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

According to a recent assessment by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), G7 states can take the lead in the deployment of a low-carbon and environmentally friendly hydrogen market. By 2050, the G7 nations’ collective hydrogen consumption might increase by a factor of four to seven.

Accelerating Hydrogen Deployment in G7: Recommendations for the Hydrogen Action Pact, which was released today at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, highlights some of the most advantageous conditions, including access to capital, the presence of heavy industry, the availability of renewable sources, the existing local green hydrogen industry, and technical know-how in G7 countries.

A large amount of green hydrogen will need to be deployed in order for the G7’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 to be met. Additionally, this emphasizes the decarbonization of end uses and challenging industries including chemical manufacturing, steel production, long-haul aircraft, and shipping. Green hydrogen has become a desirable decarbonization alternative, if not the sole one, as a result of the consistently falling costs of renewable energy.

Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA, stated that the G7 accounts for 30% of the world’s energy demand. It can be a pioneer and set the parameters for a future hydrogen market in accordance with the Hydrogen Action Pact by working together strategically and taking coordinated action.

“Policymakers must also demonstrate leadership by collaborating with the global community to share information, resources, and policy expertise in order to duplicate opportunities and best practices around the globe,” he continued. Importantly, the expanding hydrogen industry has the potential to be more inclusive with opportunities for both established and developing nations with international cooperation. To reassure the industry and investors, a clear intention must be announced.

The new report calls for the G7 to establish a framework to coordinate policy-making, make firm commitments to harmonize hydrogen standards and certification, share knowledge gained from early implementation, strike a balance between supply and demand creation, encourage the use of hydrogen in industrial applications, and engage in more focused collaboration with industry stakeholders and civil society.

While the G7 has the potential to use nearly 28% of the hydrogen in the world, their combined hydrogen demand in 2020 was about 24.2 million tonnes, primarily from fossil fuels. In the G7, the United States and the European Union were the two biggest consumers.

G7 countries contributed 50% of the 65 000 hydrogen patents that were submitted globally between 2010 and 2020, with Japan accounting for two-thirds of those. Building on their industrial advancement, Germany and the European Union as a whole want to become technology exporters. Nearly half of all electrolyzer manufacturers were located in Europe by the end of 2021.