The authorities in Germany have unveiled the country’s national hydrogen strategy, a strategy that foresees an important role for offshore wind as a source of green hydrogen
German Energy Agency (Dena) chairman Andreas Kuhlmann said the long-awaited strategy would form the basis of the ongoing energy transition and make it more likely that climate change targets would be achieved.
He particularly highlighted the strategy’s plan for 5 GW of electrolysis capacity in Germany by 2030 as “a good first goal.”
Mr Kuhlman said the quantities of hydrogen envisaged in the strategy will be so large that reliable planning would be essential as are ‘climate-friendly’ means of producing hydrogen – such as from offshore wind.
He described the strategy, due to be adopted on 10 June 2020 by the German cabinet, as ‘the beginning of a new phase in climate protection.’
“There are now questions regarding the planning and expansion of the infrastructure and, above all, the renewable energy required for this. Many actors in the energy and climate policy debate still lack an understanding of the enormous dimensions and the changes associated with them,” he noted.
Responding to publication of the strategy, Federal Association of Windfarm Operators (BWO) managing director Stefan Thimm said, “We expressly welcome the fact that offshore wind energy has a special role in the national hydrogen strategy.
“With its high full load hours, offshore wind energy is ideally suited for the production of green hydrogen and can make a further decisive contribution to the decarbonisation of Germany.
“It is important, however, that the power intended for the generation of green hydrogen is tendered in addition to the 20 GW offshore wind energy that has already been agreed by 2030. Otherwise we will have won nothing in the end.”
Mr Thimm said the fact €7Bn (US$8Bn) in funding for hydrogen technologies will be made available is also good news. “Creating incentives for the ramp-up of hydrogen technology in Germany and thus laying the foundation for a strong home market is the right way,” he said.
“The same applies to the approach to expanding European co-operation – especially with countries bordering the North Sea.”
However, he cautioned that the regulatory framework for grid connection and tendering for ‘international windfarms’ remains unclear.
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Transmission system operator 50Hertz said the strategy was ‘a good starting point’ for a climate-neutral economy by 2050.
50Hertz chief executive Stefan Kapferer said, “Development of domestic hydrogen production from renewable electricity is a major opportunity.
“”Offshore, in the North Sea and Baltic, as well as onshore, there is wind power potential that can be exploited in the medium and long term.
“This in turn will make it possible to establish electrolysis installations in these regions and connect them to the grid in the area of consumption.”