01 Oct 2021, 12:51
Charlotte Nijhuis

Hydrogen capacity needs to be doubled to achieve decarbonisation – metalworkers’ union

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The German government’s current hydrogen strategy is insufficient, according to the German metalworkers’ union IG Metall. The union calls on the next federal government to double the country’s hydrogen capacity in order to facilitate the decarbonisation of heavy industry, such as steel production, and ensure the preservation of jobs, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper writes. IG Metall said Germany would need 10 gigawatts (GW) of electrolysis capacity by 2030, as the decarbonisation of the steel industry alone would require nine GW. "The five GW set out so far in the hydrogen strategy are in no way sufficient," the union says. It also calls for fixed quotas of domestically produced green hydrogen. Currently, only five percent of hydrogen is produced using renewable energy sources. This share must be increased at least two and a half times by 2030, the union argues. Even then, 80 percent would still have to be imported. Jürgen Kerner, member of the IG Metall executive board, criticised the government for being too hesitant: "Now it will be decided whether we maintain good jobs in Germany and create new ones in the innovative fields of the future." This can only be achieved with a strong, clean industry, he said, "and hydrogen technology plays a decisive role in this.”

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 in 2020 the government presented a National Hydrogen Strategy to fulfil these ambitions.

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