Germany, Saudi agree to cooperate on hydrogen

BERLIN, March 11 (Reuters) - Germany agreed on Thursday to cooperate with Saudi Arabia on the generation, processing and transport of hydrogen, seen as a green fuel when renewable energy sources are used in its production.

Germany has started a large-scale effort to develop environmentally-friendly hydrogen to protect key industries while it decarbonises its economy to meet climate protection goals.

However, as future German demand for the element cannot be met domestically, it is seeking partnerships overseas to secure imports.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said the declaration of intent signed with Saudi Arabia laid the groundwork for close cooperation with an important international partner.

“To achieve Paris Climate Agreement goals and to successfully shape our switch to renewable energy, Germany is dependent on the import of climate-neutral hydrogen,” he said in a statement.

The two countries aim to work on concrete hydrogen projects together, such as at one in the Saudi NEOM business region, said the ministry.

Green hydrogen is produced from water by electrolysis using renewable power. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers Editing by Alexandra Hudson)