Australian-German business coalition releases roadmap for large-scale green hydrogen import to Germany
27 June 2022
A group of leading German companies along with Australia’s Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) has released a green hydrogen roadmap, outlining a set of recommendations for government and industry, to meet the ambitious target of importing large amounts of green hydrogen from Australia to Germany.
The Green Hydrogen Taskforce, created earlier this year, is a collaborative effort between FFI, and companies in Germany including Covestro, E.ON, Linde, Luthardt, SAP, Schaeffler, thyssenkrupp Nucera and thyssenkrupp Uhde.
The green hydrogen roadmap developed by the Taskforce consists of a 10-point plan and a White Paper and is intended to outline a constructive pathway forward in Germany for business and government. The roadmap could potentially serve as an example for other nations looking for solutions.
The companies in the taskforce are ready to move on green energy through serious investment and will work with Government to achieve these goals together. The recommendations to the German government include: developing subsidies and incentives to remove the “First Mover Disadvantage”; encouraging sources of low-cost capital to scale the industry, and underwriting equipment manufacturers expansion plans to meet developer’s needs.
FFI and E.ON recently announced a partnership with the goal to supply 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen a year by 2030—the equivalent of one third of the calorific energy of natural gas Germany imports from Russia.
Industrial demand centers in Germany and the EU are ready to offtake up to 5 Mtpa of green hydrogen in the short-term, with a total addressable market of up to 27 Mtpa in the long-term.
By 2030, carbon price will likely reach a sufficient threshold for imported green hydrogen to be competitive with fossil fuels, negating the need for any further subsidies. (Source: RMI analysis)
The required near-term market- and first-mover support of €20-30 billion will achieve more than 10x leverage on capital deployed into industrial assets. (Source: RMI analysis)
Clear and timely government support is needed to signal confidence in a burgeoning green hydrogen market and remove barriers to investment.
Once common standards and robust financial mechanisms are in place, stakeholders across the green hydrogen value chain are ready to agree on contracts and ensure production, transport, storage, and conversion facilities are ramped up at the scale required to meet deployment targets.
Green ammonia is a key route for green hydrogen to be supplied to EU markets as existing infrastructure can be leveraged and expanded, and safe handling of ammonia is well established.
Moving quickly and strategically to build up a green hydrogen trade will enable Germany and the EU to capitalize on short-term opportunities across volatile global energy markets, and to safeguard energy security while achieving critical decarbonization objectives.
I'm not getting this. Australia has a great solar resource, but is it that much better than the Mediterranean countries or North Sea wind? Is there some ammonia-making technology only the Australians have that makes shipping it halfway around the globe viable? Are kangaroos involved?
Posted by: Albert E Short | 27 June 2022 at 10:18 AM
@Albert E Short,
I agree with your sentiment. North Africa is full of desert and is right at the door step of Europe, why not set up vast solar farms in N Africa to make Hydrogen and pipe it via undersea pipelines to Europe? (and give Putin the dirty finger...FU)
But, thanks to Putin for the food and fuel price escalation, many N Africa countries are going bankrupt and will need cash infusion from the West. This is the time to set up "debt trap" by loaning them money using their land as collateral...and when they can't pay back their loan in time, then takeover the land to set up solar farms.
Posted by: Roger Pham | 27 June 2022 at 10:36 AM
North Africa and the Middle East are certainly a lot closer to Europe than Australia,
However recent unfortunate political events show that it is pretty dumb if convenient in the short term to rely unduly on unstable countries which may have a very different agenda.
And there is an element of limits to rising costs from longer distance transport once the ammonia or whatever is loaded on a ship in the first place.
Just the same with umpteen places closer than Australia which have wonderful wind and solar resources, from Namibia to South America, I am none too convinced that Australia will end up longer term supplying a large percentage of the European hydrogen market.
But not only are there plenty of potential suppliers, there are also loads of potential customers for hydrogen, with the likes of Indonesia, Japan and India stepping into the breach.
So even if they don't end up major partners long term, in the more immediate future setting up both ends of the supply chain with both customer and supplier as early adopters moving the technology to far cheaper mass deployment makes a lot of sense in my view.
As both other customers and other suppliers come online, then they can all swap partners to more convenient/cheaper options.
