Germany gives nod to subsidy plans for hydrogen-ready gas power plants
The tender process for four facilities with total capacity of up to 10GW will take place soon
Berlin — Germany’s ruling coalition has agreed plans to subsidise hydrogen-ready gas power plants as part of a scheme to close gaps in wind and solar energy supply, the economy ministry said on Monday.
The tender process for four hydrogen-ready gas power plants with total capacity of up to 10 gigawatts (GW) will take place soon, the ministry said, without specifying a date. It said hydrogen transition plans for the plants should be drawn up by 2032 to be fully switched to hydrogen between 2035 and 2040.
The government will also subsidise power plants running exclusively on hydrogen with a capacity of up to 500MW for energy research purposes.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz, economy minister Robert Habeck and finance minister Christian Lindner also agreed to remove obstacles to the construction and operation of electrolysers, which can use renewable energy to separate hydrogen from water, to offer hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels, the ministry said.
Germany’s power plant strategy was supposed to be ready last summer, but plans were thrown off by a constitutional court ruling that scraped about €60bn earmarked for climate projects and forced the government to rethink its budget.
The planned plants will be crucial for Berlin to convince the eastern brown coal states to phase out coal-fired stations earlier than the official date of 2038 and help Germany reach its greenhouse emissions targets faster.
Energy producers have in recent years heavily promoted gas as a transition fuel as it creates lower emissions when burnt than coal, but environmentalists have resisted that push.
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