German Government Advised To Focus On Decentralized Domestic Production of Green H2

In a recently released study by the Research institute Fraunhofer Umsicht, the German government has been advised on the roadmap to sustainable production and use of green H2. The report indicates that going by the current trends, the likely transportation options for hydrogen by 2030 might not be good for the environment. Arguably, hydrogen that’s produced through the process of electrolysis will majorly be moved around using trucks, a system that the study says will likely reduce green H2 as eco-friendly.   

Given that there are no major production plants for green H2 that can reliably and sustainably produce sufficient amounts, the country might probably become an importer. While green H2 imports are okay, transporting it within the country in huge tracks and several journeys is not good. The cost plus the effects on the environment won’t be favorable in the long run.

So, to facilitate a smooth transition into the use of green H2, the study recommends that the German government should consider domestic production. But domestic production alone is not the solution. The report further illustrates how having decentralized green H2 production centers might help generate sufficient amounts by the year 2030. With production points spread out, there will be no need to use huge and many trucks for transport and that’s how the government will boost green H2 credibility as an eco-friendly energy source.

Large-scale, decentralized green H2 production within the country is not, however, without any challenges. The study further demonstrates how changes need to be carried out to facilitate sustainable production. According to the research, Germany might have to consider converting some of its already existing gas pipelines into green H2 pipelines. However, bearing in mind what that involves in terms of planning, public acceptance, and other technical aspects, the change seems to be “unlikely” unless there are strategies on how to effectively deal with the technical problems that might arise.

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Other options such as importing hydrogen in liquid form also remain a challenge. The type of ships that would do that are still in developmental stages and might not be ready for shipping by 2030. Also, transportation through ammonia would be feasible, but liquefying capacities remain limited in Germany. These and other challenges are the reasons behind the push for decentralized production if the transition to the use of green H2 is to become a reality by 2030.

Overall, the research warns that with the use of green H2 projected to hit 37TWh by the year 2030 in Germany, the government needs to invest in the most feasible options. And going by the analyses, the only way to meet the demand without compromising green H2’s credibility regarding its impact on the environment, is through decentralized in-country production.

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