The EU Hydrogen Online Forum in the UAE: Hydrogen, the Energy Carrier of the Future is presented by the Delegation of the European Union to the United Arab Emirates and the EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network.
The forum will feature a high-level roundtable with the participation of H.E. Andrea Matteo Fontana, Ambassador of the European Union to the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, H.E. Suhail Al Mazroui, Minister for Energy and Infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates, Francesco La Camera, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Secretary-General of Hydrogen Europe. The high-level roundtable will be followed by two technical sessions.
While with COVID-19 the immediate priority has been on addressing the short-term health, economic and social crisis, recovery efforts and packages now being drawn up present a once in a generation opportunity to tackle long term challenges and “build back better”. The economic recovery is an opportunity to promote clean energy and thus reinforce climate ambitions.
Governments around the globe are realizing that hydrogen produced from renewable electricity will play an indispensable role in the effort to reach the goals of the Paris agreement. Hydrogen is a versatile and climate-neutral energy carrier that can be used to drive down greenhouse gas emissions in sectors that are otherwise difficult to decarbonize. The European Commission as well as some EU member states have recently published their hydrogen strategies.
To cover its future need for renewable hydrogen, Europe is likely to depend on large-scale imports. Among the regions that have favorable conditions to produce cost-effective hydrogen is the Gulf. The UAE as a regional leader in clean energy ideally positioned to capitalize on a rapidly expanding renewable hydrogen export market worldwide, which is expected to reach a value of $300 billion by 2050. The production and export of renewable hydrogen can support the UAE in their goals to push for clean energy and economic diversification, ensuring their strong presence in the energy market. However, for international renewable hydrogen trade to become a reality, remaining obstacles regarding transport and storage technologies, certification schemes and market design need to be resolved.
The EU Hydrogen Forum will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and consider concrete options to move the hydrogen agenda forward in both regions. It will help identify innovative and replicable practices and models to facilitate the development and implementation of renewable hydrogen projects with the view to initiate joint initiatives.