Germany’s Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) has earmarked 80 million euros for investments in the production of green hydrogen for the transport sector.
“Lorry producers estimate that nearly one in five registered utility vehicles will be powered by hydrogen,” Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport Volker Wissing said in a statement.
Hydrogen and fuel cell solutions could be used as supplementary fuel that supports propulsion of battery-driven heavy freight vehicles on long journeys, he added. “It’s about strengthening the entire hydrogen ecosystem, increasing supply and demand, and making the transport sector a reliable and well-funded buyer,” Wissing argued.
As the government seeks to encourage market scale-up for the renewable fuel, Germany's national infrastructure for producing and consuming green hydrogen is starting to emerge.
The Renewable Energy Agency (AEE) identified 60 running projects in Germany for renewable hydrogen production on a map, with another 80 being planned or under construction.
The largest installation has a capacity of 110 MW, comparable to a utility-scale solar PV farm. “Hydrogen no longer is a thing of the future," AEE head Robert Brandt said. “The technology is already in use and under development in many regions.”
According to the AEE, hydrogen will be predominantly used in industry and heavy transport, and it will remain a rare resource that will necessitate focused utilization and much larger clean energy production capacities.
The country’s regions are preparing for the scale-up in different ways, the agency said.
Northern states with large wind power capacities seek to produce hydrogen from excess electricity that is now being curtailed owing to grid bottlenecks, while eastern states hope to replace retiring coal energy infrastructure with green gas. Industrial regions in the west and south of the country aim to integrate hydrogen into production processes and further develop and improve the technology, the AEE found.