Updated July 2021
Target by 2020
Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmaps
Initiatives, Programs, and Policies
A total of 230 project outlines were submitted in Germany under the Hydrogen IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) call from December 2020. Based on the comprehensive evaluation of the project outlines, 62 projects representing the entire value chain of the hydrogen market have been recommended for the EU match making process.
In the BMWi area, 50 project outlines were selected with a focus on generation, transport/pipelines and industrial applications. The Federal Ministry of Transport and digital infrastructure (BMVI) recommended 12 projects regarding the development and deployment of fuel cell (FC) systems and components as well as FC vehicles. Furthermore, BMVI supports a project to build a trans-European network of hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS).
The €8billion in state funding are made up of federal and state funds. Around €4.4billion come from the Federal Ministry of Economics; up to €1.4billion from the Federal Ministry of Transport. The remaining funding will be provided by the federal states. In total, investments of €33billion are to be triggered, of which more than €20billion will come from private investors.
Stakeholders of the submitting parties have prepared fact sheets and registered them in the EU portal. The IPCEIs strive to establish a complete European value chain by linking national projects across borders and thereby form an initial backbone of a European hydrogen economy.
In 2020 the National Hydrogen Strategy was published, and equipped with a budget of €7billion for national measures and €2billion for international measures. Of the latter, €900million will be available to support the first round of double auctions in the new H2Global platform. The idea of H2 Global is to support the initial build-up of large-scale green hydrogen production sites and export H2 to Germany (and Europe) by compensating the difference between hydrogen supply cost and the highest bidding price at the demand side. First supply side auctions are expected to start before the end of 2021.
The German Federal Government passed the National Hydrogen Strategy in June 2020 as comprehensive and wholistic approach that has been developed by joined efforts of four ministries: the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The National Hydrogen Strategy consists of 38 concrete measures both including existing programs such as the National Innovation Program Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology as well as setting up new initiatives such as the research initiative hydrogen 2030 that covers measures from R&D to procurement and the regulatory framework. The strategy has a budget of €7billion for national measures and €2billion for international measures up to 2024. In order to implement and monitor the progress of the strategy, a dedicated governance, e.g., on the way to achieve the target of 5GW electrolyser capacity until 2030, is being set up with a clear timeframe for a first evaluation in 2023.
The national strategic framework is related to the implementation of European directives, particular the recast renewable energy directive (RED II) where the ambitious national implementation is estimated to create the possibility of up to 2 GW electrolyser capacity.
Furthermore, a call for interest for the Important projects of common European interest (IPCEI) is underway and will be launched in December 2020. The IPCEIs strive to establish a complete European value chain by linking national projects across borders and thereby form an initial backbone of a European hydrogen economy.
The Federal German Government presented a draft for the first Climate Action Law of Germany in October 2019. The law is one element in a package of climate legislation and policy programs to ensure Germany reaches their climate targets of 2030. The law includes different measures for climate protection like a phase-out of energy production from coal and the deployment of renewable energy production.
Research and Development
On April 28th, 2021, the winners of the competition for the Hydrogen Technology and Innovation Center (ITZ) were announced by Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer. The concept ideas of three regions in Germany came out on top. In the first step, these regions will receive funding for a feasibility study. A joint feasibility study for a thematic cluster on aviation and shipping is being prepared for a further three locations (Stade, Bremen, Hamburg). The Center aims to give SME and start-up a supportive surrounding that is needed for innovative development.3
The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure continues to support strategic projects such as the pre-normative research on gas quality for refueling stations, the next generation of aviation powertrains for an airplane with up to 4 people (Go4Hy2) and the development of light duty applications (HYLIGHTCOM), several projects on the development of FC trucks (both within the national innovation program – NIP and the Mobility and Fuels Strategy). To complete these R&D efforts along the value chain with MANTYS the development of automated stack production processes for more than 100,000 stacks per year was started 2020.
The Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy presented the winners of the competition for large scale R&D projects within the 7th Energy Research Programme. With these projects, future-oriented energy technologies are being tested under real conditions and on an industrial scale. The central topic in the competition is the production, distribution and usage of low-carbon hydrogen among different sectors. A total of 20 projects have been selected of which 11 projects have a directly related to hydrogen production or usage. In total, a PtX capacity of around 330 MW is addressed with these 11 projects.
The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has selected 9 regions for the first (HyStarter) of three phases of the HyLand projects within the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (NIP). These regions are Kiel, Rügen-Stralsund, Schaumburg, Lausitz, Weimar, Marburg, Neustadt an der Waldnaab, Reutlingen and Allgäu. Each of the regions or municipalities is advised on the organization and on the conception of the project for about one year. This includes forming a stakeholder landscape (e.g., political representations, municipal enterprises, industry, commerce, society), and jointly developing initial concept ideas on hydrogen and fuel cells, based on renewable energies in transport, but also in the areas of heat, electricity and storage.
The project ELEKTRA started in August funded by the NIP. The energy supply on the tugboat will be solely by gaseous hydrogen, fuel cells and batteries. Construction is scheduled to begin in October 2019, with completion by the shipyard scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020. The ELEKTRA is to be used primarily in the transport of goods on the Berlin-Hamburg route and inner-city transport routes in Berlin.
Demonstration, Deployments, and Workforce Developments
By May 2021, 1195 fuel cell vehicles had been registered in Germany. For those FCEVs, 91 HRS are currently available and 15 more are under planning or construction. Out of these 91 stations with 700 bar refuelling, 6 stations have the option to refuel also at 350 bar. From 2021 onwards, stations will be built primarily where commercial vehicle (350 bar) demand is expected in the short term. In addition to the 51 fuel cell buses in operation, 28 more have been approved for funding. In the national strategic framework BMVI set the goal to build 400 HRS by 2025 and 1000 HRS 2030 depending on the ramp-up of vehicles.
