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Opportunities for hydrogen demand creation in hard-to-abate industry

Opportunities for hydrogen demand creation in hard-to-abate industry

UNECE Hydrogen Task Force Webinar Series

18 June 2024 15:00 - 17:30
Palais des Nations, room H-307-1 Geneva Switzerland

UNECE Hydrogen Task Force repeatedly pointed out that hydrogen could play an important role in the decarbonization of hard-to-abate industry, such as cement, steel, or ammonia production. This view is shared by many UNECE member States who are increasingly recognizing the potential for hydrogen to contribute to meeting the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. Some of them – Germany, Netherlands, Russian Federation, Spain, United States, and the European Union – have developed national or regional hydrogen strategies that feature the use of hydrogen in hard-to-abate sector. Other UNECE member States are also showing a strong interest in looking into how hydrogen could become part of their national net zero strategies. 

These efforts are often directed towards production of low emissions hydrogen; there seems to be a lack of policies for demand creation which is necessary for hydrogen value chain to develop and grow. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), only 5% of the announced hydrogen projects progressed to the final investment decision. Most of the projects that do get financed deal with production of low emissions hydrogen; very few of them deal with its use. The discrepancy between projected supply and demand of low emissions hydrogen slows down the development of hydrogen value chain.

The unwillingness of end users to embrace hydrogen as a feedstock reflects anxiety about costs, technological challenges, risks and their perception, fluid regulatory environment, geopolitical uncertainties, and a deficit in infrastructure necessary for delivering hydrogen to end-users. As IEA recently concluded, although hydrogen demand keeps growing, it remains concentrated in traditional applications. New applications in heavy industry account for less than 0.1% of hydrogen demand, whereas in the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario they are supposed to account for one-third of global hydrogen demand by 2030. Navigating this long, winding, and perilous road to net zero (that is, from 0.1% to 30% low emissions hydrogen) will require significant effort, investment, audacity and a shared vision and commitment.

This webinar is based on the premise that in the first phase of value chain development, hydrogen supply and demand should be relatively near each other, to avoid additional costs associated with long-distance transport and large-scale storage in compressed gas or liquified forms. The webinar will explore opportunities for hydrogen demand creation in hard-to-abate industry such as steel, cement, or ammonia production. (Hydrogen demand in maritime and road transport and heat and power production will be discussed at separate webinars dedicated to these industries.)

The Chair of the Hydrogen Task Force will present the findings of the workshop at the annual session of the UNECE Committee on Sustainable Energy in September.

Connection details for online participation:

Microsoft Teams 

Meeting ID: 337 493 433 938

Passcode: GtKs4W