“Clean Hydrogen: A Call for Action” was a joint side event organized by the IEA, MI Clean Hydrogen and the Hydrogen TCP as part of the Global Clean Energy Action Forum that took place in Pittsburgh.

The event, moderated by Bart Biebuyck (Executive Director of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership), started with opening remarks from David Turk (Deputy Secretary of Energy US), that remarked that “This is a historic and critical opportunity for hydrogen“  and that “It is a responsibility for all of us to work together to make this work”. He then explained the four key pillars for hydrogen deployment in the US:

1- Tackle costs specially in production and electrolysers. Launched Energy Earthshots (H2 was the first one), ambitious goal 1$/kg. 17 National Labs across the country working on this

2- Loan Programme: two big H2 projects are already benefiting from it one H2 Production and Storage Project in Delta, Utah and another a carbon-black + H2 in Nebraska

3- 8b$ to build Hydrogen Hubs in the US

4- Inflation Reduction Act and tax incentives for renewables, storage, manufacturing…. And on the hydrogen side in particular.

He finalised his intervention asking all international initiatives work together and put H2 first.

 

Fatih Birol (IEA Executive Director) took the stage next and started mentioning that “the historical opportunity for hydrogen is there, it is still to be seen if we take it”.

He explained that we have seen great signs this year both from Governments and industry: IPCEI, first LH2 shipment from Australia to Japan, H2 steel making capacity increased by x5, FC trains in Germany, electrolysers manufacturing capacity keeps increasing…

Next step is to reduce uncertainties as much as possible: regulatory framework, certification, demand creation and risk mitigation policies.

 

The event continued with Timur Gül (IEA Head of Energy Technology Policies Division) presenting the main results of the Global Hydrogen Review (available here). Some of the key messages were:

H2 demand is back to pre-pandemic levels (94Mt in 2021, although only 40kt are from new H2 uses)

Low carbon H2production accounted for less than 1Mt in 2021 and almost all was from fossil fuels + CCUS. In 2030 this would be 24Mt if all announced projects are realised (14Mt electrolysis and 10 Mt fossil fuels + CCUS)

All electrolysis projects in the pipeline would lead to an installed electrolyser capacity of 130-240GW by 2030.

12Mt of hydrogen (in pure form or as derived fuels) are expected to be exported annually by 2030.

 

 

After that, Matthijhs Soede (MI 2.0 Clean Hydrogen Mission Director) presented the Mission Innovation Action Plan, available here.

The main goal is to reduce costs to 2$/kg in 2030.

The Mission has three pillars:

  • Research and Innovation: analysing R&D opportunities, best-practice case studies and working groups
  • Demonstration: through hydrogen valleys (with the goal of implementing 100 hydrogen valleys by 2030)
  • Enabling Environment: regulation, codes and standards, finance and investment

 

Then a first panel on “Accelerating scale up and deployment through international cooperation” took place, some quotes from this panel can be found below:

“The ports are key to decarbonize industry and shipping transportation, they provide incentives for green ships, infrastructure for the bunkering of alternative fuels (hydrogen, ammonia…), and they make sure ships do not have to wait when arriving to the ports and avoiding associated emissions to that waiting time” Patrick Verhoeven – Managing Director, International Association of Ports and Harbors

“NOW GmbH mission is for the German Government to achieve their energy and climate goals by developing clean technologies to the market coordinating funding programmes. They currently have funding programmes for FCEVs, hydrogen infrastructure, hydrogen hubs…” Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff – CEO, NOW GmbH.

“GHG is currently working on the establishment of Hydrogen Hubs, the first of which will be in Los Angeles, USA. GHG also works in education, convenience, alignment, common regulatory framework…” – Janice Lin – Founder and president, Green Hydrogen Coalition.

“Europe intends to be the first carbon-neutral continent, hydrogen will help with this as well as with energy security. Europe has a strategy on hydrogen production and hydrogen importation (doubled since the last target set in 2020, now at 20Mt, half produced in Europe and half imported)” Tudor Constantinescu – Principal Adviser to the Director General for Energy, European Commission.

“We need to work both in the supply and demand side with hubs or valley concentrating hydrogen activities creating visibility in the long-term to attract financing. There is a number of countries where you will get wind and solar with relatively affordable land, we have a challenge to get global cooperation and financing to these places. If we have hydrogen, we can commoditize clean energy” Demetrios Papathanasiou – Global Director for the Energy and Extractives Global Practice, World Bank.

The event included the ceremony for the first edition of the Hydrogen TCP Awards of Excellence, in collaboration with the Clean Energy Ministerial. This year’s topic was focused on “Integrating electrolysis with wind, solar and/or nuclear energy”. The awarded project “nuGen™ Zero Emission Haulage Solution (“ZEHS”)” succeeded not only in that but also in demonstrating full integration of the hydrogen value chain from production to final use.

Set at Anglo American Mogalakwena Platinum mine in South Africa, it is a fully integrated, end-to-end green hydrogen system, consisting of hydrogen production (demonstrating solar PV plant (340kW) and 3.5MW electrolyser), refuelling station and haulage system (2MW hybrid fuel cell-battery truck).

Natascha Viljoen, CEO of Anglo American Platinum and Jan Klawitter, Head of International Policy for Anglo American received the Award. Engie and Bright Minds partnered in this project. “This project is a symbol of what is possible when we work together collaboratively. One truck will take the equivalent emissions to 1000 cars on the road. Anglo American has currently 400 trucks in use and the ambition to retrofit them to use hydrogen” – Natascha Viljoen, CEO of Anglo American Platinum.

The session ended with a panel on “Short-term opportunities for innovation and demonstration in delivering technology cost reductions”. These were some of the conclusions and main ideas shared in the panel:

  • “Probably the industrial sector is the most promising for innovation. You will need to change the processes, this will need a lot of innovation. We need to accelerate due to the climate urgency Paul Lucchese, Chair, Hydrogen TCP
  • “Climate priority and net-zero commitments are there and there are applications where there are no other possibilities for decarbonization but hydrogen. Also the low- cost of renewable electricity will be key for hydrogen sticking around this time” Elizabeth Press, Director of the Planning and Programme Support, IRENA
  • “Before 2027 we expect to bring the cost of green hydrogen below the price of LNG. The main part for this is to bring the energy cost down, utilizing the volatility of renewable, wind and solar, to the extreme” Alexander Voigt, CEO, HH2E
  • “Genvia was established to bring the next generation of breakthrough electrolysers, with very high performance. Genvia is focused on hydrogen production but sees a clear demand in the short term on hard-to-abate sectors such as heavy industry (steel, cement, chemical)” Capella Festa, COO, Genvia
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