Israel prepares for the hydrogen era

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The country wants to integrate hydrogen into its energy industry. Despite domestic production, imports will be necessary. This could open business opportunities for German companies.

Israel wants to integrate hydrogen into its energy industry over the next few years. This could open up numerous business opportunities for German companies. Examples include, in particular, suppliers of systems and technologies for the production, storage, transport and utilisation of hydrogen. Israel is also interested in foreign investment in its hydrogen economy. Cooperation in research and development might see an increase, too.

The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure has devised a long-term strategy for the development of the hydrogen sector. The planning horizon extends to 2050, but the energy sector is meant to adapt to the use of hydrogen in the next ten years and then expand from there.

It is currently impossible to predict exactly how much hydrogen Israel will need. According to a model from the Ministry of Energy, the minimum annual requirement in 2050 will be 575,000 tonnes, the head of the ministry’s international department, Janet Shalom, explained to Germany Trade and Invest.

However, there are also scenarios according to which demand will be several times higher than the forecast minimum quantity. The development will depend on both technological and economic factors. The electricity sector, the transport sector on land, at sea and in the air as well as industry would be targeted as the most important consumers. In the electricity sector, hydrogen will in any case be used for energy storage.

Israel would like to produce hydrogen itself. One possibility is carbon-free production using renewable energies. In Israel’s case, this is almost synonymous with photovoltaics. An alternative would be the production of hydrogen using domestic natural gas reserves with simultaneous carbon capture.

Despite plans for domestic production, the Ministry of Energy assumes that Israel will have to import hydrogen. The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) would be an interesting transport route for Israel.

According to Janet Shalom, the IMEC could also give new impetus to the planned EastMed submarine pipeline from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe. The original plan was to use the pipeline – which is yet to be built – for natural gas transport. However, according to the ministry, it could also be used to transport hydrogen from the Gulf States to Europe via Israel.

Israel is interested in international cooperation in the field of research and development for the hydrogen economy. Foreign companies have access to an Israeli ecosystem for this purpose, which includes universities as well as companies. Foreign investment in the development of the hydrogen sector is possible and welcome. The Ministry of Energy is prepared to share information with foreign companies that offer expertise for the development of the Israeli hydrogen economy or wish to acquire Israeli technology.

Source and full article: Germany Trade and Invest (in German)