Germany is putting its money where its mouth is in terms of hydrogen-based energy technology. Economic Affairs and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier has promised to make Germany the “world number one,” and three German ministries are pumping hundreds of millions of euros into programs toward that end.
The largest sums are administered by the Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure as part of phase two of the National Innovation Program Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP 2). It started in 2016, and through 2019 421 million euros have been allocated. NIP 2 is scheduled to run through 2026 and is expected to have a comparable volume as its predecessor NIP 1, which doled out 1.4 billion euros.
In autumn 2019, the Ministry of Education and Research announced that it will devote at least an additional 300 million euros more into research on green hydrogen by 2023. 180 million euros in ministry funds were already allocated to such research in the coming years.
“We will increase the intensity of our research into green hydrogen, that is, hydrogen produced by the sun and wind,” said Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek. “Green hydrogen is the energy carrier of the future and a key foundation needed for us to meet our climate goals.”
In July, Altmaier announced 300 million euros of his own over three years to support hydrogen research and testing projects. This comes in addition to 165 million a year for hydrogen fuel-cell heating purposes. The minister also said that government would coordinate its efforts to support private-sector development of hydrogen.
The various government initiatives are part of the Energiewende, Germany’s transition to non-nuclear, sustainable power sources.
“Hydrogen technologies offer enormous potential for the Energiewende, climate protection and new jobs,” says Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) Director of Energy, Construction and Environmental Technologies Esther Frey. “This initiative shows how serious Germany is about supporting this technology. It should provide a major boost to this sector.”