DW discusses Germany and hydrogen — €9 billion to spend as strategy is revealed. As part of its stimulus package, Germany intends to expand the role of green hydrogen to help end the country’s reliance on coal. The government agreed on a plan on how to spend the €9 billion earmarked for the project.
Hydrogen, the universe’s most abundant element, has often been touted as a way to power vehicles and energy plants, but it is just too expensive. Most hydrogen used today is produced by reforming natural gas, which also releases a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2). Green hydrogen, on the other hand, is extracted from water by electrolysis, but it is still a very energy-intensive process.
Hydrogen’s huge advantage, however, is that can be more easily stored than other forms of renewable energy and for longer periods of time, which is why it is a key part of Germany’s energy transition (Energiewende) strategy, as Europe’s No. 1 economy seeks to become carbon neutral by 2050. Last week, the government announced that it aimed to have 5 gigawatts (GW) of hydrogen production capacity by 2030, with another 5 GW a decade later.
The plan, which could see hydrogen eventually make up about 10% of the country’s total electricity capacity, was unveiled as part of a €130 billion ($147 billion) stimulus to help reboot the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. The hydrogen commitment is part of some €40 billion earmarked for climate-related spending.