UAE strikes deal with German companies to develop hydrogen strategy

The United Arab Emirates has tasked German companies with developing the country’s national hydrogen strategy as it diversifies its energy mix and pursues a goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI) has signed an agreement with German engineering and consultancy firm GHD in partnership with applied research organization Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to develop its hydrogen strategy, he said. announced on Sunday.

“We remain focused on our goal of capturing 25% of the largest hydrogen market,” said the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. Suhail Al Mazrouei.

“Our ambition is to see the UAE become a global authority on the role of hydrogen in the energy transition.”

The deal comes as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on a two-day Gulf tour that will also include Qatar. He hopes to agree on new energy partnerships with Gulf states after losing supplies from Russia following a standoff between Europe and Moscow over its war in Ukraine.

Scholz’s visit comes amid attempts by Germany to reduce its reliance on Russian energy supplies and diversify.

Before the war in Ukraine, Russia supplied about 40% of Europe’s natural gas. About 55% of the gas consumed in Germany was imported from Russia. Natural gas accounts for around 27% of the energy mix of Europe’s largest economy.

The UAE and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa region are pursuing plans to integrate hydrogen into their energy mix and harness the clean fuel for different industrial applications.

The UAE has set a goal of capturing 25% of the global market for low-carbon hydrogen by 2030 and is in talks with several countries to export it, Al Mazrouei said earlier this year. The demand for clean fuel is increasing globally as part of governments’ efforts to reduce emissions.

Last year, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Mubadala Investment Company and Abu Dhabi’s state holding company ADQ formed an alliance to develop a global hydrogen hub. The alliance will focus on low-carbon green and blue hydrogen as part of the UAE’s energy diversification efforts.

GHD initially worked with the MoEI to assess the critical elements needed to establish a hydrogen strategy in the UAE. This will define the direction of a hydrogen economy in the Emirates, the ministry said.

“Hydrogen could be a decarbonization solution that offers multiple market opportunities in the electricity, transport and mobility sectors, as well as in the industrial sectors,” said Sharif Al Olama, Undersecretary of the MoEI.

Proper infrastructure, technology readiness and market access must be in place for a thriving hydrogen economy, the ministry said.

The new hydrogen strategy development agreement comes after the two countries signed the UAE-Germany Energy Partnership in 2017 to strengthen dialogue and provide a framework for cooperation in the energy transition.

They have also launched a bilateral Hydrogen Task Force, to engage government departments, businesses and scientists in a systematic process to boost the hydrogen economy.

The countries aim to cooperate on projects upstream (joint production of green fuels), intermediate (transportation) and downstream (technology for industrial use).

In June, a high-level delegation from the United Arab Emirates was due to visit Germany to explore ways in which the two countries can cooperate in the field of clean energy, in particular hydrogen, according to the Ministry of Energy. of the United Arab Emirates.

Updated: September 25, 2022, 08:29

James R. Rhodes