The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) received approval from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Projektträger Jülich for a three years’ funding for research on a Global Green Hydrogen Economy within a large collaborative project with three Institutes of the Fraunhofer Society, University of Münster, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Energy Systems Analysis Associates (ESA2), Deutsche Energy Agentur (DENA) and GIZ.
Within the context of a global transition towards future-proof energy generation and usage, assuring sufficient and affordable supply of hydrogen and derived fuels, produced with low or no greenhouse gas emissions (“green hydrogen”) is crucial. Policy-making and implementation still lacks access to consolidated data and information about where green hydrogen may be produced at the required scale and under responsible conditions. Completed and ongoing projects mainly take a technical-economic perspective (e.g. potential for renewable energy generation) and focus on individual countries or regions. HYPAT is going one step further.
Starting points are the German National Hydrogen Strategy (NWS), the Green Deal of the EU, the international treaties on climate protection (Paris Climate Agreement) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). With the proposal developed for the HYPAT project, possible partner countries of Germany and Europe in a future hydrogen economy are to be identified and analysed in depth for the first time on the basis of a new methodological approach and an analysis grid.
HYPAT will not only survey the worldwide techno-economic potentials and map the possible hydrogen supply chains, but focus specifically on the needs of the partner countries and the potential co-benefits of generating and using green hydrogen for their respective development needs. Only considering these needs, ownership for an international hydrogen strategy can be expected and the process organised in the spirit of the SDGs. The needs may include the sustainable coverage of producing countries own energy demand, the achievement of their own climate goals using the development opportunities of a hydrogen economy and the compliance with specific sustainability criteria, for instance avoiding crowding-out of water supplies in arid areas.
Furthermore, the capacities of the countries to build such capital- and technology-intensive plants are analysed (e.g. governance structures, technological capabilities, access to capital, geopolitical stability). The opportunities arising for these countries in terms of local value creation, attraction of additional investments and capacity building are also surveyed, and acceptance and stakeholder analyses are carried out. The resulting potential for sustainable supply of hydrogen and synthesis products is then compared with the worldwide demand of the importing countries, thus providing a comprehensive picture for the first time, allowing to offer policy recommendations for a sustainable import strategy for Germany.