Subscribe to download Archive

Germany may pipe in 100 TWh of green hydrogen by 2035, says study

Germany could cover 11% of its energy needs with imported green hydrogen from its neighbours by 2030, according to a new study.
Germany could cover 11% of its energy needs with imported green hydrogen from its neighbours by 2030, according to a new study.

Germany could import up to 100 TWh of green hydrogen from its neighbours by pipeline from neighbouring countries by the mid-2030s, according to a study by the Berlin-based Agora Energiewende and Agora Industry think-tanks released on July 4.

The study concludes that that hydrogen could cover 11.2% of Germany's projected 894 TWh total energy demand by 2035, Reuters reports.

Germany's strategy to expand the use of hydrogen as an energy source aims to reduce greenhouse emissions in industrial sectors such as steel and chemicals, and decrease imported fossil fuels dependency. Green hydrogen, produced using solar and wind power, is a cornerstone of Germany's planned energy transition.

However, due to the limited renewable energy resources in the country, Germany will need to import around 50% to 70% of its hydrogen. Currently, the country uses approximately 55-60 TWh of hydrogen annually, which is produced almost entirely from fossil fuels, according to data from the German Economy Ministry.

The study predicts that by 2030, Germany could produce 11 TWh of hydrogen domestically and import about 17 TWh of green hydrogen and 15 TWh of blue hydrogen, which is derived from natural gas. This would still cover less than half of Germany's total hydrogen demand, projected to reach 95 TWh to 130 TWh by the decade's end.

Simon Mueller, director at Agora Energiewende, told Reuters: "To achieve climate neutrality, Germany needs a secure and cost-effective supply of renewable hydrogen. Pipeline imports from Europe play a crucial role in this."

He emphasised the need for a financing model and swift agreements on cost-sharing among involved countries, adding, "This is the only way the required quantities of green hydrogen can be delivered in the first half of the next decade."

To meet future hydrogen demand, hydrogen producers and pipeline operators will require assurances from Germany, Mueller noted. The study identified five potential hydrogen pipeline corridors, considering factors such as production potential, political support, and technical complexity. Promising corridors include imports from Denmark and Norway via the North Sea, and potentially from Sweden and Finland via the Baltic Sea. Long term, pipelines from Southern Europe and North Africa, particularly Spain and Tunisia, as well as the United Kingdom, Portugal, Algeria, Greece and Ukraine, could play significant roles.