Converting renewable electricity to hydrogen and its derived products enables the cost-effective transport of energy across longer distances. Global hydrogen (derivatives) trade unlocks new possibilities for improving energy security and climate mitigation. Regions that are too far to use power lines for energy trade can now consider using hydrogen (derivatives) to link the low-cost renewable energy sites with demand centres.
Over the last year, IRENA has developed a set of studies related to the potential for international hydrogen trade. In January 2022, a report discussing the geopolitical implications of hydrogen deployment, including global trade, was released at the IRENA Assembly. In April, IRENA released the first report in the series on “Global hydrogen trade to meet the 1.5°C climate goal”, focusing on a technology review of hydrogen carriers.
Reality today is that hydrogen is hardly traded across borders and a large shift is needed. Multiple dimensions need to work in synergy to enable global trade. Some of these are the creation of a market and demand in new applications, a certification scheme to quantify emissions from the hydrogen supply chain, financing and policy support to close the cost gap between hydrogen and incumbent technologies; infrastructure development; technology improvement through innovation; and an accelerated pace of renewables deployment to prevent that green hydrogen deployment delays the decarbonisation of the power sector.
The third meeting of the Collaborative Framework on Green Hydrogen also looked into global trade where Members highlighted the need to focus on: technology development, standards and certification, financing of the infrastructure, and the creation of a market.
This fifth meeting of the Collaborative Framework on Green Hydrogen brought together private actors and governments with the aim of discussing:
- The role of international trade of hydrogen to strengthen energy security while accelerating the decarbonisation of hard to abate sectors.
- Key barriers to the development of international green hydrogen projects and trade.
- Best practices sharing related to the development of successful bilateral hydrogen trade deals.
At this event, IRENA released another report from the hydrogen trade series sharing insights for policy makers in terms of potential hydrogen production hot spots, potential available based on land constraints and cost as a function of technology performance over time.
Soon after this event, IRENA will release another report covering multiple scenarios for global hydrogen and ammonia trade in a 1.5°C pathway and short-term actions across various dimensions that are needed to enable and accelerate the process of achieving such future.
Meeting participation by invitation only.
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