11 Mar 2024, 13:11
Benjamin Wehrmann

Hydrogen exports to EU could bolster Ukraine’s economy – German govt advisors

Clean Energy Wire

Hydrogen trade with the EU could play an important role in rebuilding the economy and energy infrastructure of Ukraine, Germany’s government-appointed National Hydrogen Council has said. “We are convinced that establishing a hydrogen economy could make an important contribution to rebuilding Ukraine’s energy system and also offer important potential for Europe,” council head Katherina Reiche said.  “On the way into the European Union, the EU and Ukraine should follow a strategy of a comprehensive Ukrainian Green Deal,” in which hydrogen exports could play a crucial role, council co-leader Felix Matthes said.

Oleksandr Riepkin, head of the Ukrainian Hydrogen Council, also said that the country could greatly benefit from building up a hydrogen industry. “We have the know-how, the infrastructure and enough wind and sunshine for renewable energy production,” he argued. Despite Russia’s invasion, the hydrogen industry is being developed further and the first pilot projects are starting operation, Riepkin said.

The German council said that Ukraine’s vast natural gas transport infrastructure and large potential for renewable power production had made it a prime candidate for hydrogen exports already before the war started by Russia. “The first draft for an Ukrainian hydrogen strategy builds on these potentials and aims to produce 0.6 million tonnes of hydrogen by 2035 and 2.5 million tonnes by 2050,” the council said, adding that a large share of this output could go to Europe through a Central European Hydrogen Corridor. Once Ukraine’s power grid gets connected to western Europe, linking a hydrogen trading network would bring energy cooperation to the next level, the council said. Establishing a capable hydrogen industry therefore would have to play a role at this year’s Ukraine Recovery Conference, planned to be held on 11-12 June in Berlin.

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