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25 Feb 2021, 13:20
Julian Wettengel

Run on government support for hydrogen projects in Germany

Handelsblatt / FAZ

Almost 200 submitted hydrogen project proposals showed a “high interest” and readiness to invest in the technology in Germany, the economy ministry told business daily Handelsblatt. The ministry aims to provide 2.1 billion euros in support for so-called Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI). If a proposal is accepted as an IPCEI, state aid rules are less stringent, which allows for more government support, writes Handelsblatt. Now that companies had expressed their interest, the ministry is evaluating the proposals to then decide which will get support. It plans to notify the European Commission before the parliamentary summer break, writes Handelsblatt.
In a separate interview in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, research minister Anja Karliczek said a “tough international competition” on the development of hydrogen technology has sprung up. “Germany and Europe must prove that they can compete”, said the minister. Her ministry supports three key hydrogen projects with 700 million euros by 2025, she said, but emphasised that state support could only serve as an impetus, not exist permanently. In the same interview, Siemens Energy CEO Christian Bruch cautioned that green hydrogen will not be commercially viable until the second half of this decade at the earliest. “We are talking about commercialisation today, although we still have so much work to do,” he said.

In the fight against climate change, green hydrogen made with renewable electricity is increasingly seen as a solution for many areas where emissions are particularly hard to reduce, such as heavy industry and aviation. With its hydrogen strategy and more than 7 billion euros by 2030, Germany aims to ramp up hydrogen technologies and become a global leader. As part of the economy ministry support programme, German energy companies Uniper and Siemens Energy this week proposed a project to set up a renewable power-based energy plant at the site of the retired Moorburg hard coal plant in Hamburg, featuring an electrolyser to produce green hydrogen.

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