If the European Union does not agree quickly and generously on hydrogen-friendly framework conditions, there is a risk that future green technology will migrate to China and the USA again. According to a Spiegel report, this is the tenor from the German hydrogen economy.
As the magazine reports, Germany is losing more and more ground when it comes to the production of technology for the production of hydrogen. According to unpublished figures from the German Economic Institute (IW) – which is financed by business associations and companies – China’s electrolyser exports have grown to 25 percent of the world market over the past ten years, while the German quota is nine at the same time percent dropped.
Hydrogen economy: Germany is losing ground
IW researcher Thilo Schaefer told Der Spiegel: “The development has recently accelerated further”. Bernd Heid, partner at management consultancy McKinsey, also warns there: “Europe is in danger of losing a potential green lead industry.” According to the report, the main competitors are China and the USA. The USA, in particular, is channeling billions in subsidies into green sectors of the economy with its “Inflation Reduction Act”. At EU level, however, there are still disagreements as to how the hydrogen industry should be promoted and regulated. According to the Dresden-based electrolyser manufacturer Sunfire, around 30 percent of the orders would remain uncertain due to the reluctance to make decisions in Brussels, as customers were waiting for the central set of rules from Brussels. Sunfire boss Nils Aldag complains: “The EU has put a lot of time and money into promoting innovation, and now Brussels is watching how others develop the market.”
The Aqua Ventus development association also regularly demands that Germany must further develop its hydrogen strategy. The alliance, which wants to produce hydrogen in the North Sea with offshore wind power, recently welcomed the publication of “the key points for a funding guideline for offshore electrolysis” and “the planned tender for the SEN-1 area and its upstream tender, based on a still funding guideline to be drafted.” Here, too, one is still groping in the dark as to how exactly hydrogen production at sea can succeed. At least there are now indications of an area tender and a possible hydrogen pipeline has also made it into the area development plan. The former mayor of Helgoland, Jörg Singer, among others, spoke out in favor of this pipeline this summer. Helgoland would like to implement various hydrogen projects.
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