Experts have said that hydrogen has the potential to change the face of global energy security and accelerate the transition to a sustainable future, noting its ability to benefit multiple economic sectors and leverage existing energy infrastructure worldwide.
This came during a session entitled ‘Hydrogen: Energy Security and Energy Transition Integrator’, energy experts from around the world gathered today at the Global Energy Forum, taking place as part of the World Government Summit (WGS2022) in Dubai.
Panelists comprised Tim Holt, Member of the Executive Board and Labor Director of Siemens Energy AG; David Livingston, Senior Advisor to US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate; Roger Martella, Chief Sustainability Officer at GE; Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam; Meg Gentle, Executive Director of Highly Innovative Fuels (HIF), USA; Gareth Wynn, Chief Communications Officer of TAQA.
Marco Alverà explained, “The cheapest way to move any gas is by pipe, and what already is applicable for gas is the same for transporting green hydrogen. It will be a huge benefit when developing the technology for this new energy source that we can use existing infrastructure and pipelines, and we know that 99 percent of our existing network can export 100 percent hydrogen.”
Meg Gentle said, “Many of the lessons already learned in developing large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects can be applied to hydrogen. There are many similarities in that you need long-haul pipelines and very large plants to produce hydrogen, as you do with gas, and that is combined with developed markets that have the capabilities to take high volumes of energy.”
Tim Holt highlighted the Middle East’s role in providing fuels like green hydrogen to countries like Germany, where it would be an important step in its energy diversification, as it would benefit from taking hydrogen from countries in the world that have the right conditions at lower cost to produce it.
On what he believes are the key priorities to advance the impact of hydrogen, David Livingston said, “We need to catalyse the demand signal and get investments to start today, and associated with that, we also need to create the regulatory frameworks that are clear, fair, and consistent to allow capital to flow into the supply of green hydrogen.”
Gareth Wynn commented, “We are already looking at real opportunities for green hydrogen to benefit other sectors, such as helping Emirates Steel to make more green steel in the future and decarbonise production. Another project we have is working with Abu Dhabi Ports, where we have said we will use a solar plant to produce large-scale green ammonia with the potential to become a global hub for the export of this commodity that can be shipped and then ultimately converted to green hydrogen, and the UAE is well-positioned to be at the very heart of this.”
Roger Martella, who attended virtually, said, “Hydrogen is uniquely placed to help us achieve both energy security and long-term net-zero goals, and we can do this simultaneously. It helps us to not only decarbonise the energy sector but give us access to sustainable and affordable electricity. The great thing about hydrogen as well is that it is unique in breakthrough technologies, as it is already proven and, for example, we can use it to power the turbines that GE produces.”