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The new VDE white paper was also presented on the fringes of the World Economic Forum in Davos. From left to right: Erik Schäfer, family investor, Rudolf Hilti, President The System Change Foundation, VDE President Alf Henryk Wulf, Frederic Hoffmann, Co-Founder Racine Production SA, Burkhard Holder, VDE, Prof. Dr. Christopher Hebling, Director International Fraunhofer-InstituteSolar Energy Systems

2024-01-16 press release

New VDE white paper: Making Europe the lead market for the hydrogen economy

Following the first edition from 2022, the VDE Group is now publishing its second white paper on the hydrogen economy. To attract the attention of investors, the white paper has now been presented in Liechtenstein and at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The authors recommend driving forward European solutions for greater energy sovereignty.

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(Frankfurt a. M., 16.01.2024) The budget situation in Germany, uncertainty among the population about the future energy supply, difficult geopolitical conditions – all this could have a negative impact on the hydrogen economy in Europe, because young, less established technologies are losing out in the current situation. "That would be fatal," says VDE President Alf Henryk Wulf: "Because green hydrogen is the missing piece of the energy transition puzzle. It bridges the gap between the consumption and production of renewable energy, which fluctuates greatly and is distributed very differently geographically. What Europe urgently needs is the expansion and industrialization of reliable, safe and standardized hydrogen technologies."

Europe has sufficient potential for the production of green hydrogen

With the new white paper for the hydrogen economy, the VDE Group is working with national and international experts to ensure that Europe does not fall behind in promoting the hydrogen economy. Key aspects of hydrogen technologies and solutions were developed in specialist workshops, online surveys and individual expert interviews. "It was important to us not to discuss the current challenges in terms of a crisis, but to recognize and exploit the opportunities," says Burkhard Holder, VDE expert for future key topics in the energy sector. "There is sufficient potential in Europe to produce green hydrogen at competitive prices. The production of green hydrogen should therefore focus on locations in Europe. This will strengthen the idea of an economic union based on partnership in the energy sector and reduce geopolitical dependencies." In 2022, VDE Renewables published
the first white paper for the hydrogen economy.

Hydrogen solutions already a reality in many areas today

The authors make it clear that the most important thing now is to finance the new hydrogen technologies and business models. This is less about the technical challenges and more about the industrialization of high-quality hydrogen technologies for a sustainable energy and heat transition. Hydrogen will make the transformation economically, ecologically and socially feasible. The VDE is contributing its expertise in the areas of standardization, technological safety and also ecological, economic and social sustainability.

Hydrogen solutions are already a reality in many areas today. To attract the attention of investors, the white paper was presented in Liechtenstein and on the fringes of the World Economic Forum in Davos. It was transported from Liechtenstein to Davos in a BMW iX5 Hydrogen – an example of how hydrogen is also a sensible solution for passenger cars, as an emission-free addition to battery-electric vehicles. Rudolf Hilti, President of The System Change Foundation and family investor: "Change often starts small, usually as thoughts, but it is important that these small first steps scale accordingly to create the big picture. I am therefore delighted that we are partnering with the VDE together with The System Change Foundation to bring the energy and heat transition and the possibilities of hydrogen from Vaduz to the World Economic Forum in Davos and to the world."

Electrolysis: key technology of the hydrogen economy

A central approach of the white paper is that policymakers will drive forward European solutions to an even greater extent. This is because importing hydrogen from overseas is technically more challenging, often only economical at first glance and frequently associated with high political risks. Hydrogen solutions therefore support the goal of establishing European energy sovereignty. The great potential of solar and wind energy in Europe, combined with political stability, helps in this respect.

China has already taken the lead in electrolysis, the key technology of a future hydrogen economy. More than half of today's installed capacity is located there. The Chinese economy has very quickly recognized that the expansion of photovoltaics is closely linked to the hydrogen economy and must therefore be considered strategically. Burkhard Holder: "The scenario is emerging that Europe – as with photovoltaics and lithium-ion battery technologies – will once again be left behind in an important field of the energy industry. We want to counter this and our white paper provides the necessary impetus."

About VDE Renewables 

VDE Renewables, a subsidiary of the VDE Group, offers quality assurance services for the global renewable energy sector. Based in Alzenau, Germany, the company’s services include quality testing and certification according to the highest safety, reliability, and performance standards, as well as independent engineering and technical due diligence.

VDE Renewables works closely with all structures of the VDE Group and its internationally renowned network, which include the leading research and development bodies such as the Fraunhofer Institutes and insurance firms such as Allianz and Munich Re. Together with its partners, VDE Renewables supports its customers with their specific requirements, such as gaining access to new markets, differentiating themselves from their competitors or enabling them to receive more attractive insurance or financing conditions. 

For more information, visit

About VDE

VDE, one of the largest technology organizations in Europe, has been regarded as a synonym for innovation and technological progress for more than 130 years. VDE is the only organization in the world that combines science, standardization, testing, certification, and application consulting under one umbrella. The VDE mark has been synonymous with the highest safety standards and consumer protection for more than 100 years. 

Our passion is the advancement of technology, the next generation of engineers and technologists, and lifelong learning and career development “on the job”. Within the VDE network more than 2,000 employees at over 60 locations worldwide, more than 100,000 honorary experts, and around 1,500 companies are dedicated to ensuring a future worth living: networked, digital, electrical.  
Shaping the e-dialistic future. 

The VDE (VDE Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies) is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main. For more information, visit


VDE Renewables
2023-12-13 event

The VDE FINANCIAL DIALOGUE HYDROGEN 2023 took place within the HYDROGEN DIALOGUE Summit & Expo on December 6 and 7, 2023 and offered an exciting program.

Dynamically growing technologies such as green hydrogen require disruptive thinking to grow with the complex demands of our time and enable us to deal with upheavals and non-linear developments. 

That is why VDE has been coordinating this platform with leading partner organizations. 

Read more