Many UNECE member States recognize hydrogen as a bridge to achieving net zero, especially in hard-to-abate industries. However, hydrogen, although clean and versatile, is not an energy source – it is an energy carrier that first must be produced, transported, and stored at scale. Creating a hydrogen value chain, from practically zero today to an immense and complex future industry, is not easy.
For this reason, UNECE has been engaged with hydrogen since 2017, when it was first introduced as an emerging concept.
In 2020, UNECE prepared the document “Hydrogen - an innovative solution to carbon neutrality”, providing recommendations to member states to be agnostic and neutral when it comes to technologies, and to adopt common, science-based terminology.
In 2021, the Executive Committee of ECE approved the extrabudgetary project: “Sustainable hydrogen production in the UNECE region and its role in the development of a hydrogen ecosystem and export potential”, with the objective of improving capacities of nine UNECE member States (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) to develop sustainable hydrogen production strategies while raising awareness and overcoming economic, technical, policy and investment barriers. The results of the project have been recently circulated in a publication from UNECE.
In 2022, the ECE Committee on Sustainable Energy at its 31st session discussed a “Comprehensive and science-based terminology, classification and taxonomy for hydrogen”, which envisions a future UNECE taxonomy inclusive of economic, social, and environmental considerations as set forth in the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC).
At the moment, UNECE is establishing a Task Force on Hydrogen under the Group of Experts on Gas, which will catalyze UNECE efforts on the topic.
Hydrogen in Europe: Russia’s friend or foe? Водород в Европе: друг или враг России?
29 October 2020 – Hydrogen is a bridge to achieving carbon neutrality. It is not zero-carbon today, but should be in the future. To achieve that, good planning is key. Some member States have already developed a hydrogen strategy, some are working on it. Who does what on hydrogen and how UNECE could help the member States coordinate their efforts is in the presentation that was given on 29 October 2020 at the online conference: “Development of renewable energy sources in the European Union and the assessment of their effectiveness”, organized by the Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University R.E. Alekseeva.
Hydrogen gains momentum in the UNECE region
(UNECE NEWS, 29 September 2020)
On 25 March 2020 UNECE held an Online Hydrogen Workshop in partnership with World Energy Council (WEC) to discuss steps towards a hydrogen enabled future. The objective of the workshop was to i) develop a catalogue of regulations and standards in need of revisions for hydrogen to be able to heat homes and fuel cars within the UNECE region; ii) facilitate international and cross-sector strategic knowledge exchange around public acceptability and the potential of a hydrogen economy for the UNECE region. Read more