Green hydrogen: a new market for the fuel of the future
Green hydrogen can help mitigate climate change. Pilot projects aim to make hydrogen technology ready to market.
Hope in mitigating climate change, sustainable fuel, technology for the future – the topic of ‘green hydrogen’ has many different facets. Regine Dietz, who works for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH as manager of the International Hydrogen Ramp-up Programme (H2Uppp), says, ‘By providing targeted support for projects, we can support to pave the way for green hydrogen and follow-on products to reach market maturity, to cover the last mile in establishing a sustainable energy supply.’ This is precisely where the problem lies. Until now, the technology has appeared promising, but has not gained a foothold on the market. Therefore, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), GIZ is supporting projects which aim to change that.
Hydrogen is a colourless gas – so ‘green’ hydrogen is not actually green. When we say ‘green’, we simply mean that the gas has been produced from water using renewable energy. Green hydrogen is sustainable because it doesn’t require any fossil fuel and is produced instead from renewable raw materials. The final product stores energy and can be used for a range of different purposes. When deployed correctly, it can replace coal, natural gas and oil.
Helping green hydrogen to market maturity
However, before the technology can be launched onto the market, research must be conducted and knowledge shared. To this end, Chiang Mai University in northern Thailand recently opened a new knowledge hub and training facility. Project developers from all over Southeast Asia can take courses there and build up their practical expertise. The project includes a self-sufficient apartment block with an energy system based on green hydrogen.
Tim Nees represents GIZ in the Chiang Mai project. ‘The knowledge centre is more than a training school. It is also intended to demonstrate the feasibility of green hydrogen systems,’ he explains, adding that the centre also pools a lot of knowledge and experience from various sources. ‘This enables us to help Chiang Mai become a hub for innovations throughout Southeast Asia.’
GIZ is working on joint projects like this with the German Chambers of Commerce in 17 countries on five continents. It identifies pilot projects in the partner countries and supports them via partnerships with German and European companies.