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Germany: How much hydrogen would be required to completely replace natural gas?

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It is sufficient to use a basic pocket calculator with the four main types of calculations, some Internet research, or a look at the exact material values in a physics book to determine how much hydrogen would be required to replace all-natural gas.

In 2021, Germany’s total natural gas consumption was 1003 terawatt hours (TWh) ( Statista.com ). The advertised amount is 1003,300,000 kilowatt hours (kWh). The energy content of one kilogram of hydrogen is 33.33 kWh ( planet-energie.de ). Therefore, a total of about 30,000,000,000 kg of hydrogen would be required to replace all natural gas with hydrogen. This is equivalent to 30 million tons.

How much power is needed to create the necessary hydrogen?

However, it takes a lot of energy to produce green hydrogen. Between 40 and 80 kWh are reported as the amount of power needed to make one kilogram of hydrogen. 53 kWh per kilogram is the figure given by GASAG (gasag: 05/13/22). This would equate to an efficiency of about 63%, which is already a very high figure.

30 million tons of hydrogen would take 1,590,000,000,000 kWh, or 1590 TWh, of green power to manufacture.

What source should the electricity have?

In 2021, Germany used 518 TWh of energy overall ( Federal Statistical Office ). Around 45 percent of this, or around 234 TWh, comes from renewable sources (Federal Environment Agency: 03/14/22). The solar energy systems provided a little over 20% of the renewable electricity, or just over 9% of all the electricity, at 48 TWh ( strom-report.de ).

More than three times as much power as Germany used in all of 2021 would be needed to manufacture the 30 million tons of hydrogen. You would need to utilize roughly seven times as much power from renewable sources as was produced in the entire year of 2021 in order to produce hydrogen using green electricity.

Is it feasible to manufacture enough hydrogen to completely replace natural gas?

At this time, renewable energy sources can only supply half of Germany’s annual electricity needs. Due to the increasing number of electric vehicles and heat pumps, the need for energy will increase rather than decrease. Globally, the development of renewable energies has already reached a standstill (blackout news: July 11, 22). Only 238 new wind turbines were constructed in Germany over the first six months of the year (Blackout News: April 22, 2008). The additional electricity needed for hydrogen generation would need seven times as many power plants as Germany currently has. In order to meet the typical electrical needs, the present systems would also need to be at least doubled. According to Windguard.de, there were 1,501 offshore wind turbines, 28,230 on-land wind turbines, and 2.2 million solar systems in Germany at the end of 2021. Every year, some 6,000 wind turbines are demolished because their funding has run out.

Anyone can guess how long it will take for there to be at least eight times as many renewable energy installations as there are now. On practically every residential structure, a solar system would be required to be installed. Green hydrogen cannot in any way alleviate the severe energy crisis we are now facing.

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Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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