Hydropower ‘ready to help’ green hydrogen meet ambitious new target

An ambitious new target for green hydrogen production will require the support of the hydropower sector to meet climate change goals, says the International Hydropower Association’s (IHA’s) Chief Executive Eddie Rich.

IHA Chief Executive Eddie Rich chairs a panel discussion on how sustainable hydropower and green hydrogen can work together to reach net zero

Mr Rich was commenting on a new campaign by the Green Hydrogen Organisation (GH2), ‘100 by 2030’, which calls for the production of at least 100 million tonnes of green hydrogen annually by 2030 to help reach global net-zero targets.

Green hydrogen is forecast to have a large role in future clean energy systems and is produced using low-carbon electricity such as hydropower, wind and solar.

100 million tonnes is a fantasy without sustainable hydropower

Mr Rich says: “Green hydrogen and sustainable hydropower need to work together if the planet is to reach net-zero targets. 100 million tonnes of green hydrogen is a fantasy without sustainable hydropower.

“Variable renewables like wind and solar have a huge role to play in green grids of the future. But to keep carbon out of hydrogen production we need hydropower’s flexibility and energy storage services, and hydropower stands ready to help.”

Hydropower is poised to play a vital role in supporting the growth of green hydrogen, which has the potential to provide 13 per cent of the electricity demand required by 2050 to meet net-zero goals.

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is Chair of GH2 and says that green hydrogen will eventually replace fossil fuels.

“Green hydrogen is a vastly superior technology to fossil fuels and will inevitably replace them – the only question is when,” he says.

“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.”

A new standard for the hydrogen industry

GH2 has also launched a new Global Green Hydrogen Standard. Projects that gain certification as ‘GH2 Green Hydrogen’ guarantee close to net-zero emissions for hydrogen production, a commitment to environmental, social and governance performance, and alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The new standard draws heavily from the Hydropower Sustainability Standard. In the future, hydrogen derived from projects that are certified against the Hydropower Sustainability Standard should qualify as ‘GH2 Green Hydrogen’.

The GH2 campaign and the new standard were announced at the organisation’s inaugural Global Assembly, where Mr. Rich chaired an event on how sustainable hydropower and hydrogen can support each other in future energy scenarios, ‘Sustainable hydropower and green hydrogen: better together’.  

Panellists at the event included:

- Malcolm Turnbull, former Prime Minister of Australia, Chair of GH2 and IHA Board Member

- Francesco La Camera, Director General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

- Jérôme Pécresse, GE Senior Vice President, Energy Transition

- Marcelo Kloster, Chairman, IMPSA and Advisor Officer, Argentinian Ministry for productive development

- Sharron Becker, Director of Hydrogen Valleys, Impact Hydrogen

- Antoine Vagneur-Jones, Head of Trade and Supply Chains, Bloomberg NEF

Read about how the sectors are already collaborating to reach net-zero and IHA’s paper on ‘The green hydrogen revolution: hydropower’s transformative role’.

Learn more about how hydropower can help to decarbonise industries like green hydrogen.

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