German-Australian hydrogen bridge: HySupply study flags supply options within Germany
Munich, 23 January 2024
To defossilise the German energy system as well as to make it fit for the future and independent, the importation of green hydrogen will play a key role going forward. Against this backdrop, the project “HySupply” from acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) has examined the feasibility of a German-Australian supply chain. Reinforcing the positive overall assessment, a study concluding the project has just been published on potential supply chains within Germany.
The study commissioned by acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering and conducted by the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Systems IEG is the final publication of the project “HySupply” and it flags the options for hydrogen supply within Germany.
According to the form in which hydrogen is imported – for example, tankers transport hydrogen from Australia in liquid form – the study compares the economic benefit and the technical feasibility of various transport infrastructures: hydrogen network, product pipeline, inland waterway vessel and rail.
Since the cooperation project HySupply launched in 2020, researchers have systematically studied the feasibility of a hydrogen bridge between Australia and Germany. Recommendations for action for a hydrogen roadmap have been published at regular intervals over the course of the project.
“We now have an opportunity to help shape the future hydrogen market.”
acatech President Jan Wörner:
“An Australian-German hydrogen bridge promises stable trade relations between two democratic countries that is advantageous for both parties. The work of our joint “HySupply” project confirms its feasibility and defines the framework. Establishing a joint hydrogen infrastructure with Australia not only can help us achieve our climate targets but it also increases the security and connectivity of supply of the basic element of the industry of tomorrow. We now have the opportunity to help shape the future hydrogen market and, with that, to make Germany as an innovation hub more resilient to dependencies. To achieve this, we need decisive joint action to establish the infrastructure and framework.”
“The completion of the core hydrogen network must be vigorously pursued.”
Project Manager Robert Schlögl, President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and acatech member sums up as follows: “This is the first fully inclusive and comprehensive study to analyse, evaluate and compare all major hydrogen derivatives and transport options, from import hub to the end user. The completion of the core hydrogen network must be vigorously pursued.” At the same time, we have to get working on other aspects, such as expanding the rail network and building up carbon infrastructure. The ramp-up of the hydrogen market will only succeed if politics, research and industry work closely together.”
“Companies need planning security.”
Holger Lösch, Deputy Director General of the BDI: “The new study on the national distribution options for hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives addresses an important outstanding issue for the future. Companies need planning security for, in some cases, huge investment decisions that have to be made. The German government’s import strategy must therefore clearly state from where and in what form Germany’s import demand is to be covered. This is the only way potential bottlenecks in the ramp-up of the urgently needed infrastructure for hydrogen and its derivatives can be identified early and consistently addressed.”
The “HySupply” project
HySupply launched in December 2020 and was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The project was carried out in conjunction with an Australian consortium led by the University of New South Wales in Sydney (UNSW). To the HySupply project page.
Further information on HySupply
Download the final study on the options for hydrogen distribution (in German)
HySupply. Building the Groundwork for an Australian-German Hydrogen Bridge
IKEM study on the legal feasibility of a German-Australian hydrogen bridge
Further information on hydrogen
ESYS – A brief explanation: Hydrogen – What role will it play in the energy system of the future? (in German)
Electrolysers: Key Technology in the Hydrogen Economy (in German)
H2-Compass: Results of the stakeholder dialogue