* The German economy minister said gas imports were still needed
* Looking to build a hydrogen partnership with Russia
* Russia’s deputy prime minister agrees to take joint action
* Minister of Industry proposes German supply technology (Remodel, combine timeline, provide more details, excerpt from webcast)
FRANKFURT / MOSCOW, April 29 (Reuters) – Germany will need natural gas from Russia as a bridging technology as it moves to cleaner energy, but will also seek cooperation on its hydrogen strategy, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told a Russia-Germany conference. Thursday.
Altmaier said gas is needed because Germany is abandoning nuclear power and coal-fired power plants, but will seek to build an established fossil fuel partnership as it develops hydrogen from renewable sources as an alternative fuel.
“At the other end of the (gas) bridge there will be renewable energy and green hydrogen, which we can build together with Russia on a large commercial scale,” Altmaier said.
“Russia has very good preconditions for this partnership.”
Germany hopes to develop large-scale green hydrogen by sending renewable power from wind and sunlight via electrolysis to make synthetic fuels for the industrial, energy and transportation sectors.
The 9 billion euro ($ 10.90 billion) hydrogen promotion program launched last summer forecast huge import needs as the rollout of domestic production capacity will be hampered by land restrictions.
Russian speakers echo Altmaier’s statement.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told a webcast meeting that the two countries would benefit from intensive energy cooperation, including, on the Russian side, building a renewable energy and hydrogen value chain.
“We believe that (hydrogen) is one of the most promising sources of energy in the future,” he said.
“Germany will play an important role in promoting hydrogen energy in the European region. We hope for an alliance in that area, “he said.
Russia will also engage in digitization efforts to upgrade its energy systems with a view to closer integration with western partners, he said.
Russian Industry Minister Denis Manturov said he could set up a hydrogen cluster for production, and could develop transportation options under shared standards and metrics.
“We are counting on attracting your modern expertise with a conditional formula: green hydrogen in return for technology,” he said.
$ 1 = 0.8255 euros Reported by Vera Eckert in Frankfurt and Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow, edited by Kirsti Knolle and Kim Coghill