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Hydrogen Strategy – German Parliament passes law on material exemption from electricity surcharges

On 10 June of 2020, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy released its National Hydrogen Strategy (Nationale Wasserstoffstrategie)  (German Hydrogen Strategy) as a part of the Covid-19 actions to strengthen the economy. The German government sees this strategy as a central component of the on-going energy system transformation and stresses hydrogen to be a versatile energy carrier, a possible energy storage medium, an essential element for sector coupling as well as indispensable for many chemical and industrial processes.

Especially against the background of the Paris Agreement’s and the European Union’s climate targets, hydrogen represents a possibility to decarbonize large parts of the German energy and industrial infrastructure and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Therefore, the German hydrogen strategy provides for 38 measures to be implemented and billions of Euros to be invested by applying an international and multilateral approach. In addition, a council within the Federal Government has already been established and tasked to monitor and support the enforcement of the German hydrogen strategy.

On 21 December 2020 the German parliament formally legislated amendments to the regulatory framework in order to move forward on some of the 38 measures. The amendments, which for the most part already came into force on 1 January 2021, contain material exemptions from two (of several) surcharges for electricity: The so called EEG-surcharge and the KWKG-surcharge, which combined amount to more than EUR 67 per MWh.