticipated hydrogen strategy no longer has provisions about using "green" gas in the heating sector, reports Michael Fabricius in newspaper Die Welt. Experts from the environment ministry have deleted all previous passages referring to the heating market because they believe heating can be electrified, according to the report. An earlier draft said that "CO2-free hydrogen and secondary products can contribute to decarbonising the heating market in a variety of ways”, and also mentioned support programmes to this end. The association of real estate companies (GdW) called deleting the references to heating "a catastrophe" because future hydrogen technologies such as fuel cells were urgently needed to lower emissions in the buildings sector. Although it is possible to use "green" gas in modern heating systems currently running on natural gas, experts say relying on power-to-gas for heating would be an expensive choice for Germany because so much energy is lost in the transformation process and more efficient alternatives exist.

Meanwhile, three industry associations have released a paper calling for the government to rapidly implement policies necessary to build a strong power-to-x industry, in which renewable electricity is used to manufacture climate-neutral energy sources, including hydrogen. In the paper, "P2X: Creating a market design for hydrogen,” the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (DWV), the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) and the German Association of Local Utilities (VKU) say the government must reduce regulatory hurdles, create a legal framework for an international hydrogen market, and promote the expansion of renewable energies.  

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