Following the news that Nasdaq-listed, Irish electrolyser maker Fusion Fuel will work with Lebanese engineering and construction firm Consolidated Contractors Company to develop green hydrogen plants in the Middle East;
Richard Thompson, Editorial Director at MEED, part of GlobalData, offers his view:
“For nearly a century, the Gulf’s abundant supplies of accessible hydrocarbons has put it at the center of a gas-guzzling global economy. Territories that were largely desert in the middle of the 20th century are now thriving oil economies. However, as the world strives to tackle climate change by decarbonizing energy sources and cutting the use of fossil fuels, the Middle East’s oil producers have identified a new opportunity that they hope will keep them at the heart of the global energy ecosystem throughout the 21st century: green hydrogen.
“Still in its infancy as a commercially viable fuel, hydrogen produced sustainably by using renewable energy to power the electrolysis of water can provide vast quantities of clean fuel. Further, it allows Middle East producers to store and transport the other energy source that they have in abundance: sunlight.
“It is already possible to envisage vast solar farms across the deserts of the Middle East that are used to generate clean hydrogen fuel. It is this vision that has triggered a slew of recent green hydrogen investment deals in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Many more will follow.
“However, the cost is one very large fly in the ointment. At present, it is much cheaper to produce blue hydrogen as a byproduct of fossil fuels than it is to use solar power and electrolysis. Until green hydrogen becomes price competitive, it cannot fulfil its promise.
“In this regard, green hydrogen is currently in a similar position to that of solar power a decade ago. Advances in technology and economies of scale will bring down the costs of green hydrogen production over the next ten years, meaning that the eye-catching investments being announced today are simply the bow wave of a long-term surge in green hydrogen project spending in the region.”
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