Aiming to drive down the cost of green hydrogen, the Green Hydrogen Catapult initiative launched by the UN on 8 December 2020 sees a coalition of global green hydrogen leaders come together with a target to deploy 25GW of renewables-based hydrogen production over the next six years.
The Green Hydrogen Catapult coalition, which includes ACWA Power, CWP Renewables, Envision, Iberdrola, Ørsted, Snam, and Yara, also hopes to produce green hydrogen at less than US$2 per kilogramme, which would halve the current cost of production. The coalition are also working together on other aspects including the acceleration of the necessary technology to achieve their targets.
Green hydrogen, produced through using electrolysers to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, is considered pivotal in the transition to net zero and critical to meet climate change objectives.
The EU’s roadmap for green hydrogen, set out in the EU’s Hydrogen Strategy, sees the installation of at least 6GW of green hydrogen electrolysers by 2024 and 40GW by 2030, and aims for green hydrogen technologies to be deployed at large scale by 2050 (see more here).
In Italy, the Ministry of Economic Development has just published the Preliminary Guidelines for the National Hydrogen Strategy, which have been the subject of growing criticisms as the preliminary guidelines mainly focus on green hydrogen thus underplaying the role and potential of blue (low carbon) hydrogen technologies in Italy, such as Eni's carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Ravenna.
The UK’s ambitions for hydrogen are outlined in the Government’s recent Ten Point Plan, which includes the production of 1GW of low carbon hydrogen by 2025 and 5GW by 2030, and a Net Zero Hydrogen Fund of £240 million for new hydrogen production facilities (see more here). The 5GW ambition was repeated in yesterday's energy white paper (Energy White Paper - Powering our Net Future Zero), which also stated that hydrogen projects can access the £1 billion UK energy innovation fund. Low carbon hydrogen is considered an important stepping stone to green hydrogen and ultimate decarbonisation (see more here). The UK Government is due to consult on preferred business models for hydrogen in 2021, aiming to finalise the models in 2022, and is due to publish its hydrogen strategy in 2021, which will set out the business models and revenue mechanism for private sector investment.
With the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) taking place in the UK in 2021, the role of hydrogen in the road to net zero is gathering momentum globally, and the Green Hydrogen Catapult aims to build that global momentum in advance of the summit.
Watch this space.
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© Herbert Smith Freehills 2021