It is reported today that German Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek wants to establish a ‘Cape Canaveral of Hydrogen’ in Germany.
I suspect that this statement is as much for internal political consumption, ahead of the imminent sign-off of the German hydrogen strategy than as a realistic short-term endeavour for Germany. It is, however, a sign of just how far hydrogen has come. In the last 12 months or so from an almost niche subject area to becoming codified on a global basis in a series of national, regional, and local strategies, many of which are being ratified.
I do not doubt that some of the hyperbole around hydrogen will prove to be just that and that some of the projects and endeavours will fall by the wayside. However, with China, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia all putting pragmatic proposals forward. Surely, some of them at least will progress.
This is likely to open up a whole heap of opportunities for the emerging hydrogen supply chain. We have already seen a successful implementation of offshore wind, where eye-wateringly high costs and negativity from incumbents predicted that there was no chance that an industry would ever develop. This has been proved wrong and ports such as Grimsby, Barrow, and Hull are testament to the success of effective government support.
I suspect that the real battle will not be whether the hydrogen economy emerges, rather it will be between the various forms of hydrogen – will it be green, blue, grey, or even black? These are the real issues as the incumbents and those wishing to enter the market jockey for position in this nascent industry.
Proposed German Hydrogen Backbone
These are fascinating times for hydrogen with myriad opportunities on offer in this potentially multibillion-dollar industry; the race is on for early entrants to the market, do not risk being left behind. Join me on my forthcoming seminar as we take a deeper dive into how to do business with the hydrogen economy with a practical real-world guide to maximising the opportunities and overcoming the challenges ahead: