The German Ministry of Economy and Energy has issued an ordinance for the allocation of areas for the production of green hydrogen in the exclusive economic zone of Germany (EEZ), located in the North Sea.
The standard just entered into force creates the opportunity to test the production of hydrogen also from offshore wind energy.
First call for tender: 2022
The German ministry presses on the accelerator, announcing the first tender already in a few months, in 2022. The government believes that offshore wind is the most advanced technology to allow the direct generation of hydrogen at sea through electrolysis.
The production of green hydrogen at sea is a crucial issue for the future. And it has a high potential for innovation. Offshore hydrogen production can make an important contribution to the decarbonisation of Germany as a place for industry.Peter Altmaier, Minister of Energy, Germany
The RWE utility together with the oil supermajor Shell and Siemens Energy plan to install two 14 MW Siemens Gamesa offshore wind turbines with an integrated electrolyser for H2 production near Heligoland by 2025.
Germany intends to invest seriously in the sector
Offshore hydrogen areas in the EEZ in Germany will be allocated according to quality criteria. Successful bidders will first receive the right to request a planning procedure in an area. At a later stage, they will be able to apply for the entire license to operate.
We need (already?) More areas
The offshore wind industry in Germany welcomed this move as a first step towards offshore hydrogen production. However, enthusiasm goes hand in hand with voracity: from the Offshore Wind Foundation (BWO), an industry association, they let it be known that it is not enough. “We need to make more areas available for offshore hydrogen,” says Stefan Thimm, CEO of BWO. “The only allotted area in the North Sea so far is just a drop in the ocean and far from enough to decarbonise our industry. More areas are needed quickly, and above all a regulatory framework for the approval of electrolysers: the time is obviously short ”.