In order to promote the topic, the regional groups have established the cross-association working group “Hydrogen in NRW”. The working group acts as a contact for the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia on issues relating to the hydrogen infrastructure and accompanies the development status of hydrogen technologies in NRW, according to a joint statement.
The heating sector in particular could give the hydrogen economy considerable impetus and accelerate the desired market ramp-up through secured purchases. However, this option is not sufficiently addressed in either the national or the European hydrogen strategy. The state associations suggest closing this gap as part of the NRW Hydrogen Roadmap or through further measures in this area and further developing the NRW Hydrogen Roadmap. In their position paper “Hydrogen as the mainstay of the heat transition”, they call on the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia to advocate the following measures:
• Establishing a cross-sectoral definition of renewable hydrogen
• Introduction of a uniform regulatory framework through an expanded concept of gas in the Energy Industry Act
• Accelerating the expansion of renewable energies
• Use of blue hydrogen for the transition
• Regulatory recognition of H2 readiness
According to the associations, the generation of heat in the building sector plays a key role in meeting national climate targets. The heat sector (buildings and industry) makes up more than half of the total German final energy consumption and the heat supply is still heavily fossil-based. In addition, not only 12.8 million household customers, but also over 1.7 million medium-sized industrial and commercial customers are connected to the gas distribution networks. With the use of hydrogen on the basis of the existing infrastructure, a climate-neutral and socially responsible heating transition can be implemented on site – especially in existing buildings with a gas connection, in which other systems would entail high renovation and conversion costs. (amo)