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Hydrogen

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The coalition agreement mentions an electrolysis capacity of around 10 gigawatts in 2030 as a target. According to the IEA Hydrogen Projects Database, electrolysers with an electrical capacity of 61 megawatts were in operation in Germany at the beginning of October 2021. To achieve the target, an average of around 90 megawatts per month must be added by the end of 2030. By October 2022, however, installed capacity had barely increased, still only reaching 65 megawatts. But it should be noted that projects with several times this capacity are currently being planned and some are already under construction. As in the case of battery-electric vehicles, the linear progression shown here is purely illustrative; in reality, we rather expect the capacity expansion to follow a logistic curve.

For comparison, scenarios of the Ariadne project can also be added to the figure. The coalition's electrolysis target for 2030 is at the upper end of the corridor provided by all Ariadne scenarios. The Ariadne lead model for electrolysis capacity expansion, REMIND, is substantially below the coalition's target in the Technology Mix Scenario in 2030. After 2035, the Ariadne scenario corridor becomes very wide, with the lead model always at the lower end of the corridor. These model results reflect a relatively high uncertainty about the longer-term prospects of domestic green hydrogen production in Germany.

The electrolysis capacity already in operation is still very small, but there is an extensive pipeline of projects to be developed over the next few years. These are shown in the figure below. According to the IEA Hydrogen Projects Database, as of October 2022, additional electrolysers with an electrical capacity of 27 megawatts were under construction. The final investment decision is still pending for specific projects with a much larger total capacity of around 1.1 gigawatts. In addition, there are a further 4.4 gigawatts for which feasibility studies are underway. In addition, there are (less concrete) concepts for further projects with a total capacity of 16.1 gigawatts. In order to achieve the target of 10 gigawatts in 2030, not only would all the more concrete projects that are currently at least at the feasibility study level have to actually be realized, but also a good portion of the less mature conceptual projects.


Last update: 2022-10-15