TransHyDE: Brief Analysis of the LNG Acceleration Act
From 2030 onwards, Germany plans to import about 60 per cent of its hydrogen needs, with the majority arriving in the form of green ammonia by ship on the German North Sea coasts. Currently, four import terminals are planned for this purpose, which are to go into operation between 2026 and 2030. As part of the lead project TransHyDE, a brief analysis of the LNG Acceleration Act was prepared under the leadership of cruh21 in cooperation with 15 partners. In particular, our junior consultants Benita Stalmann and Cäcilia Gätsch contributed to this brief analysis and are available to answer questions.
Objectives and Findings of the Brief Analysis of the LNG Acceleration Act
This brief analysis was prepared within the framework of the BMBF-funded hydrogen lead project TransHyDE under the leadership of cruh21. The aim is to identify legal acceleration measures for the development of an import infrastructure for renewable-based hydrogen derivatives. The different requirements for the individual hydrogen energy carriers are considered separately. The accelerated development of hydrogen import terminals is necessary because the German government wants to import a large part of the H2 demand via ships by 2030.
In the context of the planned Hydrogen Acceleration Act, the analysis shows that terminals can only handle about 20 to 30 percent of the expected import volume of 17 terawatt-hours of hydrogen. Therefore, a faster permitting process and incentives to retrofit LNG terminals are proposed in order to build out the infrastructure in a timely manner. The acceleration measures for hydrogen technologies are modelled on LNG acceleration laws and include exemptions from environmental impact assessments, water degradation bans and shorter permitting and appeals processes. These measures are to be applied to hydrogen terminals, as green hydrogen is an essential component of the energy transition. Import infrastructures for hydrogen are considered to be of overriding public interest.
Looking to the Future: Converting LNG Terminals to Store Hydrogen
Additionally, it is proposed to create incentives for the conversion of existing LNG terminals to hydrogen. Until the end of 2043, these terminals can operate LNG, after which only hydrogen is allowed. Operators have to apply for conversion by the beginning of 2035, so incentives should be created to encourage earlier conversion. The measures to accelerate the approval of new hydrogen terminals should also apply to the conversion of LNG terminals. We at cruh21 are excited to see what will be possible with the further findings and thank you for the excellent cooperation.