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Germany is entering in to a number of European and international hydrogen energy partnerships to secure energy supply on the road to climate neutrality.
Mar 21, 2023
Germany produced a record 256 TWh of electricity from renewable sources according to the German Environment Agency. Renewable energy sources helped generate around 46 percent of domestic power consumption in 2022 – up from 41 percent in the previous year.
Essen-based German energy multinational RWE and Norwegian energy company Equinor have concluded a strategic hydrogen energy partnership. According to the agreement, the two companies will cooperate on the import of hydrogen to Germany and other major projects for European energy supply. The deal is premised upon the construction of a hydrogen pipeline between Norway and Germany as well as the creation of the necessary infrastructure for further transportation being put in place in Germany. The partnership has the potential to make Norway an important supplier of hydrogen to Germany as it seeks to transition to environmentally friendly energy sources.
Germany intends to implement a new biomass strategy that puts its focus on sustainable use and climate protection. The proposed strategy, which will cover biomass policy up to 2030, will consider the potential of sustainably available biomass, the conservation of natural ecosystems and the food-first principle. Based on these key principles, the strategy is being developed in dialogue with representatives from politics, business, science and society.
In the region of 175 new solar parks will be built in the coming years according to registrations made with the Bundesnetzagentur. Around one quarter of the 58,000 MW of solar power currently installed in the country is generated from large open spaces including former agricultural and fallow land. Fifty of the planned sites were already connected to the grid at the end of last year, with another 90 solar parks set to be added this year.
The German government has established a new funding instrument to support Germany as a technology location and venture capital financing in the country. The DeepTech & Climate (DTCF) Fund will make around EUR 1 billion available to companies with future technologies in the coming years. Funding for the DTCF is being freed up from the country’s Future Fund and the ERP Special Fund.
Speaking to popular tabloid newspaper Bild Zeitung, German chancellor Olaf Scholz has vowed to make roll-out a priority and is liaising with the 16 federal states to assess and improve expansion requirements. According to the chancellor, four to five wind turbines will be built each day to meet the country’s 2030 targets. Renewable energy source expansion, especially of onshore wind, must pick up rapidly for Germany to come close to its 2030 climate neutrality targets.
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck recently travelled to Oslo to hold political talks with his Norwegian counterparts to intensify climate-neutral energy supply cooperation. The talks placed particular focus on hydrogen supply and the decarbonization of energy-intensive industrial partners. The two countries signed a joint statement agreeing on a strategic partnership in the fields of climate, renewable energy and green industry. A joint statement on hydrogen sees the two countries reaffirm their joint intention to ensure large-scale supply by 2030 and the creation of the necessary infrastructure in Norway and Germany.
Germany and France have reiterated their wish to work together on the energy transition, technological sovereignty, supporting industry in the transition to climate neutrality and decarbonization efforts. Olaf Scholz and Emmanuel Macron met on January 22 on the event of the 60th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty marking the start of French-German friendship. Both men called for “swift and ambitious European action” and hope to work together to come up with a response to the US Inflation Reduction Act to secure the competiveness and resilience of European industry. They also agreed on a “common approach” for low-carbon hydrogen with a joint French-German working group to present first proposals by the end of April. Germany is also set to join the H2Med hydrogen pipeline project that will connect Portugal and Spain with France. The two leaders also pledged to invest more in the technologies of the future, particularly in the area of renewable and low-carbon energy provision. Central to these plans are establishing the offshore wind potential of the North Sea as a cornerstone of competitive electricity pricing and hydrogen production.
Belgium and Germany have agreed to link their respective hydrogen networks, double gas flow into Germany and explore the possibility of a second high-voltage electricity interconnector for cross-border flows reports Clean Energy Wire. Belgian Prime minister Alexander De Croo and German chancellor Olaf Scholz met on February 14 to identify energy cooperation priorities. A joint statement issued by the two countries announced the further development of hydrogen infrastructure between the two countries with the stated aim of connecting it by 2028. The flow of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Belgium to Germany is to be doubled; carbon capture and storage investigated; partnership on offshore energy in the North Sea intensified; a second high-voltage interconnector for cross-border electricity flows implemented; and the introduction of market coupling between Europe and the United Kingdom and Ireland promoted.
Germany and Australia plan to increase shared activities in the areas of energy, climate action and emissions reduction following ministerial meetings between the two countries. Federal Economic Affairs and Climate Action Minister Robert Habeck and Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger announced EUR 73 million funding for four new joint projects under the auspices of the German-Australian Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator (HyGATE) initiative. The two governments also released a joint summary report on the German-Australian Hydrogen Feasibility Study of the renewable hydrogen supply chain. Australia and Germany’s energy cooperation was initiated in 2017, with a formal energy partnership between the two countries created in 2021.