Germany sets out plans to become global leader in hydrogen


Germany has developed a National Hydrogen Strategy in a bid to fulfil its ambitions of becoming a global leader in hydrogen technologies.

On 10 June, the German government published the strategy, identifying green hydrogen as the only form of hydrogen “sustainable in the long term”, stating its goal to use it, to support a rapid market ramp-up and establish corresponding value chains. However, as the global and European hydrogen market develops over the next 10 years, the report acknowledged that blue hydrogen will likely be traded there. As Germany is closely integrated into the European energy supply infrastructure, it said it will use blue hydrogen on a transitional basis.

The aims and ambitions of its National Hydrogen Strategy include assuming global responsibility in emissions reductions by establishing hydrogen as an option for decarbonisation; making hydrogen competitive by pushing cost reductions with a fast international market ramp-up; and developing a “home market” for hydrogen technologies in Germany and pave the way for imports.

Implementation of the strategy will be overseen by a committee of state secretaries of affected ministries, with the government establishing a national hydrogen council consisting of 25 representatives from business, science and civil society to support the committee. A hydrogen coordination centre will also be established, supporting the ministries and hydrogen council, monitoring progress in a yearly report.

The strategy includes an action plan, detailing measures the German government will take for the first phase of a market ramp-up by 2023. They include improving framework conditions for the efficient use of renewable power, with the government exploring removing taxes and levies from powers used for hydrogen production, and giving priority to certain areas of transport and industry where use of hydrogen is already near profitability and this does not create dependencies or there is no alternative to decarbonise.