Germany officially received its first batch of hydrogen from the United Arab Emirates on Friday under a deal brokered by Economy Minister Robert Habeck during a visit there earlier this year.
Habeck was at a ceremony in the northern port city of Hamburg to mark the occasion and turned on a gas tap in a symbolic gesture.
“Now more than ever, we need to accelerate the shift to hydrogen,” Habeck said.
Germany was eyeing hydrogen as a possible ‘greener’ substitute for fossil fuels in industry in a bid to meet climate targets, but the ‘change’ was accelerated by Russia cutting gas exports amid tensions caused by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
UAE Industry Minister Sultan Al Jaber, who was also present at Friday’s ceremony, said his country had put a lot of effort into hydrogen technology and was willing to work with the industry. Germany in the search for new advances.
Friday’s delivery to Hamburg was a single container with 13 metric tons (14.3 US tons) of liquid ammonia, a common way to store gas, which is difficult to transport. However, further deliveries are planned.
The hydrogen delivered was also “blue” hydrogen, which is made from fossil fuels. To meet its ambitious climate target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” by 2025, Germany hopes to switch to “green” hydrogen created using renewable energy.
Hamburg hopes to become a hydrogen hub and plans to build an electrolysis facility that could process the fuel.
For now, however, Habeck noted that imports will also be key to building up supply.
daily/sms (AP, dpa)
While You’re Here: Every Tuesday, DW editors round up what’s happening in German politics and society. You can register here for the weekly e-newsletter Berlin Briefing.