08 Jun 2023, 13:47
Benjamin Wehrmann

Norway and northern German state agree on blue hydrogen supplies to scale up industry

Clean Energy Wire

Norway has said it can supply industry customers in northern Germany with so-called blue hydrogen to push the ramp-up of hydrogen infrastructure in Germany, Norwegian government representatives said during an official visit by delegates from the northern German city state Hamburg to tje Norwegian capital Oslo. The envisaged deal is seen as an interim step to a green hydrogen economy. Blue hydrogen is made from fossil fuels, where the CO2 is captured to avoid greenhouse gas emissions. It could be shipped to Hamburg and, in the medium run, also through pipelines that connect Norway with its large southern neighbour. Hamburg’s economy senator, Melanie Leonhard, said both countries are striving to transform their industry together and ramp up the use of renewable energy, for which there is plentiful supply in Norway. “But in order to foster decarbonisation, you also need plausible demand structures,” Leonhard said, arguing that Hamburg and other northern German states stand ready to buy low-carbon energy from Norway. “At the same time, our expertise in wind power, mechanical engineering and industry automatization can contribute to advancing energy production” in Norway, she said. Ramping up hydrogen use in Hamburg would no longer depend on local production, which means activities that use hydrogen could be rolled out much faster before they are eventually supplied with green hydrogen produced with renewable power only. Anna Marit Bjornflaten, state secretary in Norway’s trade ministry, stressed the strategic partnership for climate action, renewable energy sources and green industry transformation the two countries had agreed on earlier this year.

Green hydrogen made with renewable power is seen as a key pillar for achieving climate neutrality, as it can be used to replace fossil fuels in sectors that are difficult to decarbonise otherwise, for example certain industrial processes, or aviation. While the German government aims to only use green hydrogen in the long run, it stated that blue hydrogen could provide a temporary solution.

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