Dubai’s first green hydrogen project was launched at the emirate’s Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park earlier last week. The project was inaugurated by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who chairs the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Expo 2020 Dubai and Siemens Energy serve as partners to the project.
The project “seeks to strengthen the UAE’s leadership across various fields,” bin Saeed Al Maktoum said. “These initiatives seek to ensure people’s happiness and wellbeing and provide solutions to challenges that may hinder our development journey.”
DEVELOPING A GREEN HYDROGEN ECONOMY IN THE UAE
The solar-driven industrial-scale green hydrogen plant is an early step in this direction for the MENA region. The project will facilitate production as well as long-term storage of green hydrogen.
The green hydrogen initiative aims to encourage the use of hydrogen-powered mobility, facilities and equipment. It is also in line with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, with a goal of sourcing 75% of Dubai’s total energy needs from clean sources by 2050, and the Dubai Green Mobility 2030 initiative, which promotes sustainable transportation.
DEWA MD and CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer noted that the plant was a part of the UAE’s drive to expand clean energy adoption, and use “tools of the Fourth Industrial Revolution” to drive sustainable impact in energy and water.
Other efforts include recent cabinet approval for a nationwide system for hydrogen vehicles. The move is aimed at developing a green hydrogen economy in the UAE, introducing hydrogen-powered vehicles to the UAE market, and boosting sustainable economic growth efforts.
HYDROGEN TAKES PRECEDENCE, IN THE MENA REGION AND GLOBALLY
The UAE is not alone in its endeavour to build hydrogen capabilities. Saudi Arabia, for instance, recently announced a USD 5 billion hydrogen project in its planned megacity NEOM earlier this year.
Demand for hydrogen is rising across the world, growing by 3X since 1975. The world’s current supply of hydrogen comes predominantly from fossil fuels.
Green hydrogen does not rely on fossil fuels. It uses electrolysis to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the atmosphere, thereby not contributing to emissions. Further, the electrolysis process is powered by renewable energy sources, making green hydrogen more appealing as a clean energy.
Green hydrogen is favoured by global policy agendas that lean against the fossil fuel industry. At the same time, it is more expensive, and the production process involves a higher degree of technological complexity.
Photo credit: www.siemens-energy.com
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