Monday, 21 June, 2021

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New study shows Germany’s hydrogen needs are ‘very high’

A new study by German experts shows that Europe’s largest economy needs a massive supply of hydrogen to attain its net-zero emission goals by 2050.

The study was performed on behalf of the German Hydrogen Council by the three Fraunhofer institutes ISI, ISE and IEG.

The results of the study showed that the more CO2 needed to save in Germany, the greater the need for hydrogen. 

And the earlier Germany achieves its climate protection goals, the sooner these quantities have to be available. 

The report was emphatic: Hydrogen and hydrogen-based synthesis products are central components of Germany’s energy system of the future.

“Without the widespread use of hydrogen, we will not be able to achieve the even more stringent climate targets. The requirements in industry, transport and the heating sector are significantly higher than previously expected by politicians. The study shows what needs to be done now: The federal government must set the course so that the required quantities will also be available in the next few years. We have to build large capacities in electrolysis systems in Germany. We have to continue to massively expand renewable energies in order to receive the required amounts of green electricity. We have to upgrade and expand our infrastructure for the transport of hydrogen. We have to enter into international energy partnerships in order to secure the necessary imports. And we have to create incentives for the use of hydrogen, which is still too expensive today. Only if we succeed in all of this will we be able to ramp up a hydrogen economy and develop a hydrogen market. “

Katherina Reiche, Chairwoman of the National Hydrogen Council


The study identifies the greatest need for hydrogen and hydrogen-based synthesis products in the industrial sector. 

Up to 500 TWh will be required here in 2050. 

The largest customers are the iron and steel industry and the chemical industry.

The studies also see a great need in the transport sector. In 2050 it will require between 150 and 300 TWh. 

The focus is particularly on international air and shipping traffic with a demand of 140 to 200 TWh. 

Recent studies see the greatest potential in heavy goods traffic in road traffic.


Hydrogen production in Germany is 57 terawatt hours (TWh) per year.

 This amount is produced almost entirely with fossil fuels. 

From 2030, the study shows the first relevant demand for green hydrogen and derivatives of up to 80 TWh. 

This demand will grow to 100 to 300 TWh in 2040. 

For the year 2050, the range of demand for hydrogen and hydrogen-based synthesis products will then increase to 400 to almost 800 TWh. 

Overall, the maximum demand for hydrogen and its derivatives increased tenfold between the years 2030 and 2050.