"Handelsblatt Energy Summit 2023" - Web-Talk on the status of the hydrogen economy

Securing the energy supply in light of the current economic situation, combinedwith the energy turnaround that needs to be further implemented are major concernsfor all players - from the energy sector and industry to science and politics. The great beacon of hope here is primarily the small molecule hydrogen. However many questions remain.  What costs are we facing? What do we need to do to make green hydrogen competitive? And how does Germany compare to other countries in the hydrogen economy?

At this year's "Handelsblatt Energy Summit", precisely these questions and many more topics were discussed by various industry players. Amongst the many discussions, the big web talk took place on 12 January, which we at Drees & Sommer supported as a Digital Partner.

During the big web talkour Head of Hydrogen, Dr. Alexander Stubinitzky, together with Jimmie Langham (cruh21), Dr. Stefan Kaufmann (former Hydrogen Commissioner of the Federal Government) and Prof. Dr. Mario Ragwitz (Fraunhofer IEG) talked about exciting developments, current challenges and interesting forecasts under the direction of Henrik Töpelt, Head of Energy who acted as moderator. The cross-sectoral exchange took place under the topic "Success factors and barriers for the ramp-up of the German hydrogen economy" and resulted in many fascinating and  different perspectives.

Our top key takeaways:

  1. Green hydrogen and e-fuels are among the most promising solutions, especially in basic industries as well as in numerous transport applications. For these core areas, hydrogen demand should be covered by not only local production in Germany but more broadly European and non-European imports.
  2. Hydrogen must become a commodity. The goal is to have the right amount of affordable green hydrogen in the right place at the right time.
  3. To enable universal availability of hydrogen, the possibility of decentralised storage as well as small-scale transport will be essential.
  4. The recognition of blue hydrogen by the federal government is important. According to the first draft bill, this is also to be promoted and could thus play a decisive role, especially in the transitional stage of the energy transition.
  5. The entire hydrogen value chain - production, transport, storage and application - must be scaled up as simultaneously as possible. There are still considerable challenges ahead of us here: we need large available quantities that are cost-effective at the same time. For this, we need all stakeholders to collaborate to empower them  to act on a large scale.
  6. In particular, the transport infrastructure is a basic prerequisite for the market ramp-up and must be consistently evolved and expanded.

An exhilarating exchange. Many thanks for these fascinating insights and viewpoints. You can download the entire recording of the web talk here.