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The German Consul General got acquainted with the opinion of Russian scientists on the prospects of hydrogen


10.09.2020

In the opinion of a significant part of the scientific community, both in Russia and in Europe, H2 cannot become a resource for global energy.


On Thursday, September 10, the rector of St. Petersburg Mining University Vladimir Litvinenko held an online working meeting with the acting Consul General of the FRG in St. Petersburg Ute Kach-Egli. The parties exchanged views on the prospects for hydrogen as a global energy resource.


Until recently, the Bundestag saw natural gas and renewable sources, primarily wind generators and solar panels, as the basis of its energy system in the foreseeable planning horizons. It was thought to be the best mix that would allow minimizing CO2 emissions and at the same time guaranteeing the sustainability of the country's economic development, given the significant volume of consumption, both from households and enterprises.


However, this year everything has changed, and unexpectedly for many, the stake was made on hydrogen. After a number of scientific publications about the ambiguity of the prospects of the first issue of the periodic table as a resource for global energy, supported by both Russian and European scientists, the German business community expressed concern about the relevance of the chosen development strategy. Indeed, now it is not entirely clear to specialized companies whether the mass introduction of the lightest gas in nature will take place. This means that the feasibility of investments in projects related to it and other energy resources is not clear either.


Questions arose about the future cooperation of our countries, which was largely based on the fact that Germany was interested in importing hydrocarbons from Russia, and hence in the progressive development of the oil and gas industry. Now what? What are the prospects for our cooperation in the future, including within the framework of the Russian-German Raw Materials Forum, the founders of which are the St. Petersburg Mining University, the Freiberg Mining Academy, as well as the companies Gazprom and Verbundenz Gas?

In the framework of interaction with companies and scientists from Germany, we are ready to concentrate exclusively on the hydrogen theme, if such is the desire of our partners. Moreover, research in this direction in our university has been, is, and will continue to be, since H2 is in demand by industry, primarily in petrochemical industries. But at the same time, it is necessary to understand that its use in global energy is limited by physical laws.

Rector of St. Petersburg Mining University Vladimir Litvinenko

He noted that Berlin’s abandonment of coal and nuclear power, as well as the massive introduction of electric vehicles, which will dramatically increase energy consumption, could lead to a collapse of the energy system even in the current environment. And betting on hydrogen will make it even less secure.

We need to agree on cooperation in the field of global energy as a whole, and not take out of the context certain types of resources and consider their prospects separately from other sources. There is no doubt that only one who sees the whole picture and has a full range of information can make the correct, balanced decision. When it comes to the future of energy, it is essential not to forget about it.

Rector of the St. Petersburg Mining University Vladimir Litvinenko

Ms. Katsch-Egli, in her turn, said that Germany is extremely interested in understanding how promising hydrogen is. And it counts on Russia as a partner that can assist in the implementation of the H2 roadmap.


She pledged to inform the embassy and other responsible departments about the position of Russian scientists regarding the use of this gas in global energy. Besides, the Consul General supported the idea of ​​holding a large online conference in December, during which an emphasis will be placed on the scientific component of the topic that is so relevant today for Germany.


Let us remind you that the next Russian-German Raw Materials Forum, which was to be held this fall in Leipzig, was postponed due to the unfavorable sanitary and epidemiological situation. At the International Competence Centre for Mining Engineering Education under the auspices of UNESCO, which acts as one of the organizers of this event, they noted that it will be held in April.

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