2 Dec 2021

Press release

Renewable gases and energy infrastructure key to European Green Deal and to the EU’s climate targets

There is no alternative to hydrogen and other renewable gases if the Green Deal is to succeeded and the EU’s ambitious climate targets are to be met. This is the key message of today’s Energy Policy Dialogue, which was hosted by OGE for the seventh time. "Hydrogen and renewable gases play an essential role for the transportation, storage and integration of renewables into the overall energy system and are key to the decarbonisation of all sectors," said OGE’s CEO Dr Jörg Bergmann. "However, we do not have the right instruments at the moment, and we need them quickly because every tonne of CO2 not saved today will count twice tomorrow", he continued.

The discussion made it clear that all available technologies and options for the efficient decarbonisation of all sectors must be explored in order to achieve the increasingly ambitious climate targets. "The EU is sending the right signals with its European Green Deal and its hydrogen strategy and wants to take a leading role worldwide. In the end, however, the measures adopted by the EU will have to take account of the different starting points and business models at national level," Bergmann emphasised.

There was clear political support for tapping into the potential offered by gas and gas infrastructure: "Achieving the ambitious decarbonisation targets will simply not be possible without hydrogen. A rapid market ramp-up for hydrogen in Germany and Europe will require the existing gas pipelines to be rededicated for hydrogen purposes," emphasised Jens Geier MEP (S&D Group in the European Parliament).

At the end of the discussion, Bergmann appealed to the new government: "With its coalition agreement, the new traffic light coalition has adopted appropriate energy policy guidelines. It will now be up to the new government to implement these goals in its day-to-day work. Both Brussels and Berlin need prompt and courageous decisions for a rapid hydrogen ramp-up. This will be the only way of ensuring a successful Green Deal and achieving the EU’s climate goals."

This year's Energy Policy Dialogue was held as a virtual event for the first time. Under the title "Germany as a hub - the role of energy infrastructure for a successful European Green Deal!", Jens Geier MEP (S&D Group in the European Parliament), Holger Lösch (Deputy Director General of the Federation of German Industries), Stephan Singer (Senior Advisor for Climate Science and Global Energy Policy, Climate Action Network), Dr Kirsten Westphal (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik) and Dr Jörg Bergmann (CEO of OGE) had a discussion with around 270 online guests. The event was moderated by Isabelle Körner.