The German Cabinet has updated the National Hydrogen Strategy. We at H2UB looked at the publication from the perspective of a European project for the support of hydrogen startups.
What does the paper have in store for German and European H2 start-ups?
⏫ It can only be done together
It was recognized that the European potential must be further strengthened to create suitable framework conditions and develop funding strategies that are as unbureaucratic as possible. To ensure the required quantities and reduce costs in the face of global competition, cooperation at European level is indispensable – and for us this includes the innovative potential of European start-ups.
⏫ Broader understanding of hydrogen
The updated strategy includes more colors of hydrogen to ensure a rapid ramp-up of the hydrogen market and to meet the expected demand. Blue and orange hydrogen are now part of the solution – at least until sufficient green hydrogen is available.
⏫ Uniform standards and certifications
The market ramp-up requires uniform standards and certification systems for hydrogen. They contribute to making product qualities comparable and verifiable and ensure that agreed minimum standards are defined and respected. This is where our start-up Point Twelve comes in: the #IoT & #SaaS platform that enables energy-intensive goods producers to easily and continuously trace #carbon, obtain certificates and earn trust from it.
⏬ Where are the hydrogen start-ups?
While the word innovation is mentioned a few times, start-ups are not mentioned once. Yet hydrogen start-ups are needed for the H2 economy to take off. Start-ups are essential as they are the lifeblood of innovation – and we need innovation to unlock the hydrogen industry. The support of start-ups to bring their innovation to the market, to cooperate with corporates, and to demonstrate the effect of their technology on the rapid market ramp-up are unfortunately not even mentioned.
⏬ Uniform European criteria for green hydrogen needed
The defined goal is clear, but the way to get there is stony. The further development of the national electrolysis initiative H2Giga is certainly a step in the right direction. With its standardized stack production, our start-up WEW GmbH from Dortmund is taking innovative and new paths towards increasing the efficiency of electrolysis to produce hydrogen. However, this also quickly requires uniform criteria for the production of green hydrogen across Europe to enable investments.
⏬ Enough to challenge the Inflation Reduction Act?
Start-ups as well as established companies are already looking at doing their business in the USA instead of Europe. The availability of funding and favorable framework as well as the need to build up a skilled workforce has been recognized, but when will the urgently needed resources in the hydrogen sector be available? While lighthouse projects are underway, especially SMEs have been left alone with many challenges so far. Flexibility and speed are needed – we still see too many plans, to do´s and intentions layed out.
The approaches are good, but there is still a lot to be done for all of us in the hydrogen economy.
🤔 What do you think? Which ideas fall on fertile ground and where is a need for readjustments?