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IRENA calls on G7 to ramp up a global green hydrogen market

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Hydrogen Review,

G7 members can be the frontrunners in low-carbon and green hydrogen deployment, a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) concludes. Overall, the consumption of hydrogen by G7 countries could grow between 4 – 7 times by 2050.

Published today at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, 'Accelerating Hydrogen Deployment in G7: Recommendations for the Hydrogen Action Pact' sees some of the most favourable conditions such as access to capital, presence of heavy industry, availability of renewable sources, existing local green hydrogen industry and technical know-how in G7 countries.

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 such as 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.

IRENA’s Director-General, Francesco La Camera, said: “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 added: “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 cooperation, 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.”

The new report encourages a G7 framework to align policy making 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 24.2 million t of hydrogen in 2020, mostly from fossil fuels. The US was the largest consumer in G7, closely followed by the 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. 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.

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