Since 2016 stationary fuel cell CHP systems up to 5kW are supported (through the KfW433 programme). By end of March 2021 a total of 16,452 heating systems for domestic and commercial buildings have been granted public funding. For backup power systems, 558 units were approved for funding in addition to the installed more than 700 fuel cell systems. In the intra logistics sector, 93 fuel cell forklifts were in operation with an additional 242 approved for funding, some of which entering into operation at the submission of this update. Several fuel cell train projects were also approved for funding.
The NIP is funding market deployment of fuel cell technologies in the transportation sector. This includes passenger cars, busses, trains and other mobile applications with fuel cell technologies. By October, 951 fuel cell vehicles had been registered in Germany. For those FCEVs, 87 hydrogen refueling stations are available.
As of September of 2020, more than 4,045 fuel cell heating systems for domestic buildings up to 5 kW have been granted public funding. In total, 14,300 fuel cell systems for heating are in place in Germany. For backup power systems in addition to the installed more than 300 fuel cell systems and the previous 505 granted systems of the NIP procurement call, a third procurement call was launched in autumn of 2020. In autumn 2020 several dedicated procurement calls have been published that gained significant interest. Among them was a funding call for garbage trucks that was oversubscribed with applications for €130million representing more than 160 trucks, a funding call for critical infrastructure that received applications for €6million and more than 600 systems as well as procurement calls for electrolysis and intralogistics that where heavily oversubscribed.
The NIP is funding market deployment of fuel cell technologies in the transportation sector. This includes passenger cars, busses, trains and other mobile applications with fuel cell technologies. By October, 152 fuel cell vehicles had been registered in 2019 which sums up to 530 FCEVs in Germany. For those FCEVs, 76 hydrogen refuelling stations are available.
In the first half of 2019, more than 1,100 fuel cell heating systems for domestic buildings up to 5 kW have be granted for public funding. In total, 6,600 fuel cell systems for heating are in place in Germany.
Events and Solicitations
Nothing specific to report.
Investments and Funding
The second phase of the National Innovation Programme for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technology (NIP II), in place since 2016, continued. In NIP II (since 2017) a total of €259million was approved for R&D projects, and a total of €285million for market activation. A brief overview of all projects of 2020 is given in the annual report of the NOW GmbH.
In February 2021, a guideline was published for the promotion of alternative drive systems in rail transport (also for hydrogen-powered trains). A separate budget (2021: €227million) is available for open technology funding. The first call for funding based on the new directive was published on 18 June (deadline for submission: 31 August 2021).
New funding guidelines for buses and trucks were awaiting notification of the EU Commission at the time of this update.
As part of the HyLand initiative an additional 65 expressions of interest to become a HyStarter region were received in May 2021, a call for HyExpert regions was open for submissions at the time of this update. The integration of hydrogen valleys has proven to be a very successful concept.
The second phase of the National Innovation Program for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technology, in place since 2016, relies on two funding mechanisms. One mechanism addresses R&D projects, directly linked to FCH topics. Several projects were approved with most providing support for market uptake by decreasing costs and increasing product lifetime. Single components as well as complete systems and production chains are considered within the approved projects. A brief overview of all projects of 2019 is given in the annual report of the NOW GmbH.
The other funding mechanism within the NIP is to support investment deploying FCH technologies. For example, the purchase of about 150 cars received funding support as mentioned above. Many of the fueling stations now in operation were funded by the NIP that also includes, in some cases, support for the production of hydrogen by water electrolysis.
In context of the National Hydrogen Strategy, a number of programs received substantial funds dedicated to hydrogen such as the program for decarbonization of energy intensive industries and synthetic fuels / Power-to-Liquids deployment both to be implemented nationally and internationally. However, the associated funding guidelines are being prepared and in the process of being notified by the European Commission.
The second phase of the National Innovation Programme for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technology, in place since 2016, relies on two funding mechanisms. One mechanism addresses R&D projects, directly linked to FCH topics. Several projects were approved with most providing support for market uptake by decreasing costs and increasing product lifetime. Single components as well as complete systems and production chains are considered within the approved projects. A brief overview of all projects of 2018 is given in the annual report of the NOW GmbH.
The other funding mechanism within the NIP is to support investment deploying FCH technologies. For example, the purchase of about 150 cars received funding support as mentioned above. Many of the fuelling stations now in operation were funded by the NIP that also includes, in some cases, support for the production of hydrogen by water electrolysis.
Regulations, Codes & Standards, and Safety
With approval of the Renewable Energy Directive at the European Level, discussions are now underway on its integration into the national framework. It will be important to generate incentives for integration of advanced fuels into the fuel mix including hydrogen as an advanced fuel in upstream processing. This might lead to large-scale deployments estimated to reach up to 2 GW electrolyser capacity in refineries. The current proposal is under discussion in the Federal Government and may be adapted to incentivize the use of green hydrogen in the transport sector.
Furthermore, there are efforts to exempt electricity used for the production of hydrogen from the EEG (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz) levy as part of the revision of the German Renewable Energy Act that shall be adopted by the end of 2020. The EEG levy makes up a significant part of the price for electricity, an exemption can therefore decrease the costs for producing hydrogen from water electrolysis.
Reports & Publications
NOW GmbH - Nationale Organisation Wasserstoff- und Brennstoffzellentechnologie: Annual Report 2018