Fraunhofer researchers agree that "green" hydrogen and its synthetic products will play a central role in ensuring the greenhouse gas neutrality of all energy-consuming sectors, especially transport and industry. In addition to its direct use, hydrogen will also gain in importance with the increasing system integration of renewable energies due to its high storage and transportability. In their position paper, the Fraunhofer Institutes outline a possible path for the introduction and development of the hydrogen economy in the various fields of application.
Water electrolysis will, at least in Germany, become a decisive industrial policy component, not only for the production of the hydrogen needed in this country, but also as a flexibility option in the power grid and as a core technology for the international export market. For Germany alone, studies assume that the installed capacity of the technology will grow to 50 to 80 GW by 2050. To reach this magnitude, annual growth rates of electrolysers in the double-digit MW range and in the 1 GW range by the end of the 2020s must be achieved immediately.
The position paper outlines various paths of market ramp-up and proposes possible measures to realise this market development: an adjustment of the regulatory framework for taxes, levies and levies on electricity to strengthen sector coupling; the promotion of demonstration projects; the creation of internationally uniform regulations and standards on hydrogen; and the removal of regulatory barriers to fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen filling stations. "From our point of view, the technology basis of the entire value chain exists", says Prof. Dr. Christopher Hebling, Head of Hydrogen Technologies at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, "now it is important to set the course in such a way that the scale-up for the realization of further cost reduction and the gathering of operating experience is successful".