Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck today met Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology of the United Arab Emirates, for talks at the Economic Affairs Ministry in Berlin. Minister Al Jaber’s visit to Berlin followed on from Minister Habeck’s visit to Abu Dhabi on 21 March 2022. During their bilateral conversation, the two ministers discussed issues relating to enhanced energy cooperation, particularly on hydrogen. A joint round table with representatives of the German business community after their meeting looked at the next steps towards expanding hydrogen production and trading. The two sides’ shared goal is to accelerate the hydrogen sector ramp-up.
Robert Habeck said: “Green hydrogen is an important key to climate-neutral industry. We must resolutely pursue climate change mitigation in order to secure our prosperity and freedom. That is why we are working hard to accelerate the green hydrogen ramp-up and to expand the necessary infrastructure Because we will very soon require large quantities of green hydrogen, and will need imports alongside that produced in Germany. The joint hydrogen projects between German industry and partners in the United Arab Emirates play a very important part here.”
Several cooperation agreements to implement a joint hydrogen economy were concluded between the two countries during Minister Habeck’s most recent visit to the UAE on 21 March 2022. These projects were discussed and further deepened today. For example, the UAE oil and gas company ADNOC signed an agreement with the German companies Hydrogenious and Uniper on 21 March to establish a supply chain for green hydrogen between Abu Dhabi and Wilhelmshaven. As part of the demonstration project, between seven and ten thousand tonnes of hydrogen a year are to be transported to Germany. The first deliveries of green hydrogen are expected in 2025. Further agreements were concluded in March to trial a transport chain for blue ammonia: the CO2 by-product when it is derived from natural gas is captured. The first test load of ammonia from the UAE will probably arrive at the port of Hamburg in the second half of 2022. Further, the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI) of the United Arab Emirates plans to collaborate with the German Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to draw up a hydrogen strategy for the UAE.
The joint projects between German businesses and partners in the UAE form part of the Emirati-German Energy Partnership on hydrogen and renewables in place since 2017. The Energy Partnership is an initiative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates and is supported by Guidehouse and the German Emirati Joint Council for Industry and Commerce (AHK). The bilateral task force for hydrogen and synthetic fuels was established in the context of the Energy Partnership, and its working groups met for the first time on 14 March 2022. The hydrogen task force strengthens cooperation between companies, research institutions and policymakers in Germany and the UAE to support joint climate-friendly energy projects and to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
German companies are also actively involved in various hydrogen projects in the UAE. In May 2021, Siemens Energy and the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) began operating the first green hydrogen facility in the MENA region. A consortium with partners from both countries, including Siemens Energy, Lufthansa, Masdar and TotalEnergies, is currently developing a project for the manufacture of hydrogen-based e-fuels including synthetic kerosene for the aviation sector. Further industrial projects and strategic initiatives are currently being developed by companies in Germany and the UAE with the support of the Energy Partnership.
As part of its diversification strategy, the UAE is expanding renewables and hydrogen. Investment totalling the equivalent of €148 bn in the expansion of renewables up to 2050 has been announced. The UAE aims to reach a 25% share of the global market for green and blue hydrogen by 2030. Germany is regarded as one of the main markets, alongside Japan and South Korea. The UAE is aiming for net-zero climate neutrality by 2050 and will be hosting the 28th UN Climate Change Conference in 2023. Germany is supporting the preparatory work for the conference as part of the Emirati-German Energy Partnership.