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GH2 launches green hydrogen standard to halt global emissions, spur investment

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GH2 launches green hydrogen standard to halt global emissions, spur investment


Targets 100 million mt renewable hydrogen by 2030

Certification requires less than 1 kg CO2e per kg H2

  • Author
  • Jeffrey McDonald
  • Editor
  • Haripriya Banerjee
  • Commodity
  • Coal Energy Transition Natural Gas Metals Petrochemicals
  • Topic
  • Energy Transition Environment and Sustainability Hydrogen: Beyond the Hype

Citing an urgent need to halt global emissions in the next three years, spur investment and build a new energy system, the Green Hydrogen Organization launched the green hydrogen standard at an industry event May 17.

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The standard defines green hydrogen as hydrogen produced through the electrolysis of water with 100%, or near 100%, renewable energy with close to zero greenhouse gas emissions.

"To get to net-zero, we have to stop burning fossil fuels," Malcolm Turnbull, former Australian prime minister and chairman of the Green Hydrogen Organization, said as he kicked off the Green Hydrogen Global Assembly and Exhibition in Barcelona. "It's an obvious thing that is so often overlooked. We've got to stop burning coal and gas. We can't do that without green hydrogen."

The conference and the standard were geared to spur investment into green hydrogen and its derivatives as the Green Hydrogen Organization, or GH2, also announced a target to produce 100 million mt of green hydrogen by 2030.

Turnbull said the shift to green hydrogen could eliminate emissions in industries such as steel, which produces 9% of global GHG emissions, he said.

"Green hydrogen is the essential enabler of a transition to a safer planet -- one we can responsibly leave to our children and grandchildren," he said.

Calling it the "first global effort of its kind," GH2 said it will license green hydrogen projects that meet the standard and will make those projects eligible to obtain and trade GH2 certificates of origin for green hydrogen and derivatives such as green ammonia.

Projects will be required to operate at less than 1 kg/CO2e per kg of hydrogen, according to GH2.

Other aspects include social and environmental impacts, and compliance with international human rights standards where the energy is produced.

"Transparency and collaboration are core principles of GH2's work," said Jonas Moberg, GH2 CEO. "We look forward to working with government, industry and civil society on the implementation and further refinement of the standard."

Fortescue targets 15 mil mt green hydrogen

Australian-based hydrogen producer Fortescue Future Industries announced it would produce 15 million mt of green ammonia by 2030, which would contribute to GH2's 100 million mt target, CEO Julie Shuttleworth said at the event. The company has targeted decarbonization by 2030 and also aims to show by example heavy industry can decarbonize, Shuttleworth said.

The standard could be a "massive boost" for project developers looking for financing given the current lack of regulatory certainty, said Dan Feldman, Abu Dhabi-based partner in project development and finance at Shearman & Sterling. He has worked on several key ammonia projects around the world, including the $5 billion green ammonia project partnering Air Products and Acwa Power in Neom, Saudi Arabia.

The standard could could provide a market signal of the availability and credibility of green hydrogen and ammonia, said Andrea Guati Rojo, stakeholder relations manager at the Ammonia Energy Association.

"It's not futuristic -- it's something that's happening now -- decarbonizing the supply chain," Guati Rojo said. "Consumers need to know the carbon intensity of the product."

The Ammonia Energy Association is also working on a certification scheme that would quantify carbon emissions in ammonia production, which it hopes to implement next year.

S&P Global Commodity Insights launched the Open Hydrogen Initiative in February, a collaboration with GTI, NETL and key stakeholders to develop open-source tools to measure GHG emissions associated with the production of hydrogen using asset-level user inputs, onsite sensing and data collection. The project is expected to take 18 months.