"Energiewende", which roughly translates as the transformation of the German energy sector in accordance with the imperatives of climate change, may soon become a byword for the corresponding processes most other developed countries are at various stages of undergoing. Germany's notable progress in this area offers valuable insights that other states can draw on in implementing their own transitions. The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is making its own contribution to achieving the Energiewende's ambitious objectives: in addition to funding an array of "clean and green" projects, the Virtual Institute Power to Gas and Heat was established as a consortium of seven scientific and technical organizations whose aim is to inscribe a future, renewable-based German energy system with adequate flexibility. Thus, it is tasked with conceiving of and evaluating suitable energy path options. This paper outlines one of the most promising of these pathways, which is predicated on the use of electrolytically-produced hydrogen as an energy storage medium, as well as the replacement of hydrocarbon-based fuel for most road vehicles. We describe and evaluate this path and place it in a systemic context, outlining a case study from which other countries and federated jurisdictions therein may draw inspiration.
Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie