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14 Sep 2021, 12:53
Kerstine Appunn

Hydrogen needed to cope with heating peaks, German gas grid operators say

Clean Energy Wire / Tagesspiegel Background

Germany should include hydrogen for heating houses in its energy transition to successfully decarbonise the heating sector, gas grid operator umbrella organisation FNB Gas says. Germany’s heating sector still runs on 80 percent fossil energies and 87 percent of buildings are not or only partially refurbished to make them more energy efficient, the gas pipeline operators write in a press release. Based on a report by Frontier Economics, commissioned by FNB Gas, the highly seasonal demand for heat in Germany could best be covered if peak loads are absorbed by the use of hydrogen. Otherwise these peak events would “massively challenge the electricity system” if heating was solely done electrically. Therefore, some of the wind and PV solar power generated should be turned into hydrogen. The use of hydrogen could also “significantly reduce further electricity grid expansion and associated social acceptance problems”, they say.

The federal energy ministry (BMWi) is currently conducting a stakeholder dialogue on climate-neutral heat supply but is so far not giving much priority to the use of hydrogen in the sector, writes Jakob Schlandt in Tagesspiegel Background. Think tank Agora Energiewende is pessimistic about the future use of gas networks for “only a few customers” and environmental organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) strongly opposes the use of hydrogen for heating buildings, Schlandt says.

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