German hydrogen demand likely to pick up from 2030, says Fraunhofer – pv magazine International

German hydrogen demand likely to pick up from 2030, says Fraunhofer – pv magazine International

German hydrogen demand likely to pick up from 2030, says Fraunhofer

Widespread green hydrogen deployment will be key to achieving stringent climate targets, and German hydrogen demand is set to grow from the 80 TWh range in 2030 to between 400 TWh and 800 TWh by 2050, according to a new joint study by several Fraunhofer-related entities.

The study identifies the greatest need for hydrogen and hydrogen-based synthesis products in the industrial sector – especially in the iron and steel industry.

Image: Stahl-Zentrum/ArcelorMittal

Fraunhofer ISI, Fraunhofer ISE and Fraunhofer IEG have released a joint study on future potential hydrogen demand. The report, which covers demand for hydrogen and hydrogen synthesis products, was produced on behalf of Germany’s National Hydrogen Council.

The three Fraunhofer institutes evaluated current system studies, with a focus on demand for hydrogen and hydrogen-based energy sources in Germany. They found that current annual hydrogen production in Germany stands at 57 TWh and is almost entirely based on fossil fuels. The first relevant demand increase for green hydrogen and derivatives is expected by 2030, at a likely annual maximum of 80 TWh. Annual demand is then expected to grow to between 100 TWh and 300 TWh in 2040 and up to 800 TWh by 2050.

The study identifies the greatest future need for hydrogen and hydrogen-based synthesis products in the industrial sector. Up to 500 TWh will be required here by 2050, especially in the iron and steel industry and the chemical industry. The transport sector will need between 150 TWh and 300 TWh by 2050. International air and maritime traffic is expected to require between 140 TWh and 200 TWh by the middle of the current century. According to recent studies, road traffic has the greatest potential for heavy goods traffic.

The study also identifies additional customers in the building sector, with up to 200 TWh by 2050. The development of demand for hydrogen and hydrogen-based synthesis products will depend on a range of factors, including developments in the capture and storage of carbon dioxide field, as well as the amount of available and sustainable biomass capacity.

“Without the widespread use of hydrogen, we will not be able to achieve the more stringent climate targets,” said Katherina Reiche, chairwoman of the National Hydrogen Council.

The study concluded that demand in the industrial sector, as well as transport and heating, will be significantly higher than previously predicted by politicians. The rapid development of the hydrogen market, the ongoing expansion of renewable energy, and the rapid expansion and development of network infrastructure are now critical for future growth. However, the growth of the hydrogen economy and its international value chains will need to be considered within both a European and global context.

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