DEN: “Develop and apply key technologies swiftly and decisively!”
The German Energy Adviser Network DEN eV is following with great interest the ideas and initiatives of the Federal Government that are currently formulated with a view to the so-called “green hydrogen”. “Green hydrogen, which can be produced as a secondary source of energy with the help of renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics, biomass, hydropower, wind power and other sustainable energy sources, could indeed play a significant role in the three energy sectors of heat, electricity and mobility in the future,” says Dr , Robert Staiger, Energy Consultant and THE expert in hydrogen technology.
“Green hydrogen ideally fits as a green energy source in the current energy transformation towards a CO2-neutral energy supply. Hydrogen can be stored and used at any time for energy conversion to electricity, synthetic fuels or heat. Hydrogen can ideally balance and exploit the volatile properties of renewable energy sources, as it can be stored, transported and generated in any quantity, “explains Staiger.
Hydrogen can make an important contribution, especially in the industrial sector, to help achieve national and international climate goals. He and his colleagues in the DEN are therefore looking forward to the “hydrogen strategy”, which the federal government claims to submit later this year.
“The point now is to set political and technological course for the coming decades,” adds Dipl.-Ing. Hermann Dannecker, Federal Chairman of the DEN. “Germany has to act now, both for climate policy motivations and for economic reasons. In other countries, such as Australia or Korea, this technology is already being used on a significant scale. ”
Both experts point out that the technologies underlying the production of green hydrogen, such as the different electrolysis processes and the steam reforming of biomass, are already available in larger capacity ranges. Other approaches such as high-temperature solar thermal and photosynthesis are technically feasible today.
It is now important to apply them on an industrial scale and to create the necessary infrastructures: “The generation of hydrogen and then of other energy sources such as methane from renewable sources is still too expensive for them to operate under the given circumstances and regulations Germany would be worthwhile. Therefore, policymakers should consider whether it is not time to examine and rethink existing barriers, cost drivers, and current legal regulations and regulations in light of such a technology of the future. International competition is not subject to such braking factors. ”
Staiger, who drives a Korean-produced hydrogen vehicle (FCEV) with a fuel cell, advocates the use of hydrogen, particularly in the mobility sector: “This energy source can be used universally. Fuel cells, in which the electrolysis quasi reversed and generated by means of hydrogen and oxygen electricity, can replace expensive and in their environmental compatibility questionable battery systems. Also, the range and refueling time of such vehicles (700km / 4-5 minutes) are important buying arguments. Asian automakers have recognized this and have been offering vehicles for several years. Why not Germans too? ”
Dannecker points to the huge potential for climate protection, which is still slumbering in the heating sector: “If we are looking for alternatives to fossil energy sources such as oil and gas to heat or cool, we should not just think of electricity and battery storage. There will be many cases where hydrogen can be the appropriate energy source. However, it is always a prerequisite that it was generated with the help of renewable energy sources. “Hydrogen could thus become an important element in the so-called sector coupling, in which areas such as electricity, heat, and traffic can fall back on common energy sources or energy storage.
At the same time, hydrogen technology from renewable sources is ideally suited to interlocking different policy fields. Dannecker: “Sun-rich African countries are predestined to produce and export climate-friendly energy. Why not hydrogen and e-fuels? Of course, these countries can not do this on their own, they need the help of industrialized countries. And as an industrialized country, we, therefore, need a strategy for developing partnerships in terms of development policy and energy policy, which ultimately also give people in these states perspectives. This is where climate and energy aspects are linked with social ones. ”
For this reason, both engineers advocate a research, economy and policy comprehensive German hydrogen strategy: “This technology has to do with Germany’s future viability. That’s why you should approach the matter with a jolt. Research is one thing. But if there is the will to do so economically and industrially, some things can be done much faster than normal. Much takes a long time here and is slow. More energy would be needed! For the policy could now provide. ”