Germany doubles 2030 hydrogen production target

Jake Stones

24-Nov-2021

LONDON (ICIS)–On 24 November Germany’s coalition government announced plans to support 10GW of hydrogen electrolyser capacity by 2030, double the original target, while increasing the use of the fuel for power generation.

This means production could rise to 28TWh/year at 4,000 load hours, ICIS data showed, an increase of 14TWh compared to the original plan released last year.

The document targeted 200GW of solar and 30GW of offshore wind to be installed by 2030 to support the green hydrogen target.

Germany currently has just under 8GW of offshore wind capacity, alongside 56GW onshore and 58GW of solar.

TECHNOLOGY NEUTRAL

The plan also indicated that while green hydrogen capacity expands the country will rely on a technology-neutral hydrogen regulator.

This potentially opens the door to blue hydrogen production using natural gas as a feedstock, which there was little-to-no support for originally.

Overall this means that Germany could continue to rely on natural gas up to 2050 for blue hydrogen production.

The coalition plan also noted that the hydrogen strategy would be republished in 2022.

POWER GENERATION

Another key turn outlined in the coalition plan is that any new gas-fired power generation will need to be hydrogen ready.

With the potential phase-out of coal by 2030 and a decision to step away from nuclear power, Germany will need to rely on gas-fired generation for baseload power supply in the event of low output from renewables.

The introduction of hydrogen-ready gas units means future power generation could largely be balanced by hydrogen.

This is another step from the original national plan, which focused more on using hydrogen for industry and transport. This means that hydrogen demand could rise substantially beyond 2030.

Germany is currently the largest hydrogen user in Europe, occupying roughly 22% of total consumption, according to information from Hydrogen Europe.

IMPORTS AND CERTIFICATION

Germany will still aim to import hydrogen, the coalition document showed, but specified that the climate impact will be taken into consideration.

To do this the country will look to establish a certification scheme for the production and transportation of the fuel.

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