Germany's Wind Industry Calls for 10GW Offshore Green Hydrogen Target

Courtesy Aquaventus

Published Jun 2, 2022 8:44 PM by The Maritime Executive

A coalition of German renewable-energy interests have joined forces to call for a rapid acceleration of offshore-wind-to-hydrogen projects, including production of green hydrogen at sea. 

In a new position paper, the "Hydrogen Eight" suggested that hydrogen-at-sea projects would be a lower-cost way to develop areas far from shore while making a substantial contribution to Germany's fuel needs. With cross-linked pipeline infrastructure to neighboring countries in a "Green Hydrogen Union," the strategy could play a role in solving the rest of Europe's energy problems as well. 

To boost green hydrogen from offshore wind, the partners called for setting a legal target to install 10 GW worth of hydrogen capacity from offshore wind in German waters by 2035. This would require opening up lease auctions in areas that are currently too far from shore to be commercially viable for conventional development. For these far-flung sites, grid power development would require an excessively long power cable installation. By contrast, a single H2 collection pipeline in the North Sea could facilitate lower-cost development, taking the place of five standard electrical power cable installations, the partners suggested. 

To kick-start the process, additional lease areas could be made available for green hydrogen production totaling three gigawatts by 2030 (two gigawatts offshore plus one gigawatts onshore), the group proposed. The timetable would be rapid and the first call for a tender would occur in the first quarter of 2023.

As green H2 is not currently economically competitive with fossil-based fuel sources, the German offshore hydrogen industry would benefit from $10.7 billion in starter support, the coalition suggested. 

The group's partners include leading industrial union IG Metall, the AquaVentus offshore hydrogen initiative, the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, the Offshore Wind Energy Foundation and a variety of regional renewable-energy trade associations.