Hydrogen can contribute over 20% of global carbon abatement by 2050

3rd November 2021

By: Yvonne Silaule



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Hydrogen can provide the lowest-cost decarbonisation solution for over a fifth of final energy demand by mid-century – contributing a cumulative reduction of 80 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), the Hydrogen Council's CEO Coalition has told delegates attending COP26, in Glasgow.

To achieve that target, the coalition recommends strong public-private collaboration.

It states that a swift uptake of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen by 2030 and expansion to an economy-wide solution by mid-century are essential to achieving global net-zero targets.

“Going hand in hand with electrification, the development of the hydrogen economy is vital to enable deep decarbonisation worldwide in a cost-effective and efficient manner, allowing countries to meet their climate goals, boost green growth and create sustainable jobs.”

To further stimulate the bold action needed, the Hydrogen Council is putting forward new, comprehensive data on the carbon abatement potential of hydrogen, alongside a ready-to-deploy toolbox of instruments and measures to create enabling policy frameworks for renewable and low-carbon hydrogen.

The council notes that, within the next decade, global demand for renewable and low-carbon hydrogen could grow by 50%. By 2030, this would translate into an annual CO2 emissions abatement equivalent to the total volume of CO2 emitted by the UK, France and Belgium combined.

However, this important stepping stone requires a significant scaling up of production, infrastructure and end-uses.

The council has published a new report 'Hydrogen for Net Zero' and released a new 'Policy Toolbox for Low-Carbon and Renewable Hydrogen'.

The latter represents a first-of-its-kind comprehensive assessment of dozens of hydrogen policy measures applied across different segments of the value chain at different stages of market maturity. It demonstrates how a set of effective policy and regulatory measures can provide the necessary visibility to investors in the short to medium term, as well as in the longer term, helping to reduce project risk, thereby bringing down hydrogen costs, driving uptake and stimulating cross-border trade in hydrogen.

It also sheds light on the need for factoring in policy design societal values and benefits associated with the hydrogen economy development to contribute to delivering on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Hydrogen Council co-chairperson Benoît Potier, who is also chairperson and CEO of Air Liquide, says hydrogen is widely recognised as a key element of a successful energy transition. He adds that governments and industry need to synchronise efforts to materialise hydrogen's potential to help meet net-zero targets.

“The data and policy guidance released today by the Hydrogen Council are critical in the context of COP26. This is a call to action for decision-makers and industry to join forces and realise planned activity, to set the transition up for success.”

Potier adds that hydrogen can enable cost-effective decarbonisation of economies worldwide.

“There is clear momentum in hydrogen investments, but a transformation of such magnitude requires unprecedented mobilisation of public and private resources through strong partnerships and policy support. We look forward to working with governments on hydrogen for the benefit of our shared climate goals,” he says.

“Clean hydrogen demand can grow to 75-million tonnes by 2030; of this, two-thirds will stem from new markets like steel, industry, mobility, aviation and maritime in a path towards decarbonisation commitments.

"To meet this new demand, we will see the emergence of new energy hubs and global value chains that enable a hydrogen market seven times its current size by mid-century," Hydrogen Council executive director Daryl Wilson adds.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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