IL CAIRO - Among the opportunities to be seized, there are not only renewable energy sources (wind and solar), but also several technologies for the storage, transport and use of green electricity. Among these, the Hydrogen could be an option for the energy storage.
This was reported by an article just published on the website of the TEN - Trans Med Engineering Network company entitled "Mediterranean Hydrogen Infrastructure".
"Hydrogen is not a game changer" premise the two authors, Michelangelo Celozzi, president of the company, and Giuseppe Tomassetti, great expert in the sector. But this technology also offers "opportunities" for the Mediterranean countries, the article reads.
"Research and technological development in Europe are moving along these guidelines, from which the Mediterranean countries should draw the opportunity to borrow the development of new energy technologies, setting them in the "value chain ", as reported to ANSAmed Tomassetti.
All the Mediterranean Countries, the Northern and the Southern ones, should not miss the occasion offered by the "assisted" recovery of the economy in the post-pandemic phase: financing coordinated investments for relaunching the economic development in the Mediterranean region and supporting the technological innovation in the energy sector, to develop a more sustainable Mediterranean energy infrastructure, "in view of a common future for the Mediterranean, based on the integration of the energy, economic and productive systems, as, in these times of crisis, cohesion funds can help the Mediterranean countries to achieve the Northern Europe economic recovery, already beginning", the two experts exhort.
The global clean energy transition would result in a new geopolitical map. As new cleaner energy sources are deployed, old players such as oil producing countries could see their geopolitical influence shrink, while new players will emerge.
In this sense, the Mediterranean may become one of the main hotspots for the hydrogen economy due to the complementary nature between the EU’s green and technological ambitions and the great natural resource potential across the Middle East and North Africa.
The EU expresses one of the strongest political commitments to lead in hydrogen. as it considers it a key element in its pursuit of climate neutrality by 2050 and, at the same time, a sector to enhance its technological leadership in, carried by its painful experience in solar PV manufacturing, which was developed in Europe at high costs only to be eventually moved to China. In July 2020, the EU launched its Hydrogen Strategy, which envisages hydrogen covering 13-14% of Europe’s energy mix by 2050. To create a hydrogen economy, the EU Strategy is ready to roll out **significant investments. At the European level, the EU prioritizes investments in green hydrogen (up to €180-470 billion by 2050) rather than for blue hydrogen (€3-18 billion), which is relegated to an intermediate target alone. At the national level, governments announced over $30 billions in hydrogen investments by 2030, only in the second half of 2020. Among European countries, Germany is the most committed to take the lead in hydrogen technology, announcing a €7 billion investment plan in domestic production of green hydrogen.
Morocco does not hold significant hydrocarbon reserves, but it is commonly seen as the leading hydrogen player in North Africa. It set an ambitious renewable target of 52% of installed electricity capacity – corresponding to around 11 GW – by 2030. The aim is to use its great solar and wind potential in order to develop hydrogen.
The Elcano Royal Institute has released a new report that highlights hydrogen’s geo-economic and geopolitical drivers and barriers in the Mediterranean.
The policy paper aims to offer a preliminary assessment of the geo-economic and geological drivers and barriers for the development of a hydrogen market that integrates both European and Mediterranean neighbours’ renewable resources.
If you’d like to find out more, you can read the full report here.
It includes a review of the literature related to hydrogen in the Mediterranean, from European H2 strategies and industry and think tank reports to academic research, as well as stakeholder consultations.
A Highlight – The common elements in European hydrogen strategies constitute significant drivers of H2 market development, but partial inconsistency in some of their external approaches (ie, self-sufficiency vs cross-border trade) might constitute geo-economic and geopolitical barriers to market development and integration.
Hydrogen can be seasonally stored and transported cost-effectively over long distances by ship or pipeline. Renewable hydrogen in combination with renewable electricity has the potential to entirely replace hydrocarbons in the long run.
The year 2020 saw the emergence of hydrogen strategies in many countries and regions around the world: Japan, South Korea, Australia, Chile, Morocco, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Spain, among others.
In Europe, most importantly, on 8 July 2020 the European Commission released the Hydrogen Strategy for a Climate-neutral Europe, as part of its European Green Deal.
The role of hydrogen in eliminating CO2 emissions, particularly from the electrical grid, has attracted increasing interest, with potentially significant implications for investors in the natural gas, utility, and industrial equipment spaces.
Hydrogen has been proposed to provide grid scale energy storage, replacing natural gas to power a net-zero carbon electric grid.
The investment thesis we will look at today is simple: green hydrogen generated from renewable energy can provide grid scale energy storage similar to that provided today by natural gas - the ability to store very large amounts of energy for days to months. This will overcome the intermittency limitation of wind and solar power and allow replacement of natural gas for power generation, yielding a net-zero carbon electrical grid.
When people speak of the future hydrogen economy, or zero-carbon economy, green hydrogen is usually implied.
Now hydrogen is a serious player, according to experts at Guidehouse, the global consulting firm that helps utilities and governments plan for the future and to go green. Its role is seen either as an additive or, in Europe, as a fuel.
Daan Peters, a director at Guidehouse in Europe, told me in an interview on public television’s “White House Chronicle” that hydrogen has captured the imagination of European governments and utilities. It is, he said speaking from Amsterdam, part of the European Green Deal – Europe’s attempt to go green all the way in a circular economy.
A consortium of European countries – the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, among others — is planning a giant, [10-gigawatt wind farm in the North Sea]( Shell unveils world's largest offshore wind plan to power green hydrogen Shell unveils world's largest offshore wind plan to power green hydrogen | Recharge) which will be devoted to the electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen. The hydrogen derived from cracking water is called green hydrogen; that attained by reforming natural gas or from coal is called blue hydrogen.
Green Hysland in Mallorca, the first green hydrogen project in a Mediterranean country due to get European funding – The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) of the European Commission has selected the project Green Hysland in the Balearic Islands to start negotiations for an EU grant agreement valued at 10 million euros what would constitute the second largest grant by this European Commission body to a green hydrogen project and the largest grant ever offered to a Mediterranean country.
Why carbon-free Europe will still need North African energy – The German initiative is not the only big renewable energy investment linking Morocco and the EU. Morocco is the only North African country with a power cable linking it to the European grid, but by 2025 Egypt, Libya and Tunisia are expected to be plugged in as well.