Hydrogen from renewable electricity will play a central role in the energy transition. As part of the largest German research initiative on the subject, adelphi is developing critical import scenarios and political strategies.
The federal government wants to make Germany climate neutral by 2050 at the latest. To achieve this, a lot must change, from energy generation to transport and consumption. The Kopernikus projects are intended to create the conditions for this and promote the energy transition. Business, science, civil society and politics are to work together to find effective solutions.
Ariadne – A Kopernikus Project
As one of the four Kopernikus projects, Ariadne is part of the largest German research initiative on the energy transition. A network of 26 research partners is searching for strategies and tools to make Germany climate neutral. The project includes ongoing input from citizens in order to take the acceptance of specific actions into account. The aim: to identify measures that are both possible and have a high level of acceptance.
Driving the energy transition by engaging stakeholders and researching synthetic fuels
adelphi is involved in two work packages in this research initiative. In the first, adelphi provides support for the Ariadne Policy Unit in stakeholder involvement by holding partner forums for the energy transition. The second work package has focus on synthetic fuels, specifically hydrogen.
Hydrogen from renewable electricity – so-called green hydrogen – plays a central role in the energy transition. The federal government made this clear in its German hydrogen strategy, published in June 2020. Together with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Energy, adelphi is researching the role of hydrogen and its derivatives in the German energy system. The think tank focuses on import scenarios and political strategies to safeguard them. This involves developing the international dimension of the German hydrogen strategy, including market ramp-up times, on-site sustainability aspects and transport costs.
Strategies to secure hydrogen imports in the 21st century
Initial project results are now available in the form of a study: “Hydrogen import security for Germany: Timelines, risks and strategies on the way to climate neutrality.” The study presents a comprehensive strategy package based on the development of German hydrogen import demand and the associated risks.
Analysis: Securing hydrogen imports for Germany: Import needs, risks and strategies on the way to climate neutrality
If Germany continues on the path to climate neutrality, its energy import requirements will fall sharply – but it will still have to rely on imports. The risks involved will change. We have to prepare for this.
Consultant at adelphi
The study contains four scenarios that show how Germany’s energy import requirements will decrease sharply, both in absolute terms and proportionally, on the way to climate neutrality. Instead of importing large amounts of fossil fuels and uranium, as has been the case in the past, Germany will import much smaller amounts of climate-neutral energy. The risk analysis not only focuses on the export countries and transport routes, but also on risk factors in Germany and the EU.
A strategy package for import protection: cooperation instead of competition
The authors propose a balanced package of strategy elements for import protection: in Germany and the EU, the limitation of the H2 import requirement and effective crisis prevention must be in place in order to deal with delivery bottlenecks. Policy to ensure available, affordable and climate-neutral H2 imports is also effective beyond our borders. Tough strategies based on international competition – as in the oil age of the 20th century – would be counterproductive. It is much more expedient to rely on close cooperation with potential H2 exporting and importing countries as well as the EU member states – both in terms of energy security and climate protection.
Further project results include policy briefs, topic dossiers, background papers and an interactive platform. Additional articles on Ariadne from the adelphi website can be found further down this page.