Germany should not set up a state-owned hydrogen network company as the existing gas companies would be more efficient in developing the necessary infrastructure, according to a joint statement by gas industry association Zukunft Gas and the German Hydrogen and Fuel-Cell Association (DWV).
The distribution network, which today supplies 20 million households and 1.8 million commercial and industrial customers, and the power grid should form an integrated energy system. This will require commitment and pioneering spirit which is available in the gas industry, the two organisations said.
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The statement comes against the background of considerations by the German federal government from the end of 2022 to set up a state-owned hydrogen network company that would compete with the existing gas network operators.
The plan was rejected also by Bavaria's economy and energy minister Hubert Aiwanger who said in December that this unrealistic plan would inevitably torpedo the development of the hydrogen economy in Germany instead of promoting it.
In the statement, the chairmen of Zukunft Gas and DWV, Timm Kehler and Werner Diwald, stressed that what is needed now is as much speed and pragmatism as possible and as little administrative structure as necessary.
Kehler praised the H2Global initiative which is meant to support the production of green hydrogen and its derivatives on an industrial scale in non-EU and EFTA countries. According to him, such an efficient integration of funding instruments across the entire supply chain can also provide an effective European response to the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
The chairman also emphasized the need for a clear certification system in order to have a functioning international hydrogen market.