The UK and Germany have signed a hydrogen focused partnership to bolster efforts for both to become “leaders” in the global hydrogen market.
Revealed by the two nations on 26 September, the terms of the agreement will see the governments accelerate the rollout of low-carbon hydrogen in each country’s energy mix. Although this does not mean fully renewable green hydrogen, this could initially create demand for low-carbon hydrogen prior to the full transition to its green variant.
The partnership will have five core pillars. This includes accelerating the deployment of hydrogen projects for industry and consumers, establishing international leadership on hydrogen markets, supporting research and innovation on hydrogen across the value chain, promoting trade for hydrogen plus related goods, and providing joint market analysis to support planning and investment by government and industry in the sector.
The agreement was signed by Philip Nimmermann, Federal Republic of Germany’s state secretary for energy, and Lord Callanan, UK minister for energy efficiency and green finance.
Callanan said: “The UK and Germany are natural partners in making low-carbon hydrogen a cleaner and more sustainable way to power up our societies.
“This agreement will underpin the development of this new fuel not just for our respective countries but also for an international trade that could be transformative in our work towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
“It is through these partnerships that we can move away from expensive fossil fuels – and in doing so boost our energy security.”
Partnership with Germany could be a major boost for the UK hydrogen sector
In 2022, the UK government increased its hydrogen production target for 2030 to include 10GW, with 5GW coming from green hydrogen. This was released as part of the Energy Security Strategy in early 2022. Germany on the other hand is eyeing 10GW of green hydrogen production – double the UK’s target.
The partnership with Germany, commonly seen as one of the most progressive nations for hydrogen across the globe, could be a major boon to the UK’s own prospects. This has been recognised by a number of companies including ITM Power, a UK-based electrolyser manufacturer.
Dennis Schulz, CEO of ITM Power, said on the agreement: “As the UK’s only commercial electrolyser manufacturer, we are welcoming this cross-border collaboration agreement. An effective hydrogen economy can only take shape if countries form alliances like this one.
“Germany is a very significant market for hydrogen and for ITM Power. We are currently building several hundreds of megawatts of electrolyser capacity for projects in Germany, some of which are among the biggest projects in the world. In October, we will open our new office and EU after sales hub near Frankfurt that will further strengthen our links with our customers and partners in Germany and the wider EU.”