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Green hydrogen as a source of energy: The trillion-euro question

February 2, 2021
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If green hydrogen is to make a significant contribution to climate-friendly energy supply in the future, it will need to be produced (1) in large quantities, (2) cost-efficiently and (3) using low-carbon methods. Any solutions to these problems have remained in the realm of theory so far. Additional challenges arise in connection with the transport and storage of hydrogen. Initially, green hydrogen will be used to satisfy large-scale demand at specific locations, for example in energy-intensive industries. Like many other climate-friendly technologies, hydrogen will need government subsidies in the beginning. In the longer run, hydrogen might be used in the transport sector as well, for example as aircraft or ship fuel. In theory, hydrogen is highly versatile. However, it is quite expensive, too. That is one reason why hydrogen will probably make only a small contribution to the national and global energy transition in the next one or two decades. [more]

More documents from Eric Heymann

146 (25-36)
April 29, 2020
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25
The government’s coffers are not bottomless. That is why any money spent on cushioning the impact of the corona crisis should be used as efficiently as possible to achieve the maximum positive impact or compensate for the damage caused by the lockdown. Unlike other sectors, such as hotels or restaurants, car producers in Germany were and are not directly affected by the lockdown. Car dealers have re-opened. Moreover, a car-scrapping bonus scheme will cause customers to bring forward purchases, with sales declining in the following year. In addition, high-wage earners in particular will benefit from the financial windfall. Car sales in Germany play only a limited role for German carmakers’ overall profitability. And finally, subsidies for e-cars already provide an incentive to include environmental considerations in car-buying decisions. [more]
April 16, 2020
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26
Merkel’s cabinet in consultation with the PMs of the 16 federal states agreed to partially lift containment measures but curbing health risks clearly dominated economic risks of a longer shutdown. The decisions taken will be reviewed on a bi-weekly basis with the next meeting of political leaders on April 30. A European coordination of (national) exit strategies is important for Germany given its strong economic interlinkages with other member states. [more]
March 18, 2020
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28
Corona recession – depth probably close to 2009 slump. Within days lock-down measures and (temporary) factory closures have reached a level that suggests a far bigger H1 contraction than previously thought. In our new baseline scenario we expect GDP to decline between 4% and 5% in 2020, notwithstanding a recovery in H2, as – in contrast to 2009 – the service sector will be hard hit, too. (Also in this issue: the German government's support measures, labour market, industrial recession, auto industry, corporate lending, the view from Berlin) [more]
February 10, 2020
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30
After very weak December data a small drop in Q4 GDP seems likely. Looking forward, the coronavirus provides a substantial risk for the expected global recovery, as hopes were pinned on an improvement of the Chinese economy. We assume that the corona outbreak will shave off 0.2pp of Germany's Q1 GDP, making a technical recession quite probable during the winter half. [more]
January 27, 2020
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31
A country’s prosperity is still closely linked to its energy consumption. As 80% of the global energy consumed is based on fossil fuels, high prosperity (measured as GDP per capita) tends to imply high per-capita CO₂ emissions. France is the G20 country which is closest to the goal of being quite prosperous on the one hand and keeping its per-capita carbon emissions relatively low on the other. Nevertheless, France is far from being a climate-neutral economy (which is the political goal). [more]
January 9, 2020
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32
The shift towards alternative propulsion technologies, such as e-mobility, is currently the biggest challenge for the global auto industry. So far, this structural change is driven mainly by government regulation and not so much by market forces. At the moment, electric vehicles only have significant market shares if they are heavily subsidised. While e-cars can help to reduce carbon emissions in the EU, the favourable climate effect will be smaller than many supporters of electric mobility expect. A higher market share of e-cars will lead to manageable job losses in the German auto industry; however, local factors are key for value added. [more]
December 20, 2019
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33
In 2019 we've been asked lots of questions about the German economy, politics – fiscal policy and the black zero, in particular – and, more fundamentally, about Germany’s future given the risk of a more permanent reversal of globalisation, the increased environmental focus, the challenges for the German car industry and the widespread notion that Germany might miss the boat on the big data economy and other technological trends. This is why we are also discussing these issues in this report. For 2020 we anticipate a gradual recovery in global trade, which should enable a piecemeal recovery in exports and help end the industrial recession. We expect equipment spending to decline in 2020. On the other hand, the domestic growth pillars – private and government consumption as well as construction – should continue to expand at a healthy clip. But annual GDP growth of 1% forecast for 2020 after 0.5% in 2019 is clearly underwhelming, especially since the acceleration versus 2019 is almost exclusively the result of an unusually high number of working days in 2020. [more]
December 17, 2019
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34
With their „European Green Deal“, the European Commission expressed an admirable ambition to be climate-neutral by 2050. Are such ambitious long-term goals good for the credibility of European climate protection policies? Especially when they include only the vaguest notions of how to get there, and when the measures for more efficient climate protection that can be implemented in the short-to-medium term are not making sufficient progress? I don’t think so. [more]
November 25, 2019
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35
Passenger numbers at German airports recently fell for the first time since December 2017. The decline is largely due to economic reasons, such as the cyclical slowdown and lower supply due to airline bankruptcies. Air travel is increasingly coming into the focus of climate-policy regulation. Traffic at regional airports may be hit most. In contrast, large airports are likely to see passenger numbers increase further. “Flight shame” looks set to remain a niche phenomenon. [more]
November 4, 2019
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36
German exports and global trade have been moving in lockstep recently and more or less grinded to a halt in yoy terms. We found that the Bundesbank’s leading indicator for global industrial production leads German exports by 4 to 5 months. Recent declines in this indicator do speak against a recovery in German exports before the end of Q1 2020, despite recent signs of stabilization in German foreign order intake. (Also included in this issue: house prices in Germany, labour market, automotive industry and German politics) [more]
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