A Global Hydrogen Future: Workshop Report

A Global Hydrogen Future (March 2023) is a report by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) and the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) summarizing the findings of a workshop held in Washington, D.C. on pathways to speed the transition of hydrogen from a specialty chemical to a fuel and feedstock source adopted widely across multiple regions.

The workshop, along with subsequent analytic work, is part of a two-year project jointly managed by EFI and KAPSARC centering on investment, regulations, policy, and global market value chain conditions necessary for the promotion of hydrogen. It is the intention of both organizations to enhance the conversation surrounding the development of a global hydrogen market with an initial focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

“This program is based on a shared desire to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon energy future,” said Ernest J. Moniz, Chief Executive Officer of EFI, and Fahad Alajlan, President of KAPSARC, in a joint statement on the project. “The substantial resources of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) create an opportunity to develop clean hydrogen at scale. Global market demand will shape the region’s hydrogen export potential and facilitate a low-carbon economy.”

Among the key findings in the report:

• Applicable regulation exists today to spur initial hydrogen development; however, more regulation is needed on the demand side to enable the true market potential of hydrogen as an energy commodity.

• Global data standardization applied on a regional basis is essential for hydrogen market development.

• The financial industry will require high-yield investments that demonstrate value across the supply chain.

• Midstream transportation challenges must be resolved to facilitate development of a global hydrogen market.

• The concentration of critical minerals and manufacture of electrolyzers represents a challenge to the widespread emergence of a green hydrogen economy.

“The joint report released today will provide valuable guidance for our future analysis, which will include a comprehensive assessment of hydrogen’s potential role in the future energy security mix and circular carbon economy, along with recommendations for managing its implementation,” said Richard (Rick) Westerdale II, Executive Director of the program.

EFI and KAPSARC previously worked on “The Future of Natural Gas in a Deeply Decarbonized World,” a series of eight workshops held from December 2020 to May 2021 featuring experts and stakeholders from key regions across the world to explore the role of natural gas in the transition to low- and zero-carbon energy systems.

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