Competitive Hydrogen

Dr Peter Schniering, founder of FCA, and Dr Klaus Grellmann, managing director at goetzpartners, have collaborated on a joint project on hydrogen, addressing the key points of economic efficiency, scalability, and environmental relevance for Germany. The full results as well as a video discussing these will be published shortly.

You can find a preview of the resulting 5 theses below.

Thesis 1: The path towards competitive green hydrogen is longer and more complex than often suggested

While publications and funding programs assume competitive production of green H2, the reality looks different. Although promising potentials along the value chain can be identified, it is not yet possible to achieve eco-nomic viability or sufficient market maturity.

Thesis 2: Economic battles that hydrogen cannot win must be surrendered early enough

There are application areas within the mobility and building sector where H2 will foreseeably be without real economic opportunities. In such fields, fewer resources should be invested in publicly funded R&D and the government should deploy funding in a more targeted manner.

Thesis 3: The carbon footprint of hydrogen must be considered more realistically

Media too often portrays H2 – in all its colorful schemes – in a clearly climate-neutral light. This is not the case, especially when considering the entire value chain. Efforts to achieve mutual agreements and standards at the European level are needed to immediately reduce emissions.

Thesis 4: Germany will not be able to produce its entire demand of green H2 domestically

Following the shutdown of German nuclear power and coal, Germany faces a major challenge in providing sufficient sustainable electricity. As a consequence, we will be more dependent on imports from sun-rich countries of southern Europe and the MENA region.

Thesis 5: Players that cannot compete internationally should avoid the field

Subsidies from Germany and the EU suggest future-proof investments into a secure growth area for companies of all sizes. Looking at the international competition, this is not the case. To succeed globally, a critical size, a strategic approach, and staying power are needed.