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Using hydrogen sparingly Policy Insights

The paper presents initial results from the project "Wasserstoff als Allheilmittel?" (“Hydrogen as a Panacea?”) and describes the need for prioritization of hydrogen applications. Scarce hydrogen must be used in a targeted and sparing manner to ensure security of supply, economic efficiency and climate protection.

While green hydrogen holds great opportunities for the transformation of the energy system, its availability remains foreseeably scarce relative to projected demands, even if potential imports are taken into account. Therefore, in parallel to supporting the market ramp-up of the hydrogen economy and the expansion of renewable energy, policy makers must prioritize hydrogen applications.

The use of green hydrogen as an energy carrier requires significantly more primary energy than electric solutions, such as heat pumps or electric vehicles. This is due to conversion losses in electrolysis and therefore makes hydrogen expensive. Political support for hydrogen should be designed in such a way that efficient solutions can take root.

In the atmosphere, hydrogen has up to 11 times the climate-damaging effect of CO₂. The distribution of elemental hydrogen via large natural gas distribution networks therefore poses risks. The risk of leakage is present and must be taken into account when evaluating this option.

Download Policy Insights (PDF, German language, 0,6 MB)