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Project explores how hydrogen can be traded on global markets


Carbon-neutral hydrogen is meeting with increasingly keen interest the world over. After all, it is one of the innovations that have the potential to play a significant role in decarbonising manufacturing and transport. Producing green hydrogen requires electricity generated from solar, wind and hydropower. This explains why countries capable of generating electricity from renewables at low prices thanks to their natural environment take centre stage. In fact, they are being discussed as future green hydrogen production sites and export nations.

RWE's trading arm RWE Supply & Trading (RWEST) is working on establishing international hydrogen trading partnerships. RWEST is part of the project group that is exploring the potential of a German-Australian hydrogen partnership. This involves Germany's National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) and the Federation of German Industry (BDI) conducting an extensive study to identify whether and how a carbon-neutral hydrogen value chain can be built between two industrial nations. The study's findings could lay the cornerstone for the creation of a global hydrogen market.

Together with a consortium of Australian partners, the project is identifying barriers to the establishment of a global hydrogen value chain and devising specific implementation options. The focus will be on Germany's key industries, which will have a substantial need for climate-friendly hydrogen. The objective is to pave the way for a long-term, bilateral trading relationship. RWEST endeavours to develop real-life business cases as part of the cooperative venture.

Australia has ideal natural conditions and low production costs when it comes to generating electricity from renewables. For example, in some cases, production is feasible at a mere two US cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). Furthermore, as one of the world's largest exporters of energy, Australia possesses outstanding expertise and the right infrastructure for exporting commodities. By adopting its national hydrogen strategy in 2019, the country set the stage for positioning itself as a trailblazer in a global hydrogen market. However, Australia has lacked electrolysis technologies so far. By contrast, this is a field which Germany currently leads, and the country will have substantial demand for low-carbon hydrogen imports in the future. This makes Australia and Germany perfect partners for a long-term collaborative venture.

Project group for a potential German-Australian hydrogen partnership

  • Study explores green hydrogen value chain between two industrial nations.
  • Barriers to the creation of a global hydrogen economy are being identified.
  • The road to a long-term, bilateral trading relationship is to be paved.

Activities of RWE Supply & Trading (RWEST)

  • RWEST is working on establishing international hydrogen trading partnerships.
  • RWEST is part of the project group which is exploring the potential of a German-Australian hydrogen partnership.
  • RWEST's goal is to create real-life business cases.
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