January 19, 2022

Germany’s need to import hydrogen*

The first step that needs to be taken to speed up the rollout of hydrogen technology is establishing a strong and sustainable domestic market for the production and use of hydrogen at home. A strong domestic market will send an important signal, encouraging other countries to use hydrogen technology as well. Germany will design the incentives for speeding up the rollout of hydrogen technology in Germany and particularly for the establishment and operation of electrolysers in a way that is compatible with the energy transition.

The Federal Government expects that around 90 to 110 TWh of hydrogen will be needed by 2030. In order to cover part of this demand, Germany plans to establish up to 5 GW of generation capacity including the offshore and onshore energy generation facilities needed for this. This corresponds to 14 TWh of green hydrogen production and will require 20 TWh of renewables-based electricity. It needs to be ensured that the demand for electricity that is created by the electrolysers will not lead to an increase in carbon emissions. The Federal Government has included a monitoring mechanism in the National Hydrogen Strategy which will be used to track the development of green hydrogen demand in detail. An additional 5 GW of capacity are to be added, if possible by 2035 and no later than 2040.

However, the domestic generation of green hydrogen will not be sufficient to cover all new demand, which is why most of the hydrogen needed will have to be imported. There are several places across the EU where large quantities of renewables-based electricity are being generated. These offer great potential for producing green hydrogen. The Federal Government will work to ensure that this potential is tapped and that the generation capacities are further expanded. To this end, it will intensify its cooperation with other European Member States, particularly those bordering the North and Baltic Sea, but also with the countries of southern Europe. The use of offshore wind energy will play an important role. The Federal Government will work with the North and Baltic See border states to push forward hydrogen production by establishing a reliable regulatory framework for offshore wind energy. It also aims to systematically develop production sites in other partner countries, for example as part of development cooperation. The Federal Government seeks to provide suppliers, consumers and investors in Germany and abroad with the security to plan ahead.

This will require working with the relevant partner countries to launch an investment and innovation campaign. The Federal Government will use its Hydrogen Strategy to promote the establishment of production capacity and new supply chains and provide our partner countries with the relevant technology and targeted solutions. This will boost employment both in Germany and our partner countries and pave the way for long-term economic growth.

The Action Plan for the National Hydrogen Strategy and the current budget and financial estimates serve as the basis for speeding up the rollout of hydrogen technology. Should it become clear that the demand for hydrogen will develop more strongly than expected, the National Hydrogen Strategy will be enhanced as part of the evaluation process. 

*text taken from the German National Strategy for Hydrogen