ABOVE: Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance Lord Callanan and State Secretary for Energy Philip Nimmermann signed the new agreement in Berlin

A new partnership between the British and German governments has been created to ‘help accelerate the development of an international hydrogen industry’, aiming to ‘make hydrogen technologies cheaper and more accessible’.

Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance Lord Callanan, and Federal Republic of Germany’s State Secretary Philip Nimmermann, signed the Joint Declaration of Intent at the UK Embassy in Berlin on 26 September. “The UK and Germany are natural partners in making low-carbon hydrogen a cleaner and more sustainable way to power up our societies,” noted Lord Callanan.

Five ‘pillars of collaboration’ have been agreed on by the leaders – including accelerating the development of hydrogen projects, promoting trade, establishing international leadership on hydrogen markets and conducting joint market analysis.

As well as working to accelerate the role of low-carbon hydrogens into their energy mix, the two nations will also ‘discuss safety standards that can be used internationally with the aim to establish reliable, stable markets for sustainable low carbon hydrogen’.

It’s hoped that the agreement will help the UK and Germany reach their respective net-zero goals by 2050, alongside securing ‘a reliable energy supply for economic and energy security purposes, recognizing the shifting geopolitical landscape’.

In April 2022, the UK government launched a £240 million net zero hydrogen fund to support new low-carbon hydrogen manufacturing production projects throughout the decade. The first 15 winning projects were announced in March 2023, with two further funding rounds to be opened later in the year.

Meanwhile, German developer of hydrogen-electric aircraft powertrain systems, H2FLY, recently completed the world’s first piloted flight of an aircraft using liquid hydrogen in September 2023.

Steve Scrimshaw, a member of the UK government’s Hydrogen Advisory Council and Green Jobs Delivery Group, concluded: “The UK and Germany have a proud track record when it comes to green energy and today’s Hydrogen Partnership reinforces that commitment.” Noting that although ramping up hydrogen production will take time, he added that “closer co-operation between countries such as the UK and Germany will help accelerate the scale and pace that is needed”.