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UK and Germany partner to advance international hydrogen industry

Written by Thu 28 Sep 2023

The UK and Germany have signed an agreement to accelerate the development of an international hydrogen industry.

A Joint Declaration of Intent solidified the collaboration between the UK and Germany to support international hydrogen trade.

Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance Lord Callanan and Federal Republic of Germany’s State Secretary for Energy Philip Nimmermann signed the agreement at the UK Embassy in Berlin.

Both governments are promoting the integration of low-carbon hydrogen into their national energy portfolios. Their goal is to demonstrate a model for expanding new, environmentally sustainable markets.

“Our cooperation will not just involve trading of hydrogen and its derivatives, but also cooperation on technologies and innovation in this field, which will be of mutual benefit for both Germany and the UK,” said Nimmermann.

Both nations have committed to jointly advancing innovative renewable hydrogen technologies, with a focus on job creation and low-carbon investment.

“The UK and Germany are natural partners in making low-carbon hydrogen a cleaner and more sustainable way to power up our societies.

“It is through these partnerships that we can move away from expensive fossil fuels – and in doing so boost our energy security,” said Lord Callanan.

How will the UK and Germany Promote an International hydrogen Industry?

The leaders agreed upon five pillars of collaboration:

  • Accelerating the deployment of hydrogen projects for industry and consumers
  • Establishing international leadership on hydrogen markets, setting safety and regulations to aid trade
  • Research and innovation on hydrogen, from production to end use
  • Promoting trade for hydrogen, plus related goods, technologies and services
  • Joint market analysis, to support planning and investment by government and industry

Both nations stated this work aims to reduce the cost and enhance the accessibility of hydrogen technologies, ultimately lowering future energy costs for consumers.

“Ramping up the hydrogen economy will take time. Closer cooperation between countries such as the UK and Germany will help accelerate the scale and pace that is needed,” said Steve Scrimshaw, VP of Siemens Energy UK&I and a member of the UK Government’s Hydrogen Advisory Council and the Green Jobs Delivery Group.

The partnership also aims to secure a reliable energy supply for economic and energy security, acknowledging changing geopolitical dynamics.

“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,” said Dennis Schulz, CEO of ITM Power.

Carbon Reduction Initiatives

The agreement supports the UK and Germany in their joint pursuit of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. The collaboration follows investment by both countries in the development of hydrogen as an alternative fuel.

In the UK, the Government supports new low-carbon hydrogen production. This is funded by the £240 million ($291 million) Net Zero Hydrogen Fund and revenue generated through the Hydrogen Production Business Model.

In 2021, a funding boost of £3 million ($3.6 million) was allocated to support the development of the UK’s inaugural hydrogen transport hub.

In Germany, the Government supports the implementation of the National Hydrogen Strategy with funding from the Climate and Transformation Fund. The announcement said this was to provide a push for the ramp-up of a hydrogen market.

What Happens Next?

Private investments in hydrogen technology and projects will follow the agreement. This will occur once the industry experiences the benefit of trade opportunities between the two countries.

The countries will discuss international safety standards to establish stable markets for sustainable low-carbon hydrogen, especially from renewable sources. However, this is provided that environments are supportive.

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Written by Thu 28 Sep 2023

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