Germany, like many other countries, is looking to transition to renewable energy sources to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. One of the energy carriers that has been gaining momentum in recent years is green hydrogen.
Hydrogen, when produced using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, is considered climate-neutral and has great potential to decarbonize various sectors, such as industry and transportation.
However, Germany’s domestic production of green hydrogen is not enough to meet the huge demand. Experts predict that at least 1.5 million tonnes of green hydrogen will be needed annually in Germany by 2030. Therefore, Germany needs to look to other countries for green hydrogen imports, and Spain is poised to become one of Germany’s key suppliers of green hydrogen in the coming years.
According to Zukunft Gas, the industry association, Spain’s production potential for green hydrogen is estimated at up to three million tonnes in 2030. Spain has a high potential for the use of renewable energy sources and could generate the green electricity needed for hydrogen production at low costs. The Spanish power producer Iberdrola has already built a pilot plant in the city of Puertollano that produces 3,000 tons of hydrogen per year using solar power.
Other countries that are considered future suppliers of green hydrogen to Germany include Australia, Chile, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Ukraine. These countries also have a high potential for renewable energy sources and could produce green hydrogen at low costs.
Despite the high potential of these countries, the first pilot plants are still a long way from the expected production volumes. For example, a future Thyssenkrupp Steel plant for the production of climate-friendly steel in Duisburg would require around 130,000 tons of green hydrogen, while the current pilot plant in Puertollano only produces 3,000 tons of green hydrogen per year.
Germany’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy estimates that 50 to 70 per cent of the future quantities of green hydrogen needed in Germany will have to be imported. This indicates that Spain and other countries with high potential for green hydrogen production will play a vital role in Germany’s transition to a green economy.