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Positioning Germany in an International Hydrogen Economy: A Policy Review


Germany, the European Union member state with the largest fiscal space and its leading manufacturer of industrial goods, is pursuing an ambitious hydrogen strategy aiming at establishing itself as a major technology provider and importer of green hydrogen. The success of its hydrogen strategy represents not only a key element in realizing the European vision of climate neutrality but also a central driver of an emerging global hydrogen economy. This article provides a detailed review of German policy, highlighting its prominent international dimension and its implications for the development of a global renewable hydrogen economy. It provides an overview of the strategy’s central goals and how these have evolved since the launch of the strategy in 2020. Next, it moves on to provide an overview of the strategy’s main areas of intervention and highlights corresponding policy instruments. For this, we draw on a comprehensive assessment of hydrogen policy instruments, which have been systematically analyzed and coded. This was complemented by a detailed analysis of policy documents and information gathered in six interviews with government officials and staff of key implementing agencies. The article places particular emphasis on the strategy’s international dimension. While less significant in financial terms than domestic hydrogen-related spending, it represents a defining feature of the German hydrogen strategy, setting it apart from strategies in other major economies. The article closes with a reflection on the key features of the strategy compared to other important countries, identifies gaps of the strategy and discusses important avenues for future research.

Funding source: The research leading to these results has received funding from the project “Global Hydrogen Potential Altas” (HyPat), which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Germany

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