The Role of the Maritime Industry in establishing a German Hydrogen Economy

Hydrogen is considered to be one of the most important energy carriers of the future. In its National Hydrogen Strategy, the German Federal Government has emphasised hydrogen’s versatility as an energy source and storage medium and set itself the goal of establishing hydrogen and hydrogen-based synthetic fuels as alternative energy sources and developing the transport and distribution infrastructure.

Together with its partners Sphera Solutions GmbH and GMW Consultancy, ISL is currently conducting a study for the German Maritime Center (DMZ), which defines the tasks for the maritime industry and public sector in establishing the hydrogen industry, from production to storage and transport to the consumer. The study considers the use of hydrogen technology in all sub-sectors of the maritime industry, including seaports as hydrogen consumers, sites for test facilities and industrial locations as well as ships and the production of offshore wind energy.

The Role of the Maritime Industry in establishing a German Hydrogen Economy

First results of the investigations were presented on April 21, 2021 as part of an online event organized by the DMZ. It started with two keynotes by Detlef Wilde (Alfred Wegener Institute) and Dr. Tobias Haack (board member of HADAG Seetouristik und Fährdienst AG), who presented the plans of their organizations with regard to climate-neutral ship operations. Thomas Rust (Ramboll) then presented results on the status quo of fuel types and fuel consumption in worldwide shipping, which were elaborated as part of a second currently ongoing DMZ study on the topic of fuel portfolios.

Dr. Nils Meyer-Larsen (ISL) explained first results of the abovementioned ISL study. He presented an analysis of the German National, the EU and the North German Hydrogen Strategies and described the different options for the global transport of hydrogen and hydrogen products. He also illustrated the application of hydrogen technologies in the maritime industry and the associated process chains from hydrogen generation to the finished product.

The more than 200 experts participating in the event subsequently discussed which alternative fuels are currently available for shipping and which options for production, transportation and utilization of hydrogen along the maritime logistics chain exist today and in the future.

Both studies have since been published.

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