Jun 6, 2022
The Austrian Federal Government has set the target of achieving climate neutrality in Austria in 2040. One of the key challenges in meeting this target is the transformation of the energy system towards renewable, efficient and safe energy supplies throughout all sectors. Sector-specific requirements call for differentiated solutions to efficiently decarbonize the energy system.
Summary of Austria's Hydrogen Strategy:
Objective: Austria aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2040. A significant challenge in this pursuit is the transformation of the energy system to be renewable, efficient, and safe across all sectors.
Electrification & Renewable Energy: The government plans to source 100% of national electricity consumption from renewables by 2030. Direct electrification is seen as the most efficient decarbonisation method for many applications, supplemented by measures to boost energy efficiency and promote a circular economy.
Role of Hydrogen: Climate-neutral hydrogen is viewed as a crucial sustainable energy option for Austria's future. It can help phase out fossil gas use, reduce dependency on imported fossil energy, and serve as an energy storage medium, facilitating a fully renewable energy system.
Climate-neutral Hydrogen Definition: This term encompasses renewable hydrogen and hydrogen produced from fossil gas with complete CO2 separation (blue and turquoise hydrogen). However, hydrogen from nuclear energy or using nuclear energy for CO2 separation is not considered climate-neutral.
Production of Hydrogen: Currently, the primary methods for renewable hydrogen production are electrolysis and biogenic hydrogen production through biomass gasification. Electrolysis, in particular, will be crucial for future energy systems, enabling storage of renewable electricity in gaseous form and aiding in grid stability.
Applications of Hydrogen: While hydrogen has a broad range of applications, its current supply and production potential is limited. It's essential in industries like iron and steel, the chemical sector, and high-temperature processes. In mobility, hydrogen can replace fossil fuels in long-haul routes, aviation, and maritime transport.
Hydrogen Infrastructure: Efficient hydrogen use requires targeted transport to its applications. The strategy emphasizes converting existing natural gas infrastructure for hydrogen use and assessing the need for new infrastructure on a case-by-case basis.
International Perspective: By 2040, Austria anticipates its demand for renewable gases will surpass national production. Thus, integrating Austria's hydrogen strategy into a global hydrogen economy is vital. This integration offers opportunities for diversifying gas imports, exporting domestic technologies, and positioning Austria as a European infrastructure hub. The country plans to strengthen strategic partnerships both within and outside the European Union and develop a concept for cooperation on importing climate-neutral hydrogen.
Read the executive summary in english and strategy here: https://www.bmk.gv.at/themen/energie/energieversorgung/wasserstoff/strategie.html