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New Energy World
New Energy World embraces the whole energy industry as it connects and converges to address the decarbonisation challenge. It covers progress being made across the industry, from the dynamics under way to reduce emissions in oil and gas, through improvements to the efficiency of energy conversion and use, to cutting-edge initiatives in renewable and low carbon technologies.
G7 members can be the front runners in low carbon and green hydrogen deployment, with their hydrogen consumption predicted to grow between four and seven times by 2050, a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has found.
The commitment by G7 to reach net zero emissions by 2050 will require a significant deployment of green hydrogen. This also centre-stages the decarbonisation of end uses and hard-to-abate sectors like chemical production, steelmaking, long-haul aviation and shipping. Continuously low renewable power costs have made green hydrogen an attractive, if not the only decarbonisation option, the report from IRENA states.
The report encourages a G7 framework to align policymaking and make concrete commitments to harmonise hydrogen standards and certification, share lessons from early implementation, balance the focus on supply with demand creation, promote hydrogen uptake in industrial applications and conduct more targeted collaboration with industry stakeholders and civil society.
While G7 has the potential to consume around 28% of global hydrogen, the aggregated hydrogen demand for G7 members was about 24.2mn tonnes of hydrogen in 2020, mostly from fossil fuels. The US was the largest consumer in G7, closely followed by the European Union (EU).
Out of the 65,000 hydrogen patents filed globally between 2010 and 2020, G7 members accounted for 50%, with two-thirds coming from Japan alone. Of the G7 members, the EU as a whole and Germany aim to become technology exporters, building on their industrial development. By the end of 2021, roughly half of all electrolyser manufacturers were in Europe, the report notes.
According to IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera: ‘G7 has a sizeable economic footprint, accounting for 30% of global energy demand. Through joint action and focused collaboration, it can be a first mover and determine the conditions of a future hydrogen market in line with the Hydrogen Action Pact.’
He adds: ‘Policymakers must also show leadership by sharing knowledge, finance and policy know-how with the international community to replicate opportunities and best practices everywhere else in the world. Crucially, with international co-operation, the emerging hydrogen market has the potential to be more inclusive, with opportunities for developed and developing countries alike. Clear intent must be broadcast, to signal confidence to investors and industry.’
Read our new feature article on the debate over green hydrogen’s future in decarbonising home heating here.