The recently appointed German government did not waste time to  unveil plans on Janaury 11, 2022 to reinforc the German national hydrogen strategy by doubling its hydrogen electrolyser capacity from 5GW to 10GW in 2030 as part of its upcoming “easter package” of legislation.

However, “blue hydrogen”, which is created by using fossil gas and sequestering the resulting CO2 emission using carbon and capture (CCS) technology, will not be excluded in future German subsidy schemes, frustrating the German industry. According to a 2021 report sponsored by the industry, hydrogen production based on natural gas could save Europe €2 trillion by 2050 because it can be based on existing gas infrastructure.

Setting aside €8 billion for the Hydrogen “Important Projects of Common European Interest” (IPCEI), establishing additional subsidy schemes, and offering companies “Carbon Contracts for Difference” to de-risk their investments the German govenrment also seek to speed up regulation to facilitate production, distribution and use of green hydrogen at EU level.  Such as Green Hydrogen Certification; to be counted as a renewable fuel under the EU’s renewable energy directive, hydrogen and other e-fuels must be certified as a so-called “renewable fuel of non-biological origin,” or RFNBO and demonstrate emissions savings of “at least 70%” compared to fossil fuels while meeting sustainability criteria such as those defined by the German energy agency (DENA).

Photo: Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger has asked Innovation Commissioner Stefan Kaufmann to continue as Hydrogen Commissioner at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)