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Hydrogen

Hydrogen value chain image

Hydrogen is an innovative solution to achieving carbon neutrality and other climate targets. In 2019 and 2020 the key players from across the UNECE region came up with decarbonization strategies in which hydrogen is to play a pivotal role (e.g., Hydrogen Road Map Europe, Hydrogen Economy in Russia, or the US Hydrogen Strategy).

Hydrogen is recognized as the bridge to achieving carbon neutrality of the energy system, especially in hard-to-abate sectors. In a future sustainable energy system hydrogen—along with other renewable and low-carbon gases—might be used in industry, homes, power generation, and transport. This in turn might lead to the creation of an integrated service-based society.

In November 2020 the Group of Experts on Gas prepared for the 29th session of the Committee on Sustainable Energy a document: Hydrogen – an innovative solution for carbon neutrality. The document recommended to member States to be agnostic and neutral when it comes to technologies, and to adopt common, science-based terminology. The document proposed ideas how to accelerate electrolyser development and deployment. It called for a stronger trans-Atlantic and between UNECE and other Regional Commissions.

Hydrogen, although clean and versatile, is not an energy source but an energy vector: it must be produced, transported/stored before being used (converted to other forms of energy, such as electricity or heat, or to other chemicals). On 24 March 2021, UNECE organised a workshop on role of hydrogen to attain carbon neutrality that featured three breakout sessions to discuss developments in production, transport/storage and use of hydrogen.