Tank mit Aufschrift Wasserstoff

© BMWK / Dominik Butzmann

The Federal cabinet today adopted the update of the National Hydrogen Strategy. The decision by the Federal cabinet was preceded by a political agreement of all Federal ministries, including of the five lead ministries for hydrogen, i.e. the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Federal Ministry of Research. The National Hydrogen Strategy from 2020 remains in place in principle, but is now being further developed with the update to the increased level of ambition in climate protection and the new challenges on the energy market. It sets state guidelines for the generation, transport and use of hydrogen and its derivatives and consolidates the measures of the Federal Government. The stated aim of the German government is to ensure a reliable and sustainable supply of green hydrogen.

Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action said: "By updating the National Hydrogen Strategy, we are setting the framework for the new phase in the hydrogen market ramp-up, which we have consistently initiated since taking office: from research and demonstration to large-scale production. Investing in hydrogen is an investment in our future, in climate protection, in skilled jobs and the security of energy supply. The updating of the hydrogen strategy gives these investments a reliable basis and sets the course for close cooperation with our partners in Europe and around the world. In order to successfully implement the strategy, we are also currently working at full speed to create the necessary infrastructure."

Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Federal Minister of Education and Research: "Hydrogen is the missing piece of the puzzle for the energy transition. It is a great opportunity to combine energy security, climate neutrality and competitiveness. By updating the National Hydrogen Strategy, we are creating more clarity and planning security for the hydrogen economy at home and abroad. It was particularly important to me that we accelerate the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy and give all sectors equal access to hydrogen. Similarly pragmatic and open to technology, we decided that we initially want to use all climate-friendly types of hydrogen. This is how we are advancing Germany on its way to becoming a hydrogen republic."Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Federal Minister of Education and Research: "Hydrogen is the missing piece of the puzzle for the energy transition. It is a great opportunity to combine energy security, climate neutrality and competitiveness. By updating the National Hydrogen Strategy, we are creating more clarity and planning security for the hydrogen economy at home and abroad. It was particularly important to me that we accelerate the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy and give all sectors equal access to hydrogen. Similarly pragmatic and open to technology, we decided that we initially want to use all climate-friendly types of hydrogen. This is how we are advancing Germany on its way to becoming a hydrogen republic."

Steffi Lemke, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, said: "Hydrogen is an essential part of the energy transition and indispensable for successful climate change mitigation. It is important that we design the market ramp-up of hydrogen in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way right from the start. In addition, we should use hydrogen efficiently and economically where there are no better options for decarbonisation. Therefore, in the update of the National Hydrogen Strategy, the Federal Government has set itself the goal of achieving a reliable supply of green, long-term sustainable hydrogen for Germany and has committed itself to ambitious sustainability standards for hydrogen and its derivatives, both for domestic production but especially for imports."

German Development Minister Svenja Schulze: "The new National Hydrogen Strategy is a far-sighted step, both domestically and internationally. The world market for hydrogen must be fair and therefore different than the fossil world economy ever was. Germany’s message to our partner countries is that we not only want to import hydrogen reliably, but also want to help ensure that the new hydrogen supply chains also lead to good, sustainable development. In concrete terms, this means that where wind and solar power is produced for hydrogen, the energy transition is being promoted locally and the local population is being supplied with electricity. And where seawater is desalinated for hydrogen, the nearest town is also supplied with drinking water. From a development perspective, one thing is clear: hydrogen from renewable energies is not only the best choice for the environment, but as a cheap domestic source of energy it also leads to better development in the Global South. We will therefore support our partner countries in participating with their fair share in the new world market for hydrogen"

Federal Minister of Transport Dr Volker Wissing: "Hydrogen and its derivatives are an important building block for sustainable, climate-friendly mobility and complement other alternative forms of propulsion in a meaningful way. Use in the transport sector contributes to the necessary scaling of the hydrogen economy. It is therefore important and logical that transport plays a central role in the update of the National Hydrogen Strategy. The strategy contains many important transport measures, such as establishing a basic network of hydrogen filling stations, promoting renewable fuels and creating the necessary framework conditions. We are also developing a master plan for hydrogen and fuel cell technology in transport. In this way, we aim to drive forward the use of hydrogen and the fuels made from it, as well as the availability of fuel cell vehicles, fuel cell components and systems, together with the necessary infrastructure, in a targeted manner."

The measures of the update cover the entire value chain, were often already started parallel to the development of the update of the strategy or are planned in the short term for the year 2023, in the medium term for the years 2024/2025 and in some cases already in the long term until 2030. The following target image is to be implemented with the measures:

  • Accelerated market ramp-up of hydrogen: The market ramp-up of hydrogen, its derivatives and hydrogen application technologies will be significantly accelerated and the level of ambition along the entire value chain will be greatly increased.
  • Ensuring sufficient availability of hydrogen and its derivatives: The target for domestic electrolysis capacity in 2030 is increased from 5 GW to at least 10 GW. The remaining demand is covered by imports. A separate import strategy is being developed.
  • Development of an efficient hydrogen infrastructure: The creation of the necessary hydrogen infrastructure is of particular importance. To this end, the Federal cabinet adopted the current amendment to the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) at the end of May, providing the legal and regulatory framework for the future hydrogen core network for Germany as the first expansion stage of the hydrogen infrastructure. By 2027/2028, a hydrogen start-up network with more than 1,800 kilometres of converted and newly built hydrogen lines will be set up in Germany via the IPCEI funding; Around 4,500 kilometres are added across Europe (European Hydrogen Backbone). All major generation, import and storage centres will be connected to the relevant customers by 2030.
  • Establishment of hydrogen applications in the sectors: By 2030, hydrogen and its derivatives will be used in particular for applications in industry, in heavy commercial vehicles1 and increasingly in aviation and shipping. In the electricity sector, hydrogen contributes to energy security; through gas-fired power plants that can be converted to climate-neutral gases (H2-ready) and through system-friendly electrolysers, in particular as variable and system-friendly stabilisers or flexible loads. For the perspective use of hydrogen in the central and decentralised heat supply, the framework conditions are currently being further developed in the GEG, in heat planning and in the European gas market package.
  • Germany will be the leading provider of hydrogen technologies by 2030: German providers will expand their technology leadership and offer the entire value chain of hydrogen technologies from production (e.g. electrolysers) to the various applications (e.g. fuel cell technology).
  • Creation of suitable framework conditions: Coherent legal requirements at national, European and, if possible, international level support the market ramp-up. In particular, this includes efficient planning and approval procedures, uniform standards and certification systems, and administration that is adequately equipped and coordinated at all levels.
  • Import strategy: Since the beginning of the legislative period, the Federal Government has been working hard to ensure the availability of hydrogen through imports from partner countries in addition to ramping up domestic production. For this purpose, an import strategy for hydrogen and its derivatives is being developed in parallel. This also takes into account sustainability criteria in the sense of the global goals for sustainable development. The import strategy will send a message to partner countries that Germany wants to enter into global partnerships, enable reliable supply chains to Germany, establish sustainable standards and be available as a technology partner. This spring, the German government reached an agreement with Norway on the long-term supply of hydrogen.

________________

1Vehicles in class N3 have the largest carbon reduction potential.