Building bridges to a sustainable energy future – the Franco-German Energy Forum

Water molecules, a 3D illustration

Water molecules, a 3D illustration, © Zoonar.com/Alexander Limbach

11.10.2023 - Article

The end of the fossil fuel era is drawing near – but what comes next? In addition to the expansion of renewable energies, hydrogen will be decisive for the success of the energy transition. Experts and policy-makers are discussing at the Franco-German Energy Forum how to accomplish this together.

The entire European Union wants to be climate-neutral by 2050, and Germany has set a national goal of 2045. By then, energy supplies the world over need to be transitioned to green, renewable sources. To achieve this, key policy shifts must be made during this decade. This includes the massive expansion of renewable energies and switching as much as possible from other sources to electricity – in short: electrification. In the long term, hydrogen should make a key contribution to achieving Europe’s energy and climate goals in areas that are difficult to electrify, such as heavy industry.

Convening for an online discussion ...

The 6th Franco-German Energy Forum will be held on 11 October. The fact that Germany and France do not agree on all aspects of energy-related issues – for example the role of nuclear energy – does not prevent them from engaging in a close dialogue. On the contrary: at the Energy Forum, we will discuss how we can jointly accelerate the international ramp-up of the hydrogen market in order to reach our climate goals. The Forum is being co-organised by the Franco-German Office for the Energy Transition, the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and France’s Ministry of Ecological Transition.

State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Action Jennifer Morgan said the following:

Germany is determined to work together with France and other partners to drive forward the development of hydrogen. Together, we can actively shape the international ramp-up of the hydrogen market, and thus advance climate protection and seize economic opportunities at the same time.

... on what the future holds for hydrogen

Germany is paving the way for becoming a hydrogen economy. The foundation for this has been laid with the National Hydrogen Strategy. This year’s updated version of the Strategy sets even more ambitious goals and takes into account the challenges that have emerged in the energy market. It sets out government policies regulating the generation, transport and use of hydrogen and its derivatives, and it coordinates the German Government’s activities. An additional strategy is being drafted that focuses on imports of hydrogen. Its goal is to ensure that Germany will have available the hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives that it needs.

Demand for hydrogen from renewable sources will increase sharply in the coming years. To ensure that we have an adequate supply, we will need to import a share of this promising source of energy. Against this background, German and French experts will debate many questions focusing on our energy needs, costs, infrastructure and regulation. Also when it comes to implementing and shaping the energy transition in Europe, we truly need Franco-German cooperation and a trusting exchange between the two countries, in the spheres of industry, civil society and politics.


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