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Green hydrogen could be cost competitive in five years: UAE minister

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Green hydrogen could be cost competitive in five years: UAE minister

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London — Hydrogen produced by renewables in the very best locations could become cost competitive in the next five year, UAE environment minister Thani Al Zeyoudi told delegates at International Renewable Energy Agency's ministerial roundtable Saturday.

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"With further investment, hydrogen production could become cost competitive in the next five years," the minister said in a statement by IRENA. The minister was referring to the massive MBR solar park developed by Dubai utility Dewa including a small pilot project integrating the first green hydrogen electrolyzer in the MENA region.

"It's important to leave the pilot phase and scale up projects that are viable," Manuel Kuehn, the Siemens' manager overseeing the project to be showcased at the Expo 2020 Dubai, added.

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Green hydrogen is increasingly seen as a potential gamechanger for the energy transition with policies and project proposals having gained "unprecedented momentum", IRENA's director general Francesco La Camera said.

IEA executive director Fatih Birol, who provided the key note to the IRENA gathering in Abu Dhabi echoed the comments, but also mentioned challenges ahead especially costs needing to decline.

"Hydrogen can help overcome many difficult energy challenges. It can decarbonize hart-to-abate-sectors...[it] can also enhance energy security by diversifying the fuel mix and [provide] flexibility to balance grids," Birol said.

Japan and the EU are currently seen at the forefront of green hydrogen development to support post-2030 decarbonization policies.

"Hydrogen is a key instrument for meeting the Green Deal objectives and Europe is leading on its industry development," the EU's new energy commissioner Kadri Simson said at the meeting.

Japan's energy ministry representative pointed at the prospect of making hydrogen the "tradable energy of the future" with new infrastructure requirements.

IRENA's latest report on green hydrogen published last September based on its wind/solar cost trajectories sees electrolysis projects in the best locations competitive with blue hydrogen (produced from natural gas with carbon capture and storage) within five years.