Low-Carbon Hydrogen Policy to Boost UAE’s National Hydrogen Strategy
Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) today announced that the development of its hydrogen policy and regulatory framework aims to accelerate the UAE’s national hydrogen strategy and help the nation attain global leadership in low-carbon and clean hydrogen.
For the design of this regulatory framework, the DoE is working with key Abu Dhabi government and private sector stakeholders including:
ADNOC, Mubadala, Masdar, ADQ, TAQA, Emirates Water and Electricity Company, Abu Dhabi Ports, Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, Department of Economic Development, Department of Municipalities and Transport, Department of Finance and Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi Department of Energy’s hydrogen policy and regulatory framework aims to clearly define policies, regulations, standards, and certifications for the emerging hydrogen industry to be globally competitive.
Due to the nature of the industry, emerging industrial forms, growth characteristics, and technical components, a policy and regulatory framework is essential to ensure sustainable developments and to position Abu Dhabi as a leader in the production and usage of hydrogen worldwide.
The DoE expects to report on the outcomes of the Policy and the regulatory framework before the end of 2022.
H.E. Eng. Ahmed Mohammed Belajer Al Rumaithi, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, said: “A vibrant low carbon hydrogen production and consumption industry will place Abu Dhabi and the UAE at the global forefront of countries producing green energy.
"It can potentially increase low-carbon hydrogen production in Abu Dhabi to more than a million tonnes per annum by 2030.
"Locally produced hydrogen will act as a driver of innovation, allowing for the decarbonisation of the economy in line with UAE National Energy Strategy 2050 and improved energy security to support the economic, environmental, and social sustainability requirements of the emirate.”
Climate change and the need for decarbonising economies across the world are driving the pursuit of low-carbon hydrogen technologies as a source of fuel.
The Hydrogen Council reported in 2021 that hydrogen is an aspiration for the world as a future energy source. Over 30 countries have released hydrogen roadmaps, and the industry has announced more than 200 hydrogen projects and ambitious investment plans.
Total investments can exceed $300 billion in hydrogen spending through 2030 – the equivalent of 1.4% of global energy funding.
Given that the industry is at an early stage, technical issues need resolving and effort and investment need to be committed to reducing costs.
Additionally, hydrogen operations need standards, regulations, and certifications. International organisations, such as the European Commission, stipulate green hydrogen usage and the standards for its production, ensuring use of clean fuel sources.
Countries are also piloting projects to produce green hydrogen and use it for running vehicles.
According to the Hydrogen Council, worldwide production of hydrogen has already reached 70 million tonnes per year but 96% of this is grey hydrogen, produced from steam reformation of methane and costs about $1 per kg.
Blue hydrogen, which relies on carbon capture and storage technologies to remove emissions from grey hydrogen, costs around $2 per kg.
Whereas green hydrogen, produced by electrolysers derived off renewable electricity, costs at least $4 per kg. Lastly, there is pink hydrogen, produced as an offshoot from nuclear power.
Hydrogen production in the UAE
In Abu Dhabi, hydrogen production is underway as a feedstock for ammonia and industrial processes.
However, this is mainly grey hydrogen, for which production relies on natural gas. ADNOC has announced plans to increase its carbon capture capacity five-fold from 800,000 tonnes to five million tonnes by 2030.
This will make Abu Dhabi one of the world’s lowest-cost and largest producers of blue hydrogen.