Germany urges Russia to increase supplies of ‘green’ energy

Germany urges Russia to increase supplies of ‘green’ energy
Photo: AdnaloyMTA

Russia should intensify the development of “green” hydrogen technologies, considers Germany, as the two countries have great potential for co-operation here. The existing infrastructure for natural gas transportation can be adapted to ship hydrogen, which is more environment-friendly than gas.

Germany is in close communication with Russia about the potential of “green” hydrogen production and transport, says Reuters citing German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier. Speaking at a Russian-German conference last week, the official assumed that Russia could work with Germany on the production and transport of green hydrogen. “We offer Russia deeper co-operation,” he said. Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov responded that Russia would prioritise investments in these technologies. “I am convinced that this intention will be of interest to German and Russian companies active in that sector,” he added.

Germany intends to develop “green” hydrogen on a large scale sending renewable power from wind and sunshine through electrolysis to make synthetic fuel for the industry, energy and transport sectors. The Western European country, which aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, currently consumes around 55 terawatt-hours (TWh) of “grey” hydrogen made from fossil fuels annually. At the same time, Germany uses up to 1,000 TWh of natural gas for various purposes including home heating.

Robert Frank gas power plant in Landesbergen, Lower Saxony. Photo: Statkraft

Russia is Germany’s largest natural gas supplier. The latter considers natural gas to be a transition technology, which will help fuel power stations, industry and transport until renewables and synthetic hydrogen can successively supply the bulk of electricity. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will bring Russian gas directly to Germany and is nearly complete, may later be used as a hydrogen import route, said the German party. It also proposed Russia to develop renewable power for electrolysis, or methane pyrolysis, to produce hydrogen. “Russia can offer giant land potential as a basis to build up solar and wind power, and huge water resources for hydropower,” said Minister President of Lower Saxony Stephan Weil.

According to Alexander Drozdenko, the governor of Leningrad Oblast, where Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines start, Russian authorities plan to stimulate hydrogen initiatives and provide tax advantages for hydro and wind power projects. Russia has to think beyond coal, oil and gas, he added.

By Anna Litvina