German government presents new power plant strategy: 10 GW hydrogen power plants
After a long struggle, the German government has agreed on a power plant strategy. This was announced by the Ministry of Economics in Berlin on Monday (February 5).
The traffic light coalition wants to put the construction of new gas-fired power plants with a total capacity of 10 GW out to tender. These should then be converted to run on hydrogen by 2040 at the latest.
With the new strategy, the German government wants to create a framework for investments in "modern, highly flexible and climate-friendly" gas-fired power plants, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK) announced on Monday (05.02.). The new gas-fired power plants are to be converted to run on hydrogen between 2035 and 2040 in order to secure a renewable power supply in times when there is little sun and wind.
Specifically, the government has agreed to put the construction of new gas-fired power plants with a total capacity of 10 GW out to tender in the short term. The planning and approval procedures for the plants are also to be accelerated. By 2032, the power plant operators should then determine when they will convert their power plants to hydrogen between 2035 and 2040.
The agreement reached is now to be presented to the EU Commission in Brussels and then discussed with the public.
Political agreement on future electricity market expected for summer 2024
The power plants are to be built at locations that are beneficial to the system and financed with funds from the Climate and Transformation Fund (KTF). According to coalition circles, the costs will be around 16 billion euros over the next 20 years or so.
In addition to the power plant capacities, the government also wants to reach a political agreement on the future electricity market by summer 2024. A capacity market is to be part of this agreement. Operators of power plants would benefit from the provision of power plant capacity. This is not the case in the current system.
Furthermore, the government does not want to rule out the possibility of combining grass-fired power plants with a CO2 storage infrastructure. The capture and storage of CO2 for electricity generation plants using gaseous energy sources is part of a planned carbon management strategy. Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck is currently working on this and a presentation is planned for the coming weeks.
Additional regulations for electrolysers
The government also announced that it intends to remove existing barriers to the construction and operation of electrolysers. This would serve in particular to accelerate the expansion of electrolysers.
Furthermore, the operators of electrolysis plants should not be subject to double charges and fees. The use of surplus electricity should be possible without restrictions. The German government will remove regulatory hurdles as far as possible in order to create market and system-friendly conditions for hydrogen production.