Green hydrogen: International cooperation potentials for Germany

Jensterle, Miha; Jana Narita, Raffaele Piria, Jonas Schröder, Karoline Steinbacher, Farhanja Wahabzada, Tobias Zeller, Kilian Crone und Sebastian Löchle 2019: Green hydrogen: International cooperation potentials for Germany. Berlin: adelphi.

Green hydrogen, or hydrogen produced by electrolysis using electricity from renewable sources, provides various opportunities for Germany. It can play a key role both in reaching Germany’s climate and environmental objectives and in diversifying the country's energy supply. However, Germany’s domestic production potential is limited, so at least some of the green hydrogen would likely have to be imported. Germany thus needs to identify countries that could provide it. Moreover, international cooperation is also essential for the establishment of relevant standards as well as flagship projects. In addition, considerable opportunities for the German engineering industry could emerge regarding the export of hydrogen technologies.

The first chapter of this study by adelphi, dena, GIZ and Navigant includes a data-based analysis to identify the countries that could potentially supply green hydrogen in the future. The analysis differentiates between a medium- and a long-term perspective based on the expected development of Germany’s green hydrogen demand by the year 2030 and 2050, respectively. For the medium term, low production and transport costs along with a favourable political and economic framework are critical. In the long term, Germany may have to import large amounts of green hydrogen, which means the potential hydrogen export volume of individual countries becomes of interest. This study evaluates the export volumes qualitatively, based primarily on the criteria of surface-area restrictions for renewable energy facilities and electrolysers, restrictions related to water availability, and export restrictions due to the country's own energy needs.

The second chapter of the study examines potential partners and channels for the establishment of technical and sustainability standards for green hydrogen. The third chapter looks at export markets, evaluating the German corporate landscape, current and potential export products in the area of hydrogen technology and potential export destinations. Lastly, the study makes recommendations with regard to the design of potential green hydrogen pilot projects and partnerships abroad.

Each partner in the study contributed their country-specific expertise based on their involvement in international initiatives, including in the energy dialogues and partnerships of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. adelphi also contributed to developing the methodology for the country analysis and to writing the first two chapters. In addition, adelphi coordinated the cooperation of the institutions involved in the study.