Munich/Pforzheim, February 18, 2021: When it comes to green hydrogen, Germany is the most attractive market in Europe. Thanks to the political support, the strong industry demand for hydrogen and the growing share of renewable electricity generation, the country is at the forefront of the burgeoning hydrogen economy. With this in mind, the German Hydrogen and Fuel-Cell Association (German DWV) has joined forces with The smarter E Europe – the innovation hub for new energy solutions – to promote the use of this green fuel. Why? Because it provides a long-term storage solution for wind and solar power; it reduces the carbon footprint of industry; and it has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. As part of The smarter E Europe exhibition program, exhibitors specializing in hydrogen, fuel cell and Power-to-Gas solutions will be presenting their latest technologies and services at ees Europe, the largest international exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems in Europe, from July 21–23, 2021 in Munich.
According to a study conducted by Aurora Energy Research, Germany is currently the most attractive market in Europe for green hydrogen. At more than 70 terrawatt-hours (TWh) per year, Germany currently accounts for more than one fifth of Europe’s total hydrogen consumption. What's more, by 2050, annual hydrogen demand in Europe is expected to increase eight-fold, from 327 TWh today to 2500 TWh. Thanks to the German government’s hydrogen strategy (which provides subsidies for low-carbon hydrogen production as well as for decarbonizing industry) and the country’s growing solar and wind capacities, Germany has emerged as the most attractive market in Europe for investment in “green” hydrogen in particular, that is to say hydrogen produced by the electrolysis of water using renewable energy resources. According to Werner Diwald, Chair of the DWV Board, “hydrogen produced using renewable electricity sources offers enormous potential for a climate neutral economy. This combination of renewable energy and hydrogen could soon become the shining light of Germany’s energy transition.” “We are working together with The smarter E Europe because, for the last 30 years, they have promoted the use of renewable energy systems through their extensive exhibition program, which includes Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe and EM-Power Europe.”
Hundreds of thousands of new jobs
Werner Diwald is also keen to highlight another benefit of using renewable energy in this way: “As well as helping to reduce our economy’s carbon footprint, green hydrogen has the potential to create and secure tens of thousands of jobs across Europe.” A study by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the consultancy firm DIW Econ confirms this. It concludes that if Germany were to produce 90% of the hydrogen required to achieve its net zero target domestically, this would create more than 800,000 additional jobs by 2050 and boost the economy by up to 30 billion euros.
Increased demand for renewables
Germany’s national hydrogen strategy sets some ambitious targets for the production of hydrogen using electrolysis, which, if met, will significantly increase electricity consumption in the country. However, according to a study by Aurora Energy Research, the planned expansion of the country’s renewable energy sector fails to keep pace until at least 2030. Taking into account the electricity
demand for hydrogen production at the planned levels, renewables would not be able to meet more than 55% of Germany’s electricity mix by 2030. Moreover, to meet the government’s target of 65% green power, Germany will need to double its electricity generation capacity from renewables (currently 125 gigawatts) by 2030. The authors of the study therefore recommend that the growth of the hydrogen economy and expansion of the renewable energy sector should be viewed collectively and any developments in these areas should be closely aligned. It is not enough to focus simply on the expansion of the hydrogen industry; a successful energy transition also requires a significant expansion of the country’s wind and solar power generation. Only then can hydrogen also fulfill its potential as a long-term storage solution for renewable energy, alongside flexible battery storage options. Hydrogen can be used for fuel cell vehicles, industrial processes, space heating, or can be reconverted to electricity, which makes it very versatile for sector coupling applications.
Technologies and services in the spotlight at ees Europe 2021
Companies from around the world gather together at The smarter E Europe, the continent’s largest platform for the energy industry, to accelerate the production and use of hydrogen for the creation of a climate-neutral economy. The innovation hub is supported by the German DWV as well as by its strategic partners, the European umbrella organization Hydrogen Europe and the industry association Eurogas. “To create a new energy world, we have to be smart and join up the dots between the power, heating and mobility sectors. Power-to-Gas has a key role to play in this,” explains Markus Elsässer, CEO of exhibition organizer Solar Promotion GmbH. “The smarter E Europe provides a central platform for the latest innovations for the new energy world. It showcases the future of the energy industry,” adds Daniel Strowitzki, Managing Director of Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik und Messe GmbH & Co. KG. From July 21–23, 2021, exhibitors, including GP JOULE, Proton Motor Fuel Cell, Hoeller Electrolyzer, Thüga and HPS Home Power Solutions, will be presenting their latest hydrogen, fuel cell and Power-to-Gas services and technologies at ees Europe in Munich, the largest international exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems in Europe. The specialist Green Hydrogen Conference will also be held alongside the main exhibition on July 22, 2021. Moreover, in the run-up to the exhibition, The smarter E Europe will be releasing regular podcasts and webinars on the topic of hydrogen. Full details can be found at www.ThesmarterE.com.
Image source: © Solar Promotion GmbH