Australian–German business coalition plans hydrogen export to Germany

Tuesday, 05 July, 2022

Australian–German business coalition plans hydrogen export to Germany

A leading group of German companies along with Australia’s Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) has released a green hydrogen roadmap, outlining a set of recommendations for government and industry to meet the ambitious target of importing large amounts of green hydrogen from Australia to Germany.

The Green Hydrogen Taskforce, created earlier this year, is a collaborative effort between FFI and some of the strongest energy, industrial and technology companies in Germany, including Covestro, E.ON, Linde, Luthardt, SAP, Schaeffler, thyssenkrupp Nucera and thyssenkrupp Uhde.

The green hydrogen roadmap developed by the taskforce consists of a 10-point plan and a white paper, and is intended to outline a constructive pathway forward in Germany for business and government.

The companies in the taskforce say they are ready to move on green energy through serious investment and will work with government to achieve these goals together. The recommendations to the German Government include: developing subsidies and incentives to remove the ‘first mover disadvantage’; encouraging sources of low-cost capital to scale the industry; and underwriting equipment manufacturers’ expansion plans to meet developers’ needs.

Climate change has become a dramatic reality of our times, with visible impacts on all continents and all countries. The Russian war on Ukraine has in addition created a new reality. This must lead to an accelerated energy transition, especially regarding the development of a green hydrogen economy, which will help to decarbonise as well as to diversify energy supply.

“The future of energy needs the right partnerships and the right technologies,” said Dr Cord Landsmann, CEO of thyssenkrupp uhde. “We bring our expertise in industrial-scale hydrogen applications like green ammonia for enabling the worldwide export/import of clean energy.”

Patrick Lammers, COO at E.ON, said: “We are determined to implement the green transformation of the economy. For this, the development of a reasonable green hydrogen environment must be given priority. In the long term, this strengthens climate protection, independence from Russian gas and the competitiveness of our industries. This deserves a high level of political support.”

“For an industrialised nation such as Germany, it is of utmost importance to secure reliable and affordable energy,” said Juergen Nowicki, Executive Vice President Linde and CEO of Linde Engineering. “Clean hydrogen has an important role to play in the energy transition, but we need to have the right framework, incentives and infrastructure in place to make it actionable as a lever to decarbonisation. We are committed to supporting the effort to decarbonise Germany’s economy by leveraging Linde’s knowledge, experience and technology along the entire hydrogen value chain, from production and storage to transportation and application.”

Uwe Wagner, CTO of Schaeffler, said: “The envisaged hydrogen partnership between Germany and Australia is a vital step to foster clean energy in Germany. To turn this goal into reality, quick industrialisation of electrolysis and other hydrogen technologies will be crucial. We stand ready to speed up the energy transition with the supply of high-quality components for the large-scale production of electrolysers.”

“Germany and the European continent are facing stagflation for the first time in years,” said Andrew Forrest, Chairman of FFI. “If structured appropriately, an accelerated uptake of green hydrogen also by means of green ammonia can be a powerful economic growth driver for Germany. Our white paper estimates that for every €1 spent as a support mechanism by government for green hydrogen, €10 is unlocked in private investment.”

FFI and E.ON, one of Europe’s largest energy companies with focus on energy infrastructure and customer solutions, recently announced a partnership with the goal to supply 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen a year by 2030 — the equivalent of one-third of the calorific energy of natural gas Germany imports from Russia.

“Our message is very clear: the green energy industrial revolution is here,” said Forrest. “Do not allow the energy crisis to make the climate crisis worse. Germany can become a green energy superpower and we have outlined the pathway to make it happen, including the financial investment required by government. Business is ready.”

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