Two of the three scenario’s in the latest country report on Germany of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), co-founded in 2013 by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), included hydrogen as well. The DDPP is a collaborative global initiative that aims to demonstrate how individual countries can transition to a low-carbon economy consistent with the internationally agreed target of limiting the anthropogenic increase in global mean surface temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C) compared with pre-industrial times. In order to achieve this target, global net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions need to approach zero by the second half of the century, according to climate science. The German  report discusses how the government’s target of reducing domestic GHG emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050 (versus 1990) can be reached. Potential strategies towards  deep decarbonization in Germany have been comparatively analyzed showing that there are three “key strategies” which strongly contribute to GHG emission reduction in almost every scenario:

  • Strong energy efficiency improvements, i.e. reduced energy input but steady output in all end-use sectors (residential, services, industry and transport sector)
  • Increased use of domestic renewable energy sources (especially higher electricity production from wind and solar power plants)
  • Extensive electrification of processes (e.g. electricity-based heat supply, electric vehicles) and use of renewable electricity-based synthetic gases/fuels (power to gas/fuels) in the medium to long term