Hydrogen could be geopolitical game changer

Oil&Gas Materials 2 December 2022 17:14 (UTC +04:00)
Laman Zeynalova
Laman Zeynalova
Read more

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec.2. Hydrogen could be more of a geopolitical game changer for countries that currently depend on fossil fuel imports but have ample renewables potential—for example, Chile, Morocco, and Namibia, Thijs Van De Graaf, associate professor at Ghent University, Belgium, said in his remarks in the Scramble for Energy report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Trend reports.

“A German consortium is developing a green hydrogen project in Namibia worth $9.4 billion, roughly equivalent to the country’s GDP. Egypt, the host of the COP27 climate change summit, has attracted investment pledges of more than $40 billion this year alone for green hydrogen and green ammonia projects. No continent has better technical potential for producing cheap green hydrogen than Africa,” said Thijs Van De Graaf.

The expert notes that many obstacles need to be overcome to bring clean hydrogen to scale, and these require international governance.

“I will highlight just three. First, costs must come down further and production must ramp up. Governments can help de-risk investment in clean hydrogen supply by creating durable demand in no-regret sectors through policy instruments such as public procurement and carbon “contracts for difference.” Second, there is a need to establish harmonized standards, certification, and monitoring processes for safety, interoperability, and sustainability along the entire clean hydrogen value chain. These should not focus only on preventing hydrogen leakage or reducing emissions but also on other areas, such as the impact on water security.

Third, developing economies should get financial and technological assistance so they can benefit from the green hydrogen boom. A pitfall is that developing economies blessed with abundant wind and solar energy are regarded solely as suppliers of green energy molecules to serve the industrial demand centers of the Global North, rather than as potential sites of green industrialization in their own right. Hydrogen has long been touted as the fuel of the future. This decade, it could finally turn into a fuel of the present. There are still major challenges to overcome, but done right, the clean hydrogen revolution could unlock a triple prize: more climate stability, energy security, and global equity,” Thijs Van De Graaf added.


Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn