We talk about Hydrogen with Ulrike Hinz

Green Tech South West welcomes Ulrike Hinz, Policy Advisor for climate and energy at WWF Germany, on November 23rd to give us an overview of how hydrogen can fit into a more sustainable world.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the world with huge potential to provide the energy needed to transition away from fossil fuels. So much so, the EU plans to invest a whopping $550 billion into hydrogen production and infrastructure, and the hydrogen market is predicted to be worth trillions by 2050.

So why isn’t everyone talking about hydrogen all the time? The reality is that hydrogen is a tricky substance to both produce and work with. We’ve invited the hugely knowledgeable Ulrike to give us an introduction to hydrogen and it’s derivatives, and to help us understand the pros and cons of this technology.

Ahead of her talk, we caught up with her to ask her a few questions…

Can you talk us through your role at WWF?

Ulrike: Sure, I joined the WWF Germany in December 2020 after working for a research institute, a startup in the field of electro mobility and a transmission system operator. In my role as Policy Advisor for Climate and Energy now, I have the opportunity to work at the intersection of research, politics and economy – at all times with the vision to enable a 1.5 degree Celsius Paris Agreement compatible future.

What can we expect from your talk at Green Tech South West?

Ulrike: First of all thank you for inviting me to talk about hydrogen. I think there are a lot of things to discuss, steer in the right direction and maybe also debunk. I would love to give you an insight about how the hydrogen economy can help us achieving our climate goals and what should be done (or not done) from the perspective of an NGO.

The emergence of Hydrogen feels exciting, how do you feel about it’s potential?

Ulrike: Indeed, there is a bit of a hype around the topic since 2020. I think hydrogen certainly is one important cornerstone for decarbonizing industry. But it’s not the solution for everything. It will be a scarce resource as only green hydrogen is sustainable in the future. And while we are working towards decarbonizing our electricity sector, we need more renewables for the production of hydrogen too. Therefore, the expansion of renewables and the use in applications that do not have an alternative (e.g. direct electrification) will be crucial. Feel free to join my talk if you want to know more 😉 (see link below to RSVP)

You mentioned that hydrogen will be scarce. Does that apply to all regions in the world?

Ulrike: Not necessarily. In Germany, we will have to import hydrogen from other countries additionally to our local production. There are quite a few analysis reports already, around which countries are able to produce a fair amount of H2. Often though, their analysis looks at the economic factors (that is the availability of cheap renewable electricity). Other crucial sustainability criteria such as environmental, political, and social) are often overlooked. But we have to ask questions such as: Does the region have enough water resources for the production of green hydrogen? Can we ensure that the local population benefits from the projects as well? As well as many more.

Thank you, Ulrike for the chat.

Ulrike will take the virtual stage at our meetup on Tuesday 23rd of November at 12.30pm UK time. Head over to the meetup page to RSVP for free. (https://www.meetup.com/GreenTech-South-West/events/279196389/)