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Germany more flexible on hydrogen transition, emphasises speed – draft

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany is set to hold on to its hydrogen economy goals up to 2030 and beyond while pressing for speed and allowing greater leeway in transitioning from fossil fuels-based variants to renewables, a draft paper showed on Wednesday.

Europe’s biggest economy wants to produce, import and market clean hydrogen, derived from carbon-free wind and solar power, as a future energy source to meet climate targets and lessen dependency on imported raw materials.

The draft was seen by Reuters while being presented to the national hydrogen council prior to assessment and adoption by the Berlin cabinet.

It will become a 2023 strategy update guiding stakeholders in production, transport and wholesale markets as well as infrastructure investors.

The paper spoke of “further speeding the necessary market ramp-up of hydrogen through concrete and tightened measures”.

The coalition government in 2021 installed a target of 10 gigawatts (GW) of green hydrogen production by 2030, which can receive direct financial support, doubling previous ambitions.

The paper said hydrogen needs integrating into gas transport grids, for which there will have to be 1,800 kilometres of converted and new pipelines to be developed from 2024/25 and in place by 2027/2028.

These lines would receive partial support under Europe’s important projects of common interest (IPCEI) schemes and embedded within trans-European hydrogen grids amounting to 4,500 km.

Germany’s hydrogen demand in 2030 is pegged at 95-130 terawatt hours (TWh), of which 50%-70% will have to be imported, with separate provisions due to be made.

European energy bourse EEX in May started publishing a green hydrogen index, scaling up price discovery, among many budding, complementary initiatives.

There would be greater tolerance of fossil- and nuclear-derived hydrogen, partly with carbon sequestration until such time as renewables could fully meet hydrogen demand, Germany’s draft paper said.

Environmentalist hardliners reject all forms of non-green varieties, describing them as a lifeline for fossil fuel incumbents.


(Reporting by Vera Eckert, Christian Kraemer, Markus Wacket; editing by Devika Syamnath)


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