HEA looks to COP28 to cement ambition and momentum for hydrogen sector in the UK

Hydrogen is set to take another step forward in fuelling sustainable economic growth and renewable energy deployment as part of COP28, the country’s leading hydrogen trade association has said.

Celia Greaves, CEO of the Hydrogen Energy Association, formerly known as the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, said members were looking forward to further ambition and momentum in the sector ahead of the forthcoming conference.

The COP28 energy team is set to launch COP28’s Declaration of Intent on mutual recognition of low-carbon hydrogen certification schemes at the event.

And commitments to double energy efficiency, triple renewable energy capacity triple to 11,000GW globally, and double hydrogen production to 180m tonnes a year by 2030 are expected to be agreed.

Celia Greaves said: “The need to expedite the transition towards clean energy and address the climate crisis by embracing a hydrogen-based economy has never been greater.

“It’s vital that we accelerate the essential and inevitable end for fossil fuels and that COP28 sends the right messages out about the key elements required for a successful climate summit and to drive the global hydrogen agenda.”

At COP28, governments will conduct for the first time a “global stocktake” that will set out the progress countries made in Paris on the emissions reduction commitments – known as “nationally determined contributions” or NDCs.

Celia said: “Reports so far show countries are off track to meet promises to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but a lot has been achieved in the last two years. Now, we would like to see robust tradeable certification schemes for hydrogen introduced which is essential to de-risk projects and create trust and credibility.”

The momentum following COP27 represented a giant leap forward for green hydrogen with various key announcements made by key stakeholders as a result.

Moves to establish an international green hydrogen trade, particularly for Europe importing renewable hydrogen from emerging markets, took a giant step forward, with Germany leading the way by increasing the budget for its H2Global scheme subsidising and importing green hydrogen from outside the EU and implementing two new hydrogen funds.

The World Bank launched a new finance initiative, the Hydrogen for Development Partnership (H4D), to help finance the deployment of low-carbon hydrogen in low-and middle-income countries, and the EU signed supply deals with Egypt, Kazakhstan and Namibia to enable the import of green hydrogen from the three countries.

Since then, The European Union has adopted two delegated acts in February 2023 with rules to define renewable hydrogen with approved funding in two waves and more recently, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $7 billion to launch seven Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs (H2Hubs) across the nation and accelerate the commercial-scale deployment of low-cost, clean hydrogen.

Celia said: “The UK needs to continue to cement its ambition and build momentum to stay at the forefront of hydrogen industry and COP28 will play a vital role in driving forward the global hydrogen agenda and further strengthening the imperative for greater UK ambition to ensure that we can play our part in this vital sector – delivering clean growth, energy resilience and net zero through home-grown solutions.”

The COP28 Summit is scheduled to take place in Dubai between November 30th and December 12th.