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Oil report

Germany may exceed 2030 target for hydrogen capacity - coordinator

* Action at national and EU level is being stepped up

* Capacity boost backed by strategy plan, coronavirus packages

* European project pipeline to be identified by December

* New fuel to be cost-competitive in 10-15 years

FRANKFURT, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Germany may surpass its target of 5 gigawatts (GW) of installed hydrogen capacity by 2030 as it speeds up coordination efforts at a national and European Union level, the government’s national commissioner for green hydrogen said in a webinar on Tuesday.

Europe is pushing hydrogen as a clean fuel to meet climate targets. Hydrogen fuel is produced via electrolysis in a process that passes electricity from sources such as wind and sunshine through water, to extract carbon-free hydrogen.

“I am confident that we can reach the target and perhaps surpass it,” said Stefan Kaufmann, a conservative member of parliament, who was appointed to his role when Germany passed a 9-billion euro ($10.77 billion) hydrogen strategy in the summer.

His comments came during a briefing organised by the event company of E-World, a European energy trade fair.

The Berlin government has sought to implement the strategy quickly, drawing on economic stimulus packages passed as a result of the coronavirus crisis and through its role as president of the EU. It would soon marry funding and regulatory steps, Kaufmann said.

“Germany and the EU are cooperating on integrating national and EU-wide roadmaps,” he said.

Countries including Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal have also become active in promoting hydrogen fuel.

The Berlin Economy Ministry is coordinating Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI), said Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, general secretary of trade lobby Hydrogen Europe.

“A project pipeline will be ready by December,” he said.

Germany has a global market share of 20% in building electrolysers, led by Thyssenkrupp subsidiary Uhde.

The parent steelmaking company aims to start a factory to produce carbon-neutral steel with green hydrogen by 2025.

Andreas Schierenbeck, chairman of utility Uniper and a member of the national hydrogen council, said the cost gap between green and fossil-fuels derived hydrogen could be closed within 10-15 years.

$1 = 0.8355 euros Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Alexandra Hudson

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