Germany should take strategic approach to tendering first offshore green hydrogen production area, industry says
German offshore wind and hydrogen industry associations have called on the German government to strategically plan the first offshore green hydrogen production tender so it could be a stepping stone to the fast roll-out of further such projects, bringing large quantities of green hydrogen.
In January, Germany’s Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) released the country’s new area development plan for offshore wind. The plan also outlines the first offshore hydrogen area in the North Sea of over 100 square kilometres, which allows for an electrolysis capacity of up to 1 GW to be tested and connected with a hydrogen pipeline.
Some associations and organisations in the sector are now urging the federal government to consider partial tenders in order to reduce economic and technological risks, and also to not focus solely on monetary bids.
“We welcome an early start to the award of the SEN-1 site for the production of green hydrogen at sea for a specific offshore hydrogen expansion target in the German EEZ as well as for the rapid market ramp-up of the green hydrogen economy in Germany”, said Heike Winkler, Managing Director of the industry association WAB e.V., one of the industry organisations behind a signed public appeal to the government.
“With regard to the continuation of the National Hydrogen Strategy (NWS) and all related legal and regulatory frameworks, we call for the enabling of business models for the domestic production of green hydrogen from offshore wind energy. With practical project experience, the export potential can be tapped and the necessary quantities of green hydrogen can be made available for the decarbonisation of industry and the maritime energy transition”.
The tendering of partial areas promotes the technological further development of the production of green hydrogen and companies can gather different empirical values from smaller projects. Furthermore, the sites to be awarded for offshore green hydrogen projects should rather comprise stipulations on innovation and system serviceability, as well as the involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the organisations state.
“We need and demand an innovation-promoting character for the first tender of the other energy production areas. Domestic production should not start with high price pressure”, Winkler said.
They further said the government should include the likelihood of realisation of the projects in the evaluation of bids as a matter of urgency. This refers to the proof of the ability to deliver the relevant components, but also to the compatibility with the essential nature conservation aspects and the performance of the bidder or bidding consortium, the associations say.
The industry is also calling for strategically planned collection pipelines with defined transfer points, with imports also taken into account, as well as their potential link to neighbouring countries on the North Sea and Baltic Sea so that the area tendered can also be connected.
With the REPowerEU programme, the EU Commission envisages producing at least 10 million tonnes of green hydrogen in the EU by 2030. By that time, Germany targets having 10 GW of its own electrolysis capacity. A a significant amount of energy needed for this can be provided offshore for electrolysis from offshore wind farms, the Germany industry pointed out.
A joint statement to the government on the matter of offshore green hydrogen tender was signed by WAB e.V., the Aqua Ventus initiative, the Deutscher Wasserstoff- und Brennstoffzellen-Verband e.V. (the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association), the Bundesverband der Windparkbetreiber Offshore e.V. (the Federal Association of Offshore Wind Farm Operators), and the Erneuerbare Energien Hamburg Clusteragentur GmbH (the Hamburg Renewable Energies Cluster Agency).