German National Hydrogen Council Warns of Risks to Hydrogen Strategy Goals

faces potential setbacks in achieving its National Strategy (NWS) goals unless immediate steps are taken to accelerate hydrogen deployment, the German National Hydrogen Council has cautioned.

Four years since the strategy's inception, Germany's hydrogen ramp-up has stalled, posing a risk of falling behind in global competition, the council stated. Energy-intensive industries are growing uncertain about securing sufficient hydrogen supplies at competitive rates to decarbonize their operations, potentially leading to job losses and relocations abroad without robust framework conditions, according to the advisory body.

The council highlighted that while Germany aims for over 10 GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2030, current investment commitments only cover 0.3 GW. To bridge this gap, the council recommends measures such as exempting post-2029 electrolysers from fees and streamlining approval processes across the hydrogen value chain.

Addressing between 50% and 70% of hydrogen demand through imports via pipelines and ships is also crucial, the council emphasized, underscoring the need for enhanced infrastructure including pipelines, ports, and distribution networks via rail, rivers, and roads.

Moreover, ensuring attractive financing frameworks to entice investors into hydrogen infrastructure transformation is essential, the council noted, advocating for competitive return rates comparable to other energy infrastructure investments despite higher risk profiles.

The council also stressed the necessity of public sector support to bridge cost gaps between hydrogen and fossil energy carriers, particularly in industrial and transport sectors where hydrogen demand is significant.

Efforts to develop hydrogen refuelling infrastructure must proceed promptly, the council advised, citing current uncertainties hindering progress in this critical area.

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