National Hydrogen Strategy is a step in the right direction

    Berlin, June 09, 2020

    The ambitious climate protection goals can only be achieved if sustainable, renewable fuels are deployed in the transport sector in addition to electric mobility using green electricity. “E-fuels and hydrogen should therefore be advanced alongside electric mobility. The VDA supports the ambitious replacement of fossil fuels with renewable alternatives,” says VDA President Hildegard Müller.

    The National Hydrogen Strategy now approved by the German Government is a first correct step toward the market ramp-up of powertrains based on green hydrogen. However, the German Association of the Automotive Industry sees both pros and cons in the strategy.

    It is positive that by passing a strategy of this nature the German Government has recognized hydrogen’s importance for climate-neutral mobility. It is right to exempt hydrogen and e-fuels from the renewable energy surcharge because this will encourage the development of hydrogen technology in Germany. The VDA also welcomes the fact that in the National Hydrogen Strategy the Federal Cabinet envisages application of hydrogen in all areas of transport. In addition, the strategy’s international perspective is an important element because green hydrogen can be produced in considerable quantities in countries with a sufficient supply of renewable energy.

    However, in several areas the National Hydrogen Strategy is not sufficiently detailed or ambitious. They include the planned implementation of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). The VDA recommends that in 2030 renewable energy must account for 23 percent of Germany’s fuel market, with a minimum quota of 5 percent from hydrogen and e-fuels. Furthermore, until now the strategy has not contained any energy tax exemption for e-fuels. At present e-fuels based on renewable energy are subject to the same rate of tax as fossil fuels. The draft legislation should be specifically amended on these points.