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Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) & DMV: National Hydrogen Strategy Needed, Now More than Ever

By April 29, 2020 5   min read  (959 words)

April 29, 2020 |

National Hydrogen Strategy Now More than Ever
  • Joint Appeal by CEP and DMV to the Federal Government 

Berlin–The coronavirus is all anyone talks about, and rightly so. But there will come a time after the coronavirus crisis, and then the economy will need to be revived. At that point, it will be important for financial resources to be channelled into bringing emerging technologies to market. This is particularly true for the energy and mobility sector, which is facing disruptive upheavals.

Adopting the National Hydrogen Strategy (NWS) is therefore more necessary than ever before. This is the case not only because of the ever-increasing international competition for technologies, but also to be able to take the decisive measures for the market-based introduction of a hydrogen industry and economy immediately after the end of the coronavirus crisis. Furthermore, with the timely adoption of an action plan to this effect, German companies would be more likely to benefit from the financial resources for the hydrogen economy promised by the European Union.

An early adoption of the National Hydrogen Strategy would not only have positive effects on the up-and-coming hydrogen industry, but – if the measures are designed with foresight – could ease the economic strain on the automotive industry, especially in the restart phase, without jeopardising climate-protection targets. This could be achieved easily and quickly, e.g. by offsetting renewable electricity-based fuels against fleet emissions, and combining this with an ambitious market launch programme for fuel-cell vehicles.

Domestic electrolysis industry
With the resumption of unrestricted life in Germany, the development of appropriate regulatory conditions for the market launch of green hydrogen and the e-fuels produced from it should begin immediately. The National Hydrogen Strategy must provide for an industrially and economically viable market initiation for a domestic market of at least 5 GW by 2030. To achieve this, it is essential, building on the targets to be agreed in the National Hydrogen Strategy, to create legal conditions in the second half of 2020 that will ensure investment security.

Global export market
Likewise, in connection with state-supported initiatives such as energy partnerships and the export initiative, an export market for PtX systems in conjunction with an import market for green hydrogen and its derivatives in a volume of 15 GW must be created using legally suitable framework conditions. Only in conjunction with both these instruments will a stable export market for PtX systems be established in the short term. It should be noted that this will also stimulate the export market for the requisite renewable energy systems. 15 GW PtX facilities also mean a market of at least 15 GW PV and wind farms. In all, the German government would create a market with a volume exceeding EUR 30 billion, with a potential of at least 35,000 additional jobs in this emerging market alone.

Hydrogen Mobility
Mobility with hydrogen and fuel cells in particular can make a significant contribution to achieving the Green Deal, as the work of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) shows. In the medium to long term, hydrogen will also be used more and more in the passenger car segment. At present, hydrogen produced from renewables has enormous potential as a fuel, especially in the transport and heavy-duty sector, which offers great opportunities for long-distance transport. In accordance with the requirements of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID), the systematic further expansion of the H2 infrastructure for passenger cars and heavy vehicles is indispensable. Policymakers must continue to guarantee efficient promotion and support here in order to produce timely accomplishments.

In the context of the Clean Vehicle Directive (CVD), mobility concepts with hydrogen and fuel cells are of great importance for public fleets. A shift to environmentally friendly drive concepts is just as important for local public transportation as it is for the application fields of lighter commercial vehicles.

Certainly, vehicle manufacturers face enormous changes in the  years ahead. Due to the almost identical depth of added value of fuel-cell vehicles compared to conventional drive systems, manufacturers could continue to be the mainstay of the German economy.

But for that to remain the case, it is essential to establish a reliable and forward-looking regulatory framework in good time to enable fuel-cell mobility to be ramped up soon. In this connection, policymakers can draw on the industry’s knowledge and experience as an advisory body in designing this framework.

We, the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) and the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (DWV), therefore call on the German government to rapidly adopt an ambitious and specific national hydrogen strategy.

About the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association DWV
Since 1996, the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (DWV) has  advocated for the rapid market introduction of hydrogen as a fuel, and fuel-cell technology. The aim is to bring all aspects of a future supply infrastructure with hydrogen, its production, and energetic use – especially the conversion of energy by means of fuel cells – into a discussion of facts and perspectives, and to actively participate in shaping the development of the market. Our 299 individual members and 113 member institutions and companies represent more than 1.5 million jobs nationwide; the association thus represents a significant part of the German economy (www.dwv-info.de).

About the CEP
The 16 partners in the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) are working across all sectors to activate the market for mobility powered by hydrogen and fuel cells with a view to achieving a sustainable energy transition. Representatives from Air Liquide, Audi, BMW, Daimler, EWE, GP Joule, H2 Mobility, Honda, Hyundai, Linde, Infraserv Höchst, OMV, Shell, Total, Toyota and the Westfalen Group work together within the project to drive forward forward-looking hydrogen technology. Today, in 2020, we can safely say it is the mobility of the present: the technology is up and running, the H2 infrastructure is growing, and first vehicles are on the roads. The future is now!

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