Stakeholder perspectives on the hydrogen market ramp-up
2 May 2023
acatech and DECHEMA publish results of H2-Compass stakeholder dialogue
The hydrogen ramp-up in Germany needs a regulatory framework that provides certainty for planning and investment, according to various stakeholder groups. This was a main result described in the synthesis paper published today. The paper, entitled “Results of the Stakeholder Dialogue”, sums up the key results of the year-long dialogue process, which involved representatives from industry, science, civil society organisations and public administration. “Our stakeholder dialogue shows clearly that fundamental questions about the market ramp up remain unanswered. For example, there is intense debate among stakeholders about whether the potential hydrogen applications for which direct electrification is not possible, such as in the steel sector, should be prioritised during the market ramp-up – perhaps even to the exclusion of all other uses,” concluded Jasper Eitze, co-project leader for acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering. Jens Artz, project leader for DECHEMA, Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie, said, “Experts from industry, science, civil society organisations and public administration are aware of how important the acceptance of hydrogen technologies is for the efficient scale-up of the market.”
Between autumn 2021 and autumn 2022 acatech and DECHEMA hosted various dialogue activities – from a survey to workshops to a conference with World Cafés – to get different stakeholder perspectives on the hydrogen ramp-up in Germany, to facilitate interaction between stakeholders and, where possible, to work towards a shared vision of a future hydrogen economy. Participants in the hydrogen flagship projects funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as representatives of relevant research and development projects also took part in the dialogue. Finally, the results of completed and ongoing stakeholder surveys conducted by other parties were incorporated into the paper.
The publication describes key points from discussions on four main topics in the stakeholder dialogue:
Import and sustainability criteria: The stakeholders agreed that hydrogen imports will be necessary. There was also consensus on specific environmental and participatory requirements for hydrogen production in exporting countries. However, there was no consensus on how and on what terms hydrogen could and should be imported from outside the EU.
Parameters for scaling up the German market: Stakeholders agreed that the ramp-up is contingent on costs falling both on the supply and the demand side.
Prioritisation of hydrogen applications: Stakeholders held quite different views on whether the end uses of publicly funded hydrogen should be determined solely by market forces or be subject to restrictions. Debate about the duration, instruments, criteria and objectives of such restrictions was correspondingly contentious.
Public perception and federal government management of stakeholder expectations: Most stakeholders saw acceptance of hydrogen technologies as essential for the ramp-up. They therefore provided detailed recommendations as to the steps the federal government should take on the matter of public relations.
About the H2-Compass project
The H2-Compass project conducted by acatech and DECHEMA has been under way since June 2021. On the basis of a meta-analysis as well as the stakeholder dialogue, acatech and DECHEMA are compiling an overview of pathways towards a hydrogen economy as well as corresponding courses of action and their respective pros and cons. The results of the project will be published in an online tool in autumn 2023. Policymakers will be able to use this as a basis for a hydrogen roadmap. The H2-Compass project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.