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North German hydrogen strategy

The North German hydrogen strategy. My German is ok - but I reckon there are web-based translators equally effective.  This is one of an increasing number of national strategies as the nascent hydrogen industry gains momentum

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Charley Rattan's picture

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 8, 2019 4:22 pm GMT

Charley, I took the liberty of translating your document to English. Pg 16:

"This strategy has the overall goal - the rapid reduction of the barriers outlined above provided by the federal government - to have by 2035 built a green hydrogen economy in Northern Germany. Here, the proportion of green hydrogen on the total of the hydrogen used will gradually up to a hundred percent as possible be increased. The objectives are aware of very ambitious chosen to send a strong political signal to North to put Germany and underpin its own claim to a leading position. At the same time they give investors the necessary direction statement and plan ahead."

Now that it's been translated to English, let's translate it to the conversation which went down in the boardroom:

"Here's the official line: 'We're going to build all the infrastructure to distribute and sell renewable hydrogen, which is not competitive now, by starting with hydrogen made with fossil-fuel (methane).' You know, the dirty, profitable stuff we sell now, 

"Then we say 'By 2035 it will replaced by renewable, super-green hydrogen.' Then when 2035 rolls around, we announce 'By 2065 it will be replaced by renewable, super-green hydrogen,' etc. Rinse, repeat - like we did with solar panels and wind turbines. Kick the can down the road, until all the nukes have been decommissioned and it's too late to do anything about climate change. Oops!"

When it comes to believing fossil fuel marketing, there's at least one sucker born every minute.

Charley Rattan's picture
Charley Rattan on Nov 8, 2019 4:51 pm GMT

Hi Bob, 

Glad you translated it. Could do well to follow the path of wind turbines which have made giant strides and are regarded as such an offshore success story that they enjoy all party support here in UK 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 10, 2019 7:33 pm GMT

I have been following the path of offshore wind in the UK, Charley:

1) Offshore wind generates 20% of UK electricity
2) Total installed capacity is 8.1 GW
3) Its average capacity factor is 38%
4) The remaining 62% of offshore wind's capacity must be supplied by natural gas - the only dispatchable source of electricity capable of balancing wind's variability so it can be used on an electrical grid
5) Offshore wind is guaranteeing 5 GW of gas generation a place in UK for the forseeable future
6) 5 GW of gas generation translates to 44 TWh/yr and 19.36 million tonnes of CO2 emissions/yr
7) UK offshore wind will be responsible for 19.36 million tonnes of CO2 emissions/yr indefinitely

Let me know if you have any questions, or if I've made a mistake somewhere - but anyone who might consider that "giant strides" or a "success story" for the environment doesn't understand enough to have an opinion on the subject.

Charley Rattan's picture
Charley Rattan on Nov 11, 2019 5:00 pm GMT

Hi Bob,

It's pleasing you've been following the UK success story which is offshore wind.  The sector enjoys widespread public backing and serves as a springboard for regional regeneration.  Support is fixed for the nxxt decade and crystallised in a sector deal which again enjoys all party support - so vital for major projects and so unusual in such contentious fields as national scale energy.  Capacity factors will rise as machines get taller and we move out of the trial early rounds into round 4 and its associated trebling of capacity.

Prices area falling and new entrants appear almost on a weekly basis.  Gas is indeed a useful balancing mechanism for sure but wath aout for the emergence of green hydrogen and of course the coninued growth of battery and V2G technologies.

Offshore wind is indeed a success story for the UK and is recognised as such at key staekheolder and indeed governmental levels.

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