Something is happening in politics. After decades of niche existence, hydrogen now seems to have become socially acceptable – at least in some circles.
In any case, more and more political representatives are openly talking about the fact that this gaseous energy storage system has potential. Even some Bavarians now admit that hydrogen can significantly advance the energy turnaround. After Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek announced that her budget for hydrogen research would be increased, Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer also ventured into the public eye at the end of June 2019 with completely new tones and presented a complete package with over 50 measures for a more sustainable transport policy. To top it all off, Economics Minister Peter Altmaier announced an H2 strategy for autumn this year (see p. 10), after his cabinet colleague, Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, had already presented a PtX action programme a week earlier.
Shortly before the summer break there was movement in politics: The moderator Jürgen Pfeiffer first discussed the “hydrogen miracle weapon” in Kiel on 21 June 2019 and asked questions there: “Will Northern Germany save the energy turnaround?” Invited to this political talk were high-ranking representatives from politics and economy, among others Dr. Bernd Buchholz, Minister for Economy, Transport, Labour, Technology and Tourism of Schleswig-Holstein, and Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Secretary General Hydrogen Europe from Brussels.
NOW Managing Director Dr. Klaus Bonhoff reported that hydrogen is taking up more and more space in the global energy system. Already today, hydrogen is being produced in a Chinese province for 1.60 US-$ per kilogram. In his opinion, Germany should finally “step on the gas” and exploit the potential. DWV Chairman Werner Diwald demanded that Germany must prove that it works for itself in order to be a role model for the world. Otherwise, China will explain to us how the energy turnaround is going, says the head of the association.
Jürgen Wollschläger, Managing Director of Raffinerie Heide GmbH, sees great opportunities especially for synthetic fuels based on hydrogen, from which, in his opinion, Hamburg Airport would also benefit. And Economics Minister Buchholz stressed the industrial-political opportunity offered to the North. However, it was viewed critically that other countries such as Denmark, England, France and the Netherlands already have a defined hydrogen strategy, whereas Germany has not yet done so.
read more in H2-international October 2019
Authors: Sven Geitmann, Sven Jösting