15 Aug 2019, 12:13
Julian Wettengel

Market introduction strategy for green hydrogen needed – German industry association

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Germany needs a market introduction strategy for green fuels based on hydrogen, Carsten Rolle, climate and energy policy head at the Federation of German Industries (BDI), told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. This "should begin in transport and parts of the industry sector where there are few technological alternatives to avoid CO₂ and where the willingness to pay is comparatively high”, Rolle said. The BDI advises the German government to agree on "import partnerships" for hydrogen with other countries since domestic production will likely not suffice, the article says.
For the hydrogen strategy currently planned by the German economy ministry to make sense, the country must first reform its electricity taxes and levies, Andreas Mihm adds in a separate opinion piece in the same newspaper. Hydrogen is not competitive at the moment as a lot of energy is lost when converting electricity generated with renewables to hydrogen. "So you don't just need a lot of electricity – it is also very expensive due to the renewables levy."

The federal government is expected to decide on a “hydrogen strategy“ by the end of the year. The renewables levy, or EEG surcharge, makes up about one fifth of what household consumers pay for power in Germany. To make the use of renewable power in sectors such as transport and heating (sector coupling) more attractive – by producing green hydrogen to be used as transport fuel, for example – the price per kilowatt hour could be reduced by lowering the surcharge or the electricity tax. Both are under discussion in the current debate about introducing CO₂ pricing in Germany. 

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