United Arab Emirates to harness hydrogen as clean energy source

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The Abu Dhabi skyline. Photo for reference only.
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Dubai: The United Arab Emirates will benefit greatly from the development of integrated strategies to produce, store and use hydrogen energy, according to a recent report titled “Hydrogen: From Hype to Reality”, published by the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF).

The report – launched by DFF in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and the Electricity and Water Authority of Dubai (DEWA) – provides an overview of local, regional and global trends in energy production and consumption. as well as advanced hydrogen production technologies and the advantages of hydrogen in energy consumption.

Clean fuel

Hydrogen is a clean fuel that can be produced from a variety of household resources, including natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, and renewables such as solar and wind power. Hydrogen fuel cells produce electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen atoms. When consumed in a fuel cell, hydrogen only produces water.

The DFF report noted: “As the world strives to achieve net zero emissions, hydrogen will be crucial to decarbonize hard-to-reduce industries, such as steel, cement, aviation and fuel. maritime transport, hydrogen offers as a source of sustainable energy that can help preserve the environment and reduce the risks of climate change ”.

Develop renewable sources

Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei

Energy and Infrastructure Minister Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei said: “The UAE is one of the leaders in the fields of renewable and clean energy and a forerunner in adopting innovative methods to improve the efficiency of the energy sector. To achieve these priorities, the country has launched the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 which aims to increase the share of renewable and clean energy sources in the energy mix in order to strike a balance between its economic needs and its environmental objectives.

He added: “Hydrogen energy is one of the solutions that support sustainable development. It can be produced from available traditional sources, such as oil and gas, or from renewable sources, including solar and wind power, in addition to geothermal energy and organic sources. The production of hydrogen from fossil fuels is currently the most cost competitive in our region at $ 1.5 (around 5.51 Dh) per kilogram. “

Key pillar of climate action

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, added: “Deploying clean energy solutions is a key pillar of global climate action, as it significantly contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse and accelerates the path to a net zero future. Impressive technological advances have helped us find new sources of clean energy, with hydrogen at the forefront. “

She added: “By launching programs and projects to produce and use green hydrogen, the UAE is leading the international race to harness clean hydrogen as the fuel of the future.”

Fuel of the future

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA, ​​called hydrogen the fuel of the future. He said: “Today the world is witnessing a growing interest in investing in clean, renewable energy sources that will change the global energy landscape in the years to come, especially for countries looking to grow. recover quickly from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by gradually shifting from fossil fuels to environmentally friendly and relatively inexpensive energy sources, including hydrogen, dubbed by many as the fuel of the future. “

The production of green hydrogen is part of DEWA’s efforts to support the Dubai 2050 Clean Energy Strategy which aims to deliver 75 percent of Dubai’s total electric capacity from clean energy sources by 2050.

The Green Hydrogen project, which was implemented in collaboration between DEWA, ​​Expo 2020 Dubai and Siemens Energy at DEWA’s R&D center in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park, is the first installation in the Middle East and in North Africa to produce hydrogen using solar energy. Power. The plant has been designed to facilitate future applications and test platforms for the different uses of hydrogen.

Khalfan Belhoul

DFF CEO Khalfan Belhoul stressed that the development of innovative production practices from alternative and sustainable sources will strengthen the UAE’s clean energy benchmarks and advance its efforts to reduce gas emissions at greenhouse effect.

He noted that the report indicates that the UAE could become not only a leading hydrogen economy in the region, but also a major exporter of hydrogen.

Exporting hydrogen

The report states: “Dubai policy makers are strongly recommended to pursue the ‘Producer and Hub’ export sector development strategy, which is possible in the context of high domestic and international demand for hydrogen or mean. The strategy could add up to Dh32 billion per year to Dubai’s gross domestic product, while creating more than 120,000 jobs and offsetting carbon emissions equivalent to 84 days per year of UAE crude oil production. united by 2050. “

The report also reviews several methods that can be used to produce hydrogen, each with a color code indicating the production process. Today, most of the hydrogen is produced by steam reforming fossil fuels, such as natural gas or coal, and is often described as gray hydrogen. This process can be coupled with Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS), where the generated CO2 is captured and used or stored underground. The hydrogen produced by this method is called blue hydrogen.

Different methods

When hydrogen is produced by electrolysis from electricity from renewable energies, such as wind or solar power, or from biogas from biomass, we speak of green hydrogen. Meanwhile, yellow hydrogen is extracted from water by electrolysis, similar to green hydrogen. The only difference is that the source of electricity used is nuclear power instead of renewables.

The full report is available on the FDF website.


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