Germany eyes green hydrogen production, use in PH

Published November 30, 2021, 2:11 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Germany is exploring the potential of green hydrogen production and use in the Philippines in partnership with the Department of Energy.

A virtual round table conducted by the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) and the Department of Energy on Wednesday, Nov. 24, sought to identify the potential of green hydrogen production and use in the Philippines. The event was graced by Dr. Georg Maue, Commercial Counsellor of the German Embassy Manila, as well as DOE Assistant Secretary Gerardo Erguiza, Jr.

The dialogue aimed to forge partnerships between Philippine and German stakeholders on the integration of green hydrogen and fuel cell technology into the Philippine’s renewable energy roadmap. Green hydrogen refers to hydrogen that is generated through non-carbon emitting renewable energy sources.

GPCCI, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), is currently assessing the market potential for green hydrogen applications in urban areas in the Philippines.

“Reliably storing clean energy, mainly from solar and wind in the Philippines, is an ongoing challenge and limits its use as a backup power,” said Charlotte Bandelow, GPCCI’s Deputy Executive Director.

Diesel generators are still the most common type of backup power system in the country. However, its costly maintenance and negative environmental impact are not sustainable in the future. 

“Green hydrogen and fuel cell technology can present a clean and climate-friendly alternative and this is where Germany has knowledge and technical expertise to share,” said Bandelow. 

The Green Hydrogen initiative comes at a time when energy consumption in the Philippines is steadily increasing due to economic and population growth which calls for a larger and more reliable energy supply. While coal still makes up most of the Philippines’ energy mix, there is a continued expansion of renewable energy sources which is the basis for Green Hydrogen production.

The Philippine government committed to increase the share of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix to 35 percent by 2030.

“Transitioning from fossil fuels to climate friendly renewable energy sources is crucial both for the climate and the economy. Moving towards a climate neutral economy while maintaining energy security at fair costs is a challenging endeavor which is the cornerstone of the German government’s energy policy,” said Dr. Georg Maue, Commercial Counsellor of the German Embassy Manila. “We applaud the Philippine government’s commitment to increase the use of renewable energy sources and wish to support this process with know-how, expertise and partnerships,” continued Maue.

Initial results of the study were presented during an online webinar on November 10, which was attended by more than 60 participants from Germany and the Philippines.

For December 6, GPCCI is organizing an online networking event where selected German companies will share their expertise and experience in green hydrogen applications in South East Asia with Philippine companies interested to learn more about green hydrogen and fuel cell technology.

The Green Hydrogen Initiative is part of the BMU’s Environmental Technologies Export Initiative, supporting German GreenTech companies, including Small and Medium Enterprises, to internationalize their “green” innovations, products, and services.