Industry News

Germany updates its national strategy and commits to blue hydrogen

by | Jul 31, 2023

An updated hydrogen strategy has been revealed by Germany, outlining plans to import from Denmark and Norway, while simultaneously securing the production of blue hydrogen from fossil gas using carbon capture and storage technology to reduce the related emissions.

It is anticipated that hydrogen will play a vital part in the country’s transition to cleaner forms of energy, and despite the recent strategy update, industry association BDI still branded the change “overdue”.

“With the update of the National Hydrogen Strategy, we are setting the framework for a new phase in the hydrogen market ramp-up,” commented Robert Habeck, economy and climate action minister.

The updated hydrogen strategy estimates that demand for the clean fuel will reach 95-130TWh in 2030, an increase on previous projections. At present, there is a 55TWh demand, with the majority of this being catered for by using imported fossil gas within refineries and chemical plants.

To cater for this growing demand, the German government wants to produce more hydrogen in the country, by way of water electrolysis. Within the new strategy – announced on July 26th – the government targets an electrolyzer capacity of 10GW, double its 2020 target. It is estimated that the electrolyzers will produce up to 25TWh of hydrogen each year.

The industry, however, believes that measures outlined in the revised strategy – put in place to achieve the new target – are insufficient. Berlin needs “to back up its target of 10GW of domestic electrolysis capacity by 2030 with more concrete measures and support programs,” explained Kerstin Andreae of utilities association BDEW.

The remainder of the required hydrogen – approximately 50-70% – will be imported from other countries, with the majority coming from Norway and Denmark via hydrogen pipelines.

The strategy states, “The exchange with Norway and Denmark is already further advanced, but talks have also been held with Finland and Sweden as well as Austria, Italy and France.” Habeck went on to say that to have the Norway pipeline ready by 2030, “we will need to get started on the technical details by 2025.”

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