Up to now, Germany has had an energy supply system that’s as centralized as possible. Large power plants generated electricity and heat, which was then distributed nationwide by means of an extensively branched infrastructure. With the emergence of renewable energies two decades ago, the idea of decentralization became increasingly widespread: since local solar and wind power plants or biogas plants generate electricity or heat on site, this energy can be used locally, without the need for loss-ridden transports. This basic idea is now also being pursued with hydrogen production by electrolysis. Whether such an approach might be sensible was investigated by the Reiner Lemoine Institut in its newest study “Netzdienliche Wasserstofferzeugung” (grid-serving hydrogen production). The results were presented in an online press conference March 10th, 2022.
Meeting the German federal government’s ambitious climate target, that is, a 95 percent reduction in GHG emissions until 2050 compared to a 1990 baseline, will require a decarbonized transportation sector. Cars powered by conventional engines must be replaced by low-emission versions. The two most promising substitutes are battery-electric vehicles or BEVs and fuel cell vehicles or FCEVs.