* Wintershall wants gas to introduce hydrogen
* Sees need for transition before renewable hydrogen arrives
* Siemens prepares gas turbines for hydrogen long-term
BERLIN, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Germany needs natural gas in its
energy mix while it develops a market for so-called "green"
hydrogen based on renewable power, the boss of Wintershall
said on Wednesday.
Germany is hoping to develop large-scale green hydrogen by
using wind and solar electricity to make synthetic fuels for
industry, energy and transport sectors and has launched a 9
billion euro ($10.64 billion) hydrogen strategy up to 2030.
"As long as green hydrogen is not available in sufficient
volumes and at attractive prices, we also need hydrogen from
natural gas in order to establish the market quickly," Mario
Mehren, chief executive of gas and oil producer Wintershall
"Its my conviction that green hydrogen will benefit from a
mature market in the long term," Mehren said at the annual
conference of power and gas lobby BDEW, implying that
gas-derived hydrogen would help it to arrive at that stage.
Green hydrogen is derived from renewable sources which could
include offshore wind powering floating electrolysis plants.
Hydrogen extracted using natural gas is known as "grey"
The question of how best to reach Germany's hydrogen goal
has been plagued by rows over the timing and the use of
different hydrogen "colours."
Some environmental lobbies want green hydrogen or nothing,
while energy companies are offering plans for interim steps,
including schemes for carbon capture and storage (CCS).
CCS enables emissions from industry to be captured and
stored in depleted sub-sea hydrocarbon fields, where Norway,
Denmark and the Netherlands are far advanced.
Germany's major political parties, which are in the midst of
an election campaign, are all in favour a hydrogen
Christian Bruch, CEO of Siemens Energy said any
new government needed to makes hydrogen rules simple and offer
money for investments in plants and their operations.
Siemens was aiming to enable all its gas-to-power turbines
to run on hydrogen in the long term by making them
But gas-to-power burning - which has half the carbon
emissions of coal - had years of operations left, especially in
overseas markets, he said.
But lobby groups Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) and Urgewalt
criticised the German government for its alleged support of
fossil fuels, arguing that "the climate harming effect of gas is
($1 = 0.8457 euros)
(Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Jane Merriman)