Verschiedene Beispiele für die Nutzung von Wasserstoff.


Where does hydrogen use make sense?

A Multi-talen for the energy transition

For a climate-neutral future, fossil raw materials such as coal, natural gas and crude oil will have to be replaced by renewable alternatives. Renewable hydrogen will play a decisive role in the energy transition, as it can be produced from renewable energies in a carbon-neutral manner. Hydrogen is also versatile – it can be used as a storage medium for renewable energy, as an industrial raw material e.g. in green steel production or in the chemical industry, as well as for synthetic fuels. Due to this broad application base, hydrogen can play a role in many sectors, such as in the energy system, in the transport sector or in industry. Technological progress will also lead to new, innovative applications for hydrogen in the future. For some sectors and applications, direct electrification makes more sense than the use of climate-neutral hydrogen, as it will initially only be available in small quantities and at high prices.

Hydrogen in industry

Hydrogen is already produced and used in Germany, for example as a raw material for the chemical industry - so far mainly from fossil sources. Applications also exist in the food industry, in refineries or in paper production. New technologies have a large potential: for example, the steel industry could become carbon-neutral by switching to a hydrogen-based technology (direct reduction of iron ore).

Sector coupling and the use of hydrogen in the energy system

The versatility of hydrogen makes it possible to link different sectors. The yield of renewable energies depends on natural conditions and can therefore fluctuate. Surpluses created during periods of high wind or solar radiation, which power grids would not be able to absorb, could be (temporarily) stored as hydrogen and also transported. Depending on the customer, hydrogen can then be used directly or converted into electricity and heat. For the widespread use of renewable energies and hydrogen in Germany, it is essential to expand the corresponding infrastructure and intermediate storage facilities.

Hydrogen in mobility

New propulsion systems for cars and trucks will reduce Germany's carbon emissions. These include electric motors, synthetic fuels or fuel cells. The use of hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives is of particular interest where electric solutions are not available - e.g. in parts of rail transport and in shipping and aviation.

Hydrogen in building heat

In industry as well as in houses and flats, heat is usually produced from fossil fuels such as natural gas. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the heating sector, the energy demand of buildings can be cut drastically via energy retrofitting. The remaining heat demand can be covered, for example, by efficient heat pumps using electricity generated from renewable sources. New biomass- or hydrogen-based concepts also have potential for the future.

More topics


Hydrogen production today and in the future

More on hydrogen production
Storage and Transport

Hydrogen transport from producer to consumer

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Safety and acceptability

Ensuring safe and acceptable hydrogen technologies

More on safety and acceptability


Christopher Hecht

Christopher Hecht
Scientific Officer



H2-Compass is a project of acatech and DECHEMA. The project is funded by BMBF and BMWK.