Memorandum of Understanding on German-Saudi hydrogen cooperation

An initiative of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

Hydrogen will be a key element in the success of the energy transition – not only in Germany, but worldwide. For this reason, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), together with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), has published a funding guideline for international cooperation in the development of ‘green’ hydrogen production plants. The measure is intended to support the international market ramp-up in line with the German government’s National Hydrogen Strategy. The funding program is intended to promote the establishment of trade relations with potential exporters of green hydrogen and its derivatives. Target countries for international cooperation include countries in Africa, North and South America, and Oceania.

About the Memorandum | German-Saudi hydrogen cooperation

Former Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier and Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia, signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing cooperation on hydrogen between Germany and Saudi Arabia on 11. March 2021. The agreement, which is set in the context of the German-Saudi Energy Dialogue, underscores the commitment of both countries to close cooperation regarding the production, processing, use and transport of green hydrogen.

In its hydrogen strategy, the Federal Government has identified a need for 90 110 TWh of climate-neutral hydrogen by 2030, a large part of which will have to be covered by imports. In view of favourable conditions for the generation of renewable electricity, Saudi Arabia has a good chance in the long term of becoming a major green hydrogen exporter. Within the framework of their hydrogen cooperation, Germany and Saudi Arabia seek to implement specific hydrogen projects, for example at the NEOM site. Further to this, a road map is to be established for the mutual sharing of expertise in collaboration with the private sector on the issues of technology, business and regulation.

Germany will need to import climate-neutral hydrogen if we are to achieve the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement and to make our energy transition a success. As we launch the German-Saudi hydrogen cooperation, we are delighted to be laying the foundation for close collaboration in this area with an important international partner.
Peter Altmaier Former Economic Affairs Minister

German technology providers are working to develop world-class solutions along the entire hydrogen value chain, including ways of converting hydrogen to synthetic fuels such as e-fuels for aviation.

The National Hydrogen Strategy was published by the Federal Government in June 2020. Hydrogen is regarded as a key priority for the realisation of the energy transition, particularly in some industrial and transport sectors where it is difficult to cut emissions.

As it implements the German-Saudi hydrogen cooperation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is being supported by the Riyadh-based German-Saudi Arabian Liaison Office for Economic Affairs (GESALO) and Guidehouse. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by the ministers took place as a virtual event that was attended by business representatives from both countries.

(Press release | Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz read here)