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31 May 2021, 13:36
Julian Wettengel

Industry criticises lack of progress one year after approval of Germany’s hydrogen strategy

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung / Handelsblatt

Industry representatives have criticised that little has happened since the German government decided its hydrogen strategy one year ago, reports Marcus Theurer in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Jürgen Kerner, member of the executive board of metal workers’ union IG Metall, said Germany “hardly made any progress” with its hydrogen plans. “We have lost a year, and my concern is that we will lose another one with the federal election,” he said, warning that this put jobs at risk. Katherina Reiche of the national hydrogen expert council told the newspaper: “I wonder whether Germany really wants to be world champion or is also satisfied with the regional league.” Martina Merz of steel company Thyssenkrupp said that Germany had to “think bigger and become faster.” Industry association BDI deputy managing director Holger Lösch argued for lower taxes and levies on electricity, as renewable power is the major cost component for green hydrogen production. Siemens Energy CEO Christian Bruch called for a much quicker renewables rollout and warned that Germany should not repeat the mistakes made in the solar PV industry. “In photovoltaics, we have failed to quickly build up large-scale production. China was faster,” he said.
Business daily Handelsblatt reports that Australia could son provide Germany with large amounts of green hydrogen. Industrialist Andrew Forrest wants to invest billions in the short-term ramp-up of production, with the aim of producing 15 million tonnes annually by 2030.

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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