German chem group VCI welcomes Berlin’s hydrogen strategy

Author: Stefan Baumgarten


LONDON (ICIS)--Germany's chemical industry trade group VCI is supporting the government’s hydrogen strategy as a decisive step towards the country's shift to renewable energies (“Energiewende”), it said on Tuesday.

The federal government in Berlin is due to formally adopt a new hydrogen or “Wasserstoffstratgie” on Wednesday.

In order to achieve greenhouse gas (GHS) reductions in energy-intensive sectors such as chemicals there was no alternative to the use of hydrogen, said VCI director general Wolfgang Grosse Entrup.

“Germany must make rapid progress so that we can be at the forefront in the international competition for the best innovations and applications,” he said.

He went on to urge Germany to be open to all technologies and processes – including processes in which hydrogen is obtained from fossil sources, but the resulting carbon dioxide (CO2) is separated.

Trade group VDI, representing German engineers, said that the government’s strategy largely neglected the use of hydrogen to power fuel-cell vehicles.

Cars with fuel cell technology offered important advantages over battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs), including longer driving ranges and higher payloads, the group said.

“Green hydrogen” - that is hydrogen generated using renewable electricity - is gaining in importance as an energy carrier for renewable power, as well as a CO2-free feedstock for the chemical industry.

Also, government incentives for green hydrogen could play an important role in helping Germany get out of the coronavirus-triggered economic downturn, environment minister Svenja Schulze said during a visit to BP’s refining and petrochemicals complex in Gelsenkirchen last week.

BP, Evonik and others are working on plans for a 130km green hydrogen network from BP's Lingen refinery to the Gelsenkirchen complex.

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