Gas can be green: Achieving the Climate Targets with Hydrogen from Natural Gas

Berlin
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Wintershall Dea CEO Mario Mehren
Wintershall Dea CEO Mario Mehren
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Wintershall Dea/Frank Schinski
  • Wintershall Dea calls for the National Hydrogen Strategy to be open to all technologies
  • Mario Mehren takes part in debate with Germany’s Federal Environment Minister, Svenja Schulze
  • Without natural gas the much-needed hydrogen market won't succeed

Hydrogen is supposed to play a key role in the decarbonisation of the energy system – but only if it is harvested from renewable energies. That is according to the draft National Hydrogen Strategy (NHS). “The German government is losing sight of what the actual objective is. For our ambitious climate targets and hydrogen strategy to succeed, it is not so important whether the hydrogen comes from natural gas or renewables: what is important is that its production is climate-neutral,” points out Mario Mehren, CEO of Wintershall Dea, with regard to the draft strategy, at the SPD Economic Forum, which more than 500 listeners participated in. The German Federal Environment Minister, Svenja Schulze, is also taking part in today’s online conference.

“If we want to ensure the rapid development of a functioning and viable hydrogen market we cannot leave any potential technologies on the shelf. Otherwise we risk falling into a new subsidies trap, and thus the failure of the strategy. We need an approach that is open to all technologies, one that considers all climate-friendly hydrogen production methods,” Mehren continued.

While other countries such as the Netherlands and Japan are forging ahead, Germany runs the risk of missing out – instead of playing a leading role on the global hydrogen market. The publication of the National Hydrogen Strategy has been delayed for months. On top of that, the hasty decision to limit it to green hydrogen doesn’t help anyone because at the moment hydrogen cannot be produced from renewables competitively or in sufficient quantities. Thanks to its considerable price and volume advantages, decarbonised blue and turquoise hydrogen from natural gas can make up for the shortfalls in renewables capacities and accelerate the much-needed development of the hydrogen market. After all, renewable hydrogen will also benefit from a functioning market.

Wintershall Dea is currently conducting research together with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) into the CO2-free industrial production of turquoise hydrogen from natural gas. “As Europe’s leading independent natural gas and oil company, Wintershall Dea clearly supports the German government’s climate targets. Hence, we wish to play a key role in the decarbonisation of our energy system. And we firmly believe that hydrogen from natural gas will be instrumental in achieving this,” says Mario Mehren summarising Wintershall Dea’s commitment.

About Wintershall Dea

Wintershall Dea is Europe’s leading independent natural gas and oil company with more than 120 years of experience as an operator and project partner along the entire E&P value chain. The company with German roots and headquarters in Kassel and Hamburg explores for and produces gas and oil in 13 countries worldwide in an efficient and responsible manner. With activities in Europe, Russia, Latin America and the MENA region (Middle East & North Africa), Wintershall Dea has a global upstream portfolio and, with its participation in natural gas transport, is also active in the midstream business.

Wintershall Dea was formed from the merger of Wintershall Holding GmbH and DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG, in 2019. Today, the company employs around 2,800 people worldwide from over 60 nations.

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