There is a consensus that hydrogen will play a key role in the future energy supply and thus also in the success of the energy transition, not only in Germany and the European Union, but also globally. However, the extent to which this hydrogen will be used and provided in Germany, in which areas of application and, above all, from which sources is still open, partly because demand is still low and the necessary production and transport infrastructures are still being developed or built. It is very likely that fossil hydrogen sources will also be used initially.
But how can it be ensured that the path to a cost-efficient and sustainable hydrogen production structure is taken with certainty and that there are no lock-in effects due to investments in technologies that are not fit for the future? To this end, the regulatory framework must be set in such a way that it promotes the development of a hydrogen infrastructure and guarantees a competitive and, in the medium term, climate-neutral supply of hydrogen. The investments to be made today and in the near future must be managed in such a way that they lead to a cost-efficient and sustainable hydrogen supply.
The Wuppertal Institute coordinates the joint project with DLR (German Aerospace Center), IZES (Institut für ZukunftsEnergie- und Stoffstromsysteme, and ECOLOG-Institute on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. The focus of the Wuppertal Institute's content-related work is on the cost-optimising perspective and the identification of path dependencies.