January 24, 2022

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Hydrogen power forecast to bring new dimension to energy geopolitics

2 min read

Europe’s gas crisis could speed the transition to clean energy and the adoption of green hydrogen as a viable alternative to oil and gas, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).

“Price volatility has been a feature of the oil and gas system,” Francesco La Camera, director-general of Irena, told the Financial Times. “Moving to the new energy system, where hydrogen plays a significant role, brings us less volatility.” 

The development of green hydrogen, made from water and using renewable electricity, has become a policy priority for many countries as they prepare to cut emissions to “net zero” by 2050.

An Irena report published on Saturday forecast that the geopolitics of oil and gas, in which producer countries have the power to influence prices, would wane as new fuels including hydrogen become more dominant.

It concluded a “new cartography of energy geopolitics” and a revamped “hydrogen diplomacy” would emerge as production ramped up around the world.

“Hopefully the geopolitics of energy in 2050 will be less important than they are now, because people will have less dependency on small markets that can really influence global energy markets in an unpredictable way that we have today,” said Elizabeth Press, Irena’s director of planning.

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La Camera said the green hydrogen market was already growing “a bit faster than we had foreseen a couple of months ago”, pointing to recent deals in Germany, Uruguay and Brazil.

Irena estimates that hydrogen could provide 12 per cent of the world’s energy needs by 2050 if global emissions were cut significantly to limit warming to 1.5C.

But the market would develop in a “more regional than global” direction, La Camera predicted, noting that many…

2022-01-14 19:01:40

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