Interview with Dr. Sopna Sury, COO Hydrogen at RWE Generation

"Incentives are needed to launch the hydrogen age"

Hydrogen will be critical to the success of the energy transition. But which measures are decisive in terms of kick-starting the green hydrogen economy? What is the outlook in terms of price development and technological innovations? And what steps can the manufacturing sector take to secure the necessary supplies of hydrogen? Answers to these and other questions can be found in our interview with Dr. Sopna Sury, COO Hydrogen at RWE Generation.

Ms. Sury, to what extent was or is the energy crisis an "accelerator" for the green transformation?

SURY The crisis has shown that a country like Germany can change quickly if the goals are clear and the setting is right. Due to the need to become independent of Russian gas as quickly as possible, the country's infrastructure projects were implemented in record time. If we can approach the conversion of the industrial sector to green energy sources with the same determination, I'm confident about the future of the energy transition. After all, increasing the security of supply for green energy also means increasing climate protection. By investing in renewables and hydrogen, we can make ourselves less dependent on imports and help to combat climate change. Technologically speaking, German companies are among the global leaders in hydrogen. To get the first major hydrogen projects off the ground, we now need rapid funding commitments and a regulatory framework that unleashes our companies instead of shackling them.

In your view, what specific measures are critical for success – for example, in terms of approval processes, investments, and strategic partnerships?

SURY The approval procedures need to be faster. When weighing decisions concerning various protected interests, hydrogen projects – just like renewables – should be given priority in approval procedures because they are in the public interest. In addition, the funding instruments need simple application procedures and fast funding decisions, otherwise schedules will slip. A lot is already happening in terms of partnerships. For example, just as green power producers, electrolysis and storage operators, pipeline network operators and potential customers have come together under the umbrella of "GET H2", companies are now also coordinating their roles as part of the "H2ercules" infrastructure initiative. The hydrogen ramp-up thrives on collaboration across all stages of the value chain.