Saudis and EU in clean hydrogen talks

Frans Timmermans, the executive vice president of the EU, and Kadri Simson, the commissioner for energy, have spoken with Saudi government representatives about expanding their partnership in the creation of clean hydrogen.

During their visit to Riyadh on March 5 and 6, Timmermans and Simson also met Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a strategic partner for the European Union, and one of the areas where this strategy needs to be made concrete is in energy, specifically in the energy transition, and in all of this, green hydrogen will play a crucial role,” Timmermans said.

In the future, Europe will require a lot more clean hydrogen. The Kingdom has ambitious plans for creating clean hydrogen, which opens up numerous opportunities for close collaboration.

There is a widespread understanding on both sides that the climate problem is an existential crisis for humanity that cannot be explained.

He declared that a strategy had been put in place for regular meetings between the two parties to assess the progress being achieved.

“We are absolutely pragmatic in our approach,” he continued. We must use every technology, strategy, and method that humanity can devise to handle climate disasters; some of them are being developed in Saudi Arabia, while others are being developed in Europe. We cannot claim that there is only one answer or one panacea for the problem. Moreover, by working together more closely, we can build on one another’s achievements.

“If I look at the EU and Saudi Arabia, the younger generation is quite persuaded that we must take action on this, and we are fortunate to see also the leadership in Saudi Arabia being very cognizant of this, and committed, so it provides us a good opportunity to work together,” the author says.

Simson told Arab News that the visit, which had been planned for 18 months, was originally scheduled to take place when the Kingdom hosted the G20 but was delayed because of the pandemic.

The purpose of our visit, she explained, was to offer our dependable, long-term partners collaboration that went beyond fossil fuels.

“Last year, we had to diversify away from a single Russian supplier, but we didn’t abandon our goal of decarbonizing our energy market in the process.

“This means that we urgently need to identify substitute renewable energy supplies, particularly renewable hydrogen.

“Our businesses have expressed interest in beginning to import green hydrogen from the area, initially in the form of ammonia.

“For instance, the NEOM project is already sold out, so that shows there is a clear and significant demand from the European side.”

During their tour, the two representatives participated in a session at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center. It emphasized programs intended to achieve net zero by 2060.

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