Hydrogen-exporting countries vie for top spot

Karliczek
Anja Karliczek, © Hans-Joachim Rickel, BMBF

A key objective in Germany’s hydrogen strategy is to create international partnerships with green hydrogen exporters. To this end, Gerd Müller, the German minister for international development, recently signed a cooperation agreement with one of the Maghreb countries, announcing: “Together with Morocco, we are developing the first industrial system to generate green hydrogen in Africa.

This creates jobs for the many young people living in that country, strengthens Germany’s competitive edge in technology and helps us achieve international climate goals.”

Currently, the German government’s efforts concentrate on northern Africa, where there are “nearly unlimited solar resources,” as Müller puts it. One unresolved issue, however, is how to transport the gas to central Europe. Options include storing hydrogen in ammonia or delivering LOHC or liquid hydrogen by tanker or via a pipeline system. Since the gas produced in Morocco should first be used to meet local needs, Müller said, there will be plenty of time to figure out how to proceed.

“The hydrogen strategy is a quantum leap in creating carbon-neutral fuels and transforming the energy market. Green hydrogen and its derivatives, such as methanol, could become tomorrow’s clean source of oil.”
Gerd Müller, German minister for international development

“When it comes to the environment and climate, we must be world leaders in both technology and exportation.”
German science minister Anja Karliczek

Meanwhile, other countries rich in clean energy resources are preparing to set up production facilities, leaving it to the market to decide whence the least expensive green hydrogen will come. In addition to northern Africa, regions mentioned by researchers and politicians in this context include the Middle East and Australia, where an abundance of sunlight makes it easy to generate large quantities of hydrogen.

read more in H2-international August 2020

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