Green hydrogen and sustainable hydropower sectors collaborate to achieve net zero
Founders of new Green Hydrogen Organisation cite advantages of producing green hydrogen with sustainable hydropower
The newly formed Green Hydrogen Organisation (GH2) and the International Hydropower Association (IHA) today set out a mutually strengthening vision of how their two sectors can collaborate and contribute to tackling climate change.
Green hydrogen is a hydrogen produced fuel obtained from electrolysis of water with electricity generated by low-carbon power sources such as hydropower, wind and solar.
The Green Hydrogen Organisation will promote the production and use of green hydrogen. It has begun work on establishing a ‘GH2 Green Hydrogen Standard’ to ensure that green hydrogen is certified as coming only from low carbon sources.
In addition to ensuring almost zero carbon emissions are produced by green hydrogen, the GH2 Green Hydrogen Standard will be developed to align with the hydropower sector’s Hydropower Sustainability Standard, making sure over time that wider ESG commitments are safeguarded.
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be inaugural Chair of the new organisation, with Dr Andrew Forrest, Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group and Fortescue Future Industries, a founding Board member.
“GH2 has been established to ensure green hydrogen is central to the energy systems of the future,” said Mr Turnbull, who is also a Board member of IHA. “Green hydrogen is a vastly superior technology to fossil fuels and will inevitably replace them – the only question is when,” he said.
“We are running out of time. Globally, almost 800 million people lack access to electricity. Addressing this should be a priority, using renewable energy and green hydrogen, not perpetuating a dependence on fossil fuels.”
The commitment by the two organisations to collaborate was made at a session on green hydrogen at the World Hydropower Congress on 17 September 2021. The main message of the session was that energy should be sourced only from renewable sources like sustainable hydropower.
‘Sustainable hydropower and green hydrogen is a perfect marriage’
Jonas Moberg, CEO of the Green Hydrogen Organisation said: “We hope that our organisation will harness entrepreneurship and sustainability in the renewables to enable a faster shift to producing and using green hydrogen.”
Eddie Rich, CEO of IHA, welcomed the commitment, saying: “Sustainable hydropower and green hydrogen is a perfect marriage. I look forward to working arm in arm with the green hydrogen sector to help its exponential growth built on good sustainability principles.”
He added: “The green hydrogen revolution is dependent on renewable energy, including sustainable and responsibly developed hydropower. With the need for renewable energy and storage growing rapidly, it will be critically important for the green hydrogen industry to subscribe to high sustainability standards.”
The founders of the new organisation strongly endorsed the forthcoming San José Declaration on Sustainable Hydropower and the recently launched Hydropower Sustainability Standard.
At the World Hydropower Congress session, Dr Andrew Forrest said: “Green hydrogen and green energy will be the largest industry in the world. Hydropower [provides] direct green electricity or, if it is too remote, [it can be] plugged into a demand source – the advent of the world of green hydrogen.
“Hydropower has a huge future. We need that green energy to make all the products the world needs – green ammonia, green fertiliser, green steel, green cement – these are all products that can now be driven by hydropower.
“The world needs hydrogen but the cure shouldn’t be worse than the disease. We must challenge all hydrogen producers, green or otherwise, to meet the highest standards of emissions and sustainability”.
In May 2021, IHA published a paper, The green hydrogen revolution: hydropower’s transformative role, outlining how hydropower can be pivotal in supporting growth in green hydrogen. The association has called on governments and industry to:
- Develop enabling policies and financial incentives to stimulate demand for green hydrogen, scale-up projects and reduce technology costs.
- Support decarbonisation of power grids, and establish global certification systems that credit green hydrogen produced from clean electricity sources, including hydropower.
- Recognise and support the role of hydropower capacity, alongside other renewables, for green hydrogen production. A balanced portfolio leads to a more secure and sustainable energy mix, and helps ensure high utilisation factors for H2 electrolysis plants.
- Create markets and policy frameworks that reward flexible electricity supply and demand on the grid.
- Scale-up investment into new renewable power capacity, as soon as possible, to progress grid decarbonisation and cost reductions for green hydrogen.
For more information on the Green Hydrogen Organisation visit www.gh2.org