UK and Germany Agree to Hydrogen Plan

A fabricated hydrogen (H2) plant with water surrounding it.

(Credit: Canva)

by | Sep 28, 2023

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The United Kingdom and Germany have both signed an agreement that aims to accelerate the development of the international hydrogen industry.

The agreement states the two countries will work together to support the international trade in hydrogen. In addition, they agreed to accelerate the role of low-carbon hydrogen in their nations’ energy mix. As two of the biggest economies in Europe, their leadership on this issue will demonstrate how to expand new, net zero-friendly markets. 

The partnership comes as both the U.K. and Germany have made significant investments in hydrogen, including the U.K.’s more than $293 million capital investment from the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund and revenue support from the Hydrogen Production Business Model to support low-carbon hydrogen production. The German government is also supporting the implementation of the National Hydrogen Strategy, with funding from the Climate and Transformation Fund.

The agreement, known as a Joint Declaration of Intent, was signed by Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance Lord Callanan and Federal Republic of Germany’s State Secretary for Energy Philip Nimmermann at the U.K. embassy in Berlin.

The U.K. and Germany say their new agreement will also help both countries reach their net-zero emissions goals by 2050. 

“The UK and Germany are natural partners in making low-carbon hydrogen a cleaner and more sustainable way to power up our societies,” the U.K.’s Callanan said in a statement. “This agreement will underpin the development of this new fuel not just for our respective countries but also for an international trade that could be transformative in our work towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050. It is through these partnerships that we can move away from expensive fossil fuels––and in doing so boost our energy security.”

The partnership included five pillars:

  1. Accelerate the deployment of hydrogen projects for industry and consumers
  2. Establish international leadership on hydrogen markets, setting safety and regulations to aid trade
  3. Research and innovation on hydrogen, from production to end use
  4. Promote trade for hydrogen, plus related goods, technologies, and services
  5. Joint market analysis, to support planning and investment by government and industry

“With this declaration we are on our way to jointly help developing the European and international markets for hydrogen,” Germany’s Nimmermann said. “Our cooperation will not just involve trading of hydrogen and its derivatives, but also cooperation on technologies and innovation in this field, which will be of mutual benefit for both Germany and the U.K. Hydrogen is of the highest importance for us to meet our goals regarding emission reduction.”

Outside of Europe, the United States is also ramping up its hydrogen production, with the potential for new hydrogen hubs with federal funding from the Department of Energy. One such hub, located in Mississippi, has the potential to boost energy security in the U.S. and abroad, and provide energy across industries. 

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