Germany’s Hydrogen Dream Needs Gas For Transition, Says Industry, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

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By Vera Eckert

BERLIN, September 15 – Germany needs natural gas in its energy mix as it develops a so-called “green” hydrogen market based on renewable energies, the boss of Wintershall said on Wednesday.

Germany hopes to develop green hydrogen on a large scale using wind and solar electricity to make synthetic fuels for the industrial, energy and transport sectors and has launched a $ 9 billion hydrogen strategy euros ($ 10.64 billion) until 2030.

“Until green hydrogen is available in sufficient volumes and at attractive prices, we will also need hydrogen from natural gas in order to quickly establish the market,” said Mario Mehren, general manager of the producer of Wintershall gas and oil.

“I have no doubts that green hydrogen will benefit from a mature market in the long term,” Mehren said at the annual electricity and gas lobby conference BDEW, hinting that the hydrogen derived from gas is would help to reach this stage.

Green hydrogen is derived from renewable sources which could include offshore wind-powered floating electrolysis plants. Hydrogen extracted with natural gas is called “gray” hydrogen.

The question of how best to meet Germany’s hydrogen target has been plagued by arguments over the timing and use of different “colors” of hydrogen.

Some environmental lobbies want green hydrogen or nothing, while energy companies are offering intermediate milestones, including carbon capture and storage (CCS) programs.

CCS captures and stores industry emissions in depleted subsea hydrocarbon fields, where Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands are very advanced.

The main German political parties, in the midst of the electoral campaign, are all in favor of a hydrogen market.

Christian Bruch, CEO of Siemens Energy, said any new government must simplify hydrogen rules and offer money for investments in factories and their operations.

Siemens aimed to keep all of its hydrogen power generation turbines running in the long term by making them “hydrogen ready” now.

But burning gas into electricity – which generates half the carbon emissions of coal – still has years of exploitation, especially in overseas markets, he said.

But pressure groups Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) and Urgewalt criticized the German government for its alleged support for fossil fuels, arguing that “the harmful effect of gas on the climate is scientifically proven”.

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