German-Australian feasibility study

Regulatory framework does not preclude imports, study shows

In a study published today, IKEM examines the legal framework for the import of renewable hydrogen and hydrogen carrier media from Australia to Germany. IKEM researchers conclude that the regulatory framework does not preclude imports.

Hydrogen is a key technology for achieving climate goals. However, the market ramp-up envisaged by the national hydrogen strategy cannot be achieved with domestic generation alone. In order to implement the ambitious goals of the federal government, the import of hydrogen will require international partnerships – for example with Australia, which seeks to expand its generation capacities in the next few years and relies heavily on exports in its hydrogen strategy.

In the HySupply project, IKEM is examining the legal framework for the transport of hydrogen from Australia to Germany. The study released today addresses substance-related regulations along different stages of the transport route: international shipping, import through seaports, and inland transport via vessels, road, rail or pipelines. The study focuses on four hydrogen transport options: liquid hydrogen (LH2), ammonia, methanol and liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC).

The review of the legal framework revealed that it is possible to establish the import infrastructure. However, the existing framework is associated with extensive legal requirements and approvals, which affect the construction of ships, safe handling during transport, documentation and personnel. Complicated approval processes are currently required, particularly regarding the necessary landside import infrastructure.

‘In order to cover the energy needs in Germany and Europe, we will not be able to do without imports, even with a massive expansion of renewables. Australia is a reliable partner for this,’ said Dr Simon Schäfer-Stradowsky, IKEM’s managing director.

Leony Ohle, who co-authored the study, added: ‘The regulatory and planning framework for hydrogen imports is complex, and the safety requirements are significant. In order for investments to be made and for the partnership with Australia to become a reality, the companies now need planning and investment security, above all.’

Further information on the study is available on the websites of acatech – German Academy of Science and Engineering and the Federation of German Industries.


Judith Schäfer-GendrischQuelle: IKEM/Jule Halsinger

IKEM – Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility e.V.