BERLIN (Dow Jones) – The energy company RWE has criticized the German government for its delays in the hydrogen strategy.
The project was “clearly” behind schedule, warned the CFO and designated RWE boss Markus Krebber at a conference call on the quarterly figures. “This leaves it unanswered what importance hydrogen will have for the German energy transition and what framework conditions should apply.”
Technically, the production of green hydrogen by means of electrolysis is not a problem, “economically speaking it is. Germany has the highest electricity costs in Europe for non-energy-intensive companies and private households. The electricity that is used for electrolysis is also burdened with the EEG surcharge. “This means that green hydrogen currently costs around 6 to 8 euros per kilogram – four times as much as conventionally produced ‘gray’ hydrogen,” explained Krebber. With green hydrogen only renewable energies are used for electrolysis, with gray ones also conventional ones like coal or natural gas.
The high apportionment costs would have to decrease “as quickly as possible”, demanded the RWE-CFO and thereby also joined the demands of Greens, the Agora Energiewende think tank or that of the utility Eon. Because of an expected drastic increase in the EEG surcharge as a result of the corona crisis, Eon boss Johannes Teyssen had asked for the surcharge to be limited to 5 cents per kilowatt hour from 2021.
A joint cabinet decision on the National Hydrogen Strategy is continually being delayed because the responsible ministries are arguing over key questions – such as whether fuel cells should also be promoted in cars or how much green hydrogen should be available by 2030. The SPD faction proposed 10 gigawatts on Tuesday – twice as much as previously envisaged by the Ministry of the Environment and the Economy.