Germany Eyes Significant Green Hydrogen Imports by Mid-2030s, Study Finds

Germany could potentially import between 60 TWh and 100 TWh of green hydrogen annually through pipelines by the mid-2030s, according to a study published by think tank Agora Energiewende. The study underscores the importance of developing necessary infrastructure to facilitate these imports in a timely manner.

The most viable import corridors identified are from wind-rich North and countries, which offer streamlined coordination and favourable financing terms. Agora Energiewende's researchers suggest that establishing connections to and by 2030 is feasible, contingent upon securing stable purchase volumes in Germany to support infrastructure investments.

In contrast, corridors from southern and North Africa also present potential supply routes but require agreements with transit nations and financial support from exporting countries to mitigate costs.

Pipelines are highlighted as the most cost-effective method for transporting pure hydrogen over shorter distances compared to shipping, which involves higher costs and technological complexities. Converting existing pipelines is considered a viable approach to minimize initial investment costs for hydrogen infrastructure.

The study emphasizes that pipeline imports will play a crucial role in meeting Germany's projected hydrogen demand, estimated between 40 TWh and 75 TWh by 2030 under the national hydrogen strategy. However, scaling up these imports faces challenges such as the need for robust financing models and stable domestic demand.

Agora Energiewende also forecasts Germany reaching an installed electrolysis capacity of around 5 GW by 2030 through planned production projects and policy measures. This domestic capacity expansion is seen as pivotal in complementing imported hydrogen to meet national energy goals.

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