Hydrogen (H2) will play a major role in decarbonising industry and transport. Demand for hydrogen, which is climate-neutral, is thus set to rise – both in Europe and Germany. It is already clear that domestic production will not be able to meet the future need for the commodity. On the one hand, densely populated countries like Germany simply do not have enough room to expand renewable energy to the required extent, and on the other hand, hydrogen can be produced at much lower cost elsewhere, owing to its huge renewable potential.
This is why RWE and German LNG Terminal GmbH are looking into the possibility of importing hydrogen via the LNG Terminal planned in Brunsbüttel (LNG is short for liquefied natural gas). Brunsbüttel, a town in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, will be home to the country's first LNG terminal engineered by German LNG Terminal GmbH, a joint venture of Gasunie LNG Holding B.V., Oiltanking GmbH and Vopak LNG Holding B.V. RWE has already secured a substantial share of the import capacity. In addition to LNG sourcing, RWE is now investigating the option of importing liquefied hydrogen via the terminal as well.
To serve this purpose, the import terminal could be combined with liquid hydrogen feed-in points. The liquid hydrogen could be imported from other parts of the world where wind and solar power is available in larger quantities and at lower cost than in Germany. Existing gas lines connected to the LNG terminal are perfectly suitable for the local distribution of the hydrogen.
RWE and German LNG Terminal GmbH signed a memorandum of understanding to spur the use of hydrogen from renewable energy sources. And RWE's trading arm RWE Supply & Trading is exploring further opportunities to cooperate with partners in order to position itself early as a potential hydrogen importer and trader.
Hydrogen imports via the planned LNG terminal
- The terminal can be combined with feed-in points for imported hydrogen.
- Existing gas lines can be used for hydrogen transport.
Advantages of imported hydrogen
- Hydrogen can be produced at lower cost in other parts of the world.
- Countries outside Germany harbour larger renewable potential.
- Densely populated countries in Europe do not have enough space for the renewable assets needed to meet demand for green hydrogen.