Green hydrogen, produced by the electrolysis of water, using renewable electricity, is emerging as an attractive alternative to fossil fuels, and could play a major role in the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future.
Countries are now seeking information related to green hydrogen, and key considerations in costs, benefits and trade-offs when making strategy, policy and investment decisions. In response to this growing demand for information, the USAID-National Renewable Energy Laboratory partnership, Asia LEDS Partnership (ALP) and the Global Climate Action Partnership (GCAP) organised a training on navigating key considerations for developing a green hydrogen landscape, and developing country-specific hydrogen strategies, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
The training provided a comprehensive look at the considerations involved in developing hydrogen strategies, encouraging participants to analyse opportunities, challenges, and potential co-benefits associated with hydrogen projects. The Hydrogen Considerations Tree, a strategic framework developed through the collaborative efforts of the USAID-NREL Partnership, was unveiled. This tool helps to understand and explore the economic potential of hydrogen in local contexts. It consists of seven modules that cover aspects such as end-use applications, policy frameworks, regulatory considerations, and technological pathways.
Ms. Daniella Rough, Project Lead, NREL, gave an overview of the core objectives of the NREL-USAID partnership, which focuses on the Hydrogen Considerations Tree. Mr. Omar Jose, Project Lead, NREL, spoke about hydrogen’s versatility as an energy carrier and the need for technological advancements to drive down production costs and reduce emissions, and affirmed that low-carbon hydrogen production from solar and wind electrolysis is expected to compete with traditional methods by 2030 or earlier.
Mr. Jamie Kie, Researcher, NREL, gave insights into the environmental and social factors pivotal to informed hydrogen decision-making, such as carbon emissions associated with producing hydrogen, land use and access for resource extraction, usage of water, and proper waste disposal plans, in addition to protocols for handling, storing, and distributing hydrogen and its derivatives, and international collaboration for project support and cross-border trade.
Dr. Arvind Prasad Chaphekar, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), India, articulated the country’s ambitious green energy transition plans, which include building a substantial non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030, a significant reduction in emissions intensity, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2070. This transformative journey is being propelled by flagship initiatives like the National Green Hydrogen Mission and strategic incentives such as the Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition Programme or SIGHT.
Mr. Biraj Singh Thapa, Team Leader, Green Hydrogen Lab, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kathmandu University, Nepal, spoke about how his country is capitalising on its surplus hydro-electricity to transition from fossil fuels to renewables like hydrogen, adding that the need for spreading awareness and advocacy of hydrogen technology was of utmost importance.
The training highlighted the transformative potential and collaborative efforts essential for the widespread adoption of hydrogen technology and underscored the importance of a comprehensive framework, technological advancements, and targeted policy interventions in shaping a sustainable hydrogen ecosystem.