North German states call for expanded hydrogen sector

Heads of government hold video conference with Peter Altmaier, Germany's Minister of Economics
10 November 2020
Windrad

North German states have called for swifter expansion and greater marketing of environment-friendly energies including hydrogen during a conference call between the heads of government in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Bremen and Lower Saxony and Peter Altmaier, Germany’s Minister of Economics on Friday (November 6, 2020).

Share of renewable energies to increase by 2030

"North German states make an important contribution to the energy transition. Offshore wind energy in particular holds great economic opportunities, secures added value and employment in coastal states and inland and boosts climate protection significantly," said Altmaier during the video call. Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of Hamburg, stressed: "We can only achieve a 65 per cent share of renewable energies by 2030 by rapidly expanding the annual paths for onshore and offshore wind. The German government must create the right framework conditions for this objective."

Solar energy, repowering and grid expansion

The expansion of renewable energies is crucial to the energy supply of the future, sustainable jobs and economic clout in north German states. The heads of government there are now calling for higher expansion targets in reference to solar energy, wind power on land and wind power at sea and repowering, i.e. replacing old wind turbines with newer, more powerful ones. They have also called for rapid grid expansion and measures to increase the acceptance of wind energy.

Calls for exemption of hydrogen from EEG levy

The heads of government also stressed the need for exempting hydrogen as far as possible from the EEG levy in effect from January 2021. To this end, joint efforts should focus on setting up a hydrogen competence centre in north Germany.

Focus on maritime sector and transport in future 

Other topics on the agenda included the preservation of shipbuilding and the overall maritime sector as well as economic aid for industries badly hit by closures in November. As long as companies receive financial aid, redundancies for operational reasons should be ruled out. A later video conference with Andreas Scheuer, Germany’s Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, focused on transport projects in the north and expanding the digital infrastructure.

sb/pb