The German Government has revealed a long-awaited hydrogen strategy update that doubles the goal for domestic electrolyser capacity to 10GW by 2030, but still expects the country to import 50–70% of its hydrogen demand by then.

The country’s original hydrogen strategy was unveiled in 2020. The updated version re-evaluates consumption projections. It predicts that by 2030, German hydrogen demand will reach 95–130 terawatt-hours (TWh).

In order to meet this demand, the country is doubling its domestic electrolyser capacity target. The German Government now hopes to have 10GW of electrolyser capacity by 2030, which would be able to generate 25TWh of hydrogen. Nevertheless, the cabinet still expects to import as much as 70% of its total hydrogen demand in 2030.

The German Government aims to present an additional Import Strategy for Hydrogen and Hydrogen Derivatives later this year. It also wants 1,800km of refurbished and new pipelines for a “hydrogen start-up grid” in Germany as early as 2027–28.

Direct government subsidies will be limited to ‘green’ hydrogen produced from renewable power, but the use of other kinds of hydrogen – ‘blue’ (from fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage), ‘turquoise’ (from fossil gas, generating solid carbon) and ‘orange’ (from waste and residues) can also be supported, with due consideration for overall carbon impact including upstream emissions. Germany aims to be climate neutral by 2045.

‘Pink’ hydrogen made from nuclear power is not mentioned in the updated strategy; Germany shut down its last three nuclear plants in April after a temporary extension due to the energy crisis.

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German industry groups on the whole welcomed the updated strategy, although the German Renewable Energy Federation said it focused too much on imports instead of domestic production. Environmental groups were critical of potential support for blue hydrogen.