BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - German Economics Minister Robert Habeck sees enormous economic potential in the development of hydrogen technology in Germany. The Green politician said in the Bundestag on Friday that a major industrial policy impulse would be triggered via the distribution, production and purchase of hydrogen. This will increase the value creation in Germany enormously. Market development should be advanced at a greater speed, he said. "If you look at what is happening right now in the field of hydrogen, you have to say that the train has left the station," Habeck said. "Investments are underway everywhere."

The Bundestag debated the update of the National Hydrogen Strategy, which the cabinet approved in late July. The previous goal of generating 5 gigawatts in Germany by 2030 will be doubled to at least 10 gigawatts.

Hydrogen is to play a central role in the transition to a climate-friendly transformation of the economy, for example in the steel industry. On the other hand, hydrogen is to serve as an energy carrier and thus also as an energy storage medium.

Habeck said it is now necessary to define production sites for the tendering of electrolysis plants - hydrogen should preferably be produced using renewable electricity in so-called electrolysis processes. A "hydrogen core network" is to be established for transport. According to Habeck's earlier statements, about one-third of the hydrogen needed can be produced in Germany; about two-thirds must be imported.

The German government wants to support hydrogen projects with billions in state aid. Habeck said Salzgitter and Thyssenkrupp have received their demand notices. ArcelorMittal and Saarstahl would certainly get them. Talks were underway with the EU Commission. The latter has to approve the subsidies.

The CDU energy politician Andreas Jung said there were too many announcements and too little concrete in the hydrogen strategy. He also said that a European hydrogen strategy was needed to bundle potentials. Jung also criticized that the German government has not yet presented a strategy for importing hydrogen. "This must be done faster and better."/hoe/DP/stw