Posted by: Davemart | 27 June 2022 at 03:02 PM
There is a large need for ammonia for fertilizer. I would recommend that Australia use whatever "green" hydrogen they can produce for ammonia and other chemical needs. Germany could make their own "green" hydrogen if they would just restart some of their nuclear power plants.
Posted by: sd | 27 June 2022 at 07:32 PM
This is even more stupid that the Australia to Japan proposal.
World's Dirtiest Clean Energy Project
Posted by: dursun | 27 June 2022 at 10:36 PM
I have long said that Germany had the dumbest imaginable energy policy, and that risks from nuclear in the Linear No Threshold model derived from massive doses in Hiroshima etc are exaggerated by perhaps three orders of magnitude.
But I try to compartmentalise evaluations, and take things on their own merits in view of the political realities.
Would I prefer internal nuclear in Germany, with where necessary conversion to hydrogen for transport etc?
But that does not mean that building up renewable hydrogen production in Australia and exporting it, including to Germany, is a dumb idea or no improvement on importing fossil fuels from Russia and the Middle East.
Posted by: Davemart | 28 June 2022 at 02:49 AM
My pro nuclear credentials are impeccable, having supported it for 60 years.
I would particularly like to see SMRs using waste heat for district heating systems, as well as hydrogen production.
But to my considerable surprise, it now seems to me that massive drops in costs and improvements in technology mean that even in Europe most energy could be produced and stored using renewables, although I would still like to see perhaps 20% of electricity produced from nuclear to add additional flexibility and redundancy, in the event of, say, a major volcanic eruption greatly reducing solar output.
My remarks are based on some variation of solar, with improved efficiency and use of by product heat, and some variation of high altitude wind.
Here is Sunovate:
The basic idea is that there is a backing panel on the solar array, with retrofitting possible, and the use of air, not water, to cool the panels.
The heat in the simplest variant is then used to provide hot water in a house.
Keeping the panel temperature lower increases efficiency linearly, even in a Swedish winter, whilst even with current panels we can hit overall electrical plus thermal efficiency of 50% or so.
For storage different solutions depending on duration etc are needed, but liquid carbon dioxide strikes me as the great enabler.
Here is Energy Dome:
For high altitude wind, recently the Bendix tower was looked at on this site, which is reasonably conventional, but there are also kites, from Kitepower and Skysails.
Here is Kitepower:
They are only at around 100KW at the moment, so size has to be upped to perhaps 3MW for viability.
However, high altitude wind however done would up the renewable energy potential of Europe greatly.
So the bottom line is that I agree with you that large scale hydrogen/ammonia imports from Australia to Europe may be unlikely, but OTOH renewables produced and stored right here appear able to cope at a good price even with northern european winters.
Posted by: Davemart | 28 June 2022 at 03:23 AM
"My pro nuclear credentials are impeccable..."
Are those credentials recognized by major universities?
Posted by: SJC | 28 June 2022 at 08:48 AM
Posted by: Davemart | 28 June 2022 at 08:52 AM
Rosie in 'Engineering with Rosie' does a pretty good job of highlighting problems with high altitude wind, especially kites here:
Especially amusing is at around 1:03, where Skysails seem to be using an 'inventive' video, which Rosie picks up on for the supposed automatic furling abilities!
Other issues are that the kites and tethers need relatively frequent replacement of relatively expensive materials, compared to conventional wind turbines - highlighted earlier in the video.
Posted by: Davemart | 28 June 2022 at 09:57 AM
And here is 'Engineering with Rosie's' interview with the Nuscale CEO and on SMRs, including perceptive comments:
I was particularly struck by this comment from 'Social Down Climber'
' As you probably know, in conventional nuclear they need to shut the reactor down if they detect a maintenance issue. This loses the plant a ton of money but after a couple of months it is back up and running again. With Nuscale, if they detect an issue they may need to recall the reactor if it isn't built for on site maintenance. With factory production, this recall may extend to other units. If any SMR manufacturer has to do a general recall, the losses will sink the company instantly. This is one of the main reasons I'm skeptical that unit production of reactors is really a benefit.'
On the whole I think Rosie gets a good balance on the issues, potentials and problems.
The big difference for me in my current and previous assessments is the huge falls in renewables costs, and even storage at 'good enough' efficiencies is looking ever more do-able.
Posted by: Davemart | 28 June 2022 at 10:48 AM