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E.ON advocates quota for green gas as German hydrogen council set to meet

Highlights

Government appointed hydrogen council to meet July 9

Utility lobby BDEW published roadmap gas 2050 July 3

Regulation, details, methodology required as next steps

London — German utility E.ON has called for a green gas quota ahead of the July 9 inaugural meeting of the national hydrogen council established by the German government's hydrogen strategy.

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A technology- and origin-neutral quota for green gas would help reduce fossil gases' share in the market, E.ON said in a statement July 6.

"If we want to be fully decarbonized by 2050, gas needs to progressively become green," E.ON board member Thomas Koenig. This would require a stable long-term regulatory environment, he said.

Hydrogen is set to account for a large proportion of green gas volumes, cutting carbon emissions where direct electrification is not technically feasible or sensible, he said.

"We aim to blend the desired amount of green gas with the natural gas in our distribution networks or, if necessary, to supply 100% hydrogen," said Katherina Reiche, CEO of E.ON subsidiary Westenergie and a member of the National Hydrogen Council.

Green vs blue hydrogen

Germany's June 10 hydrogen strategy is focused on production of hydrogen via electrolysis using renewable electricity, but forecast supply of renewables in Germany means only around a sixth of estimated 2030 demand (14 TWh) is likely to be produced via this pathway.

That leaves room for hydrogen production from steam methane reforming of natural gas with carbon capture and storage -- so-called blue hydrogen.

According to utility association BDEW, blue hydrogen would help establish a decarbonized hydrogen market with the capacity to supply the industrial volumes needed.

Germany's biogas and biomethane potential, meanwhile, could double to 100 TWh by 2030, the BDEW has estimated.

Germany's hydrogen strategy has pledged Eur7 billion in support to build up 5 GW of electrolyzer capacity for green hydrogen production by 2030, with a further Eur2 billion for international projects.