The next German government has reiterated the role of hydrogen in its plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while simultaneously reducing its reliance on Russia and satisfying growing energy demand.
The new coalition announced on Wednesday their roadmap for phasing coal power completely by 2030. The previous deadline which was circulated earlier this year was 2038.
They also pledged to increase the 45.5% share of renewables in the country’s energy mix, while covering 80% of rising demand only with low or zero emission sources.
Hydrogen is seen as a quick replacement for natural gas production, as well as the nuclear and coal plants that are currently operational.
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Green hydrogen was also mentioned as the prefered choice, taking into consideration criticisms from various corners about its “brown” and “blue” versions which would still produce considerable amounts carbon dioxide.
The joint statement from the Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and Free Democrats (FDP) indicated in their coalition treaty that German hydrogen electrolyser capacity will double next year and reach 10GW by 2030.
Gerlald Linke, chief of the country’s gas and water association commented that the gas industry would need a guarantee that existing pipelines can be used for hydrogen transportation.
He also made the case for the widespread adoption of carbon capture, as well as hydrogen imports to meet demand.
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Tests in other countries like Snam in Italy earlier this year have shown that natural gas pipes can be used to transport hydrogen safely and efficiently.
The new coalition’s expectations for power demand are in line with industry estimates to reach around 700 terawatt hours annually by 2030 because of rising electricity consumption from electric cars, digitisations of products and services, as well as the need to produce green hydrogen with the help of solar and wind sources.