Commentary on the Handelsblatt Energy Summit

Hydrogen was a dominant feature at this year’s Handelsblatt Energy Summit, which took place online and in Berlin from Jan. 17 to Jan. 20, 2022. The discussions covered its many production-dependent colors and possible applications and underlined the major role the energy carrier has to play in successfully transforming the planet’s energy ecosystem.

The price explosion in fossil fuels such as oil and coal but, above all, natural gas presents the energy industry with an array of problems. In particular, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine as well as the issue surrounding the use of the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline are also helping drive up the price. The provision of energy and its price are two key location factors for industry, especially in an industrialized nation like Germany. The question therefore arises as to where all the hydrogen – ideally green – will come from and what the infrastructure will look like.

Germany does not have enough sites for the generation of solar and wind power in order to facilitate sufficient hydrogen production, according to the apparently unanimous view expressed by representatives of all the main energy suppliers. It was therefore felt that a large proportion of the necessary hydrogen will be sourced in the form of imports from regions where the conditions are much more favorable than in Germany. And it’s worth noting that Germany already imports over 70 percent of its primary energy.

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Then, of course, there is the tricky business of precisely how to define green hydrogen. Given that the European Union’s taxonomy also classifies energy from nuclear power plants and natural gas as “sustainable,” this goes to show there is still a need for further debate.

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Agency needed to transpose and deliver energy transition
A large part of the discussion during the summit centered on regulation – be that at an EU, national or local level. Here, the view was that things need to be tackled more pragmatically and at much greater speed as otherwise the highly ambitious climate goals of Germany’s coalition government will not actually be achieved. It’s therefore a matter of getting the framework right in order to ramp up the energy transition and the hydrogen economy. It’s clear that nothing can happen without hydrogen, at least that was the consensus of almost all speakers.[…]

… Read this article to the end in the latest H2-International

Author: Sven Jösting

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