UK and Germany pave the way for a hydrogen future

December 15, 2023
Hydrogen pipeline with wind turbines

The recent hydrogen partnership between the United Kingdom and Germany marks a significant step toward accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy. This collaboration is built on five fundamental pillars encompassing various aspects of the hydrogen economy, demonstrating the commitment of both nations to fostering a sustainable future.

Those pillars include accelerating the deployment of hydrogen projects for industry and consumers; establishing international leadership on hydrogen markets, setting safety and regulations to aid trade; research and innovation on hydrogen, from production to end use; promoting trade for hydrogen, plus related goods, technologies and services and; joint market analysis, to support planning and investment by government and industry.

We asked Anthony Boden, Principal, and Tilmann Hensel-Roth, Vice President in our Energy Practice about their views on the recent partnership.

Boden emphasises that hydrogen is poised to address the challenge of decarbonising hard-to-electrify sectors, making it a valuable asset in the fight against climate change. Both the UK and Germany are actively pursuing significant projects centred around industrial clusters. The partnership offers an opportunity to provide certainty for these projects and foster collaboration between two of the largest potential hydrogen markets. This collaboration can unlock the true potential of hydrogen as a key component of the energy transition.

Hensel-Roth acknowledges the critical challenge that hydrogen poses for Germany’s heavy industry base. However, there is an element of uncertainty regarding how this challenge will unfold. It’s important to recognise that different economic and political entities, including the UK, the EU, and the US, are approaching hydrogen differently. This diversity in approaches, particularly in terms of incentives and subsidies, may influence the trajectory of the hydrogen market. Navigating this landscape requires careful consideration and adaptation to ensure that Germany’s industry remains competitive while contributing to a greener future.

The UK-Germany hydrogen partnership signifies a commitment to a sustainable future and is a testament to the shared vision of leveraging hydrogen’s potential across various sectors and markets. While Anthony Boden highlights the promise of hydrogen in tackling hard-to-electrify challenges, Tilman Hensel-Roth underscores the complexity of Germany’s heavy industry transition and how the success of this partnership will depend on a delicate balance between fostering innovation, facilitating trade, and harmonising diverse approaches to hydrogen policy. It is a step forward, but the path to a hydrogen-powered future is one that will require constant collaboration, adaptation, and innovation.

Related capabilities