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Russia and Germany Discussed the Prospects for Hydrogen


28.08.2020

On Friday, August 28, an online meeting of the organizing committee of the Russian-German Raw Materials Forum took place. Rector of St. Petersburg Mining University Vladimir Litvinenko and ex-Federal Minister of Germany Klaus Töpfer, the co-chairs of the Forum, took part in it along with RF Deputy Minister of Energy Pavel Sorokin, Aide to the Chief of Staff of the RF Presidential Administration of Kirill Molodtsov, Head of the Department of Energy Policy of Germany Torsten Herdan, representatives of the executive authorities, representatives of academia and business of both countries, of the German federal energy agency DENA, Verbundnetz Gas, Uniper, NOW, Siemens, Gazprom, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in particular, and many others.


The main issue on the agenda was the prospects for hydrogen as an energy resource and fuel for vehicles. As Vladimir Litvinenko noted, opening the meeting, the first element of the periodic table, of course, is today an object of general scientific interest and is capable of occupying a certain niche in the global energy system in the future. However, physical laws will not allow it to become the dominant resource.

We must, first of all, think about the comprehensive stability of the global energy markets, both in Russia and in Germany. In Russia and the Federal Republic of Germany, there are many interesting projects related to hydrogen. They need to be dealt with, and we are doing that. However, we should not overlook traditional energy sources, which are the basis of sustainability, though often obstructed despite this fact. I believe that the main task of the Russian-German Raw Materials Forum should be achievement of a wide-ranging agreement in the field of strategic energy partnership, and not only intensification of our cooperation in the field of hydrogen

Rector of St. Petersburg Mining University Vladimir Litvinenko

He reminded that H2 has a number of shortcomings, which in the foreseeable future will not allow it to become an integral element of energy security. Among them are high production costs, unsolved problems of safe storage and transportation, the need for enormous investment for creating a new technological chain and training qualified personnel who would be able to competently deal with the construction and operation of the new infrastructure. Overcoming these obstacles will require gigantic investments, the profitability of which is highly questionable.


Former Federal Minister of Germany Klaus Töpfer drew attention to the fact that initiatives related to hydrogen are widely supported by the German population, since the public is aware of the importance of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. At the same time, the mass introduction of H2 as an energy resource or fuel is actually hindered by a number of objective factors.

There are many unresolved issues to deal with, conduct joint scientific research. But if we have a clear goal, then we can direct our efforts in this direction and achieve it. For this to happen, we need a scientific foundation and political support.

Former Federal Minister of Germany Klaus Töpfer

Deputy RF Minister Pavel Sorokin told the audience that a working group had been created in Russia, which brought together the players who, in one way or another, deal with the problem of hydrogen. The group includes major industrialists, scientists and politicians, and Vladimir Litvinenko was appointed the head of the scientific line.

Deputy RF Minister Pavel Sorokin told the audience that a working group had been created in Russia, which brought together the players who, in one way or another, deal with the problem of hydrogen. The group includes major industrialists, scientists and politicians, and Vladimir Litvinenko was appointed the head of the scientific line.

Deputy RF Minister of Energy Pavel Sorokin

Kirill Molodtsov, Aide to the Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration, called the Russian-German Raw Materials Forum a platform that has long been a driver of cooperation between the states in the field of global energy. And this should be its main task. 

I fully agree with Vladimir Litvinenko that our focus should be not only on hydrogen, but on the energy partnership as a whole. Only in this case, our efforts will bear the desired results, and will not be reduced to an exchange of views.

Kirill Molodtsov, Aide to the Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration

In the course of the online meeting the parties accepted the draft road map proposed by the German side as a basis. After corresponding revision it should become a guide for further actions and create preconditions for realization of concrete scientific and industrial projects.

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