Green Hydrogen: Sustainable Development Instead of Colonialism

Nienke Homan
Download Report ⬇
The energy sector is in a state of flux. We use more energy than ever and the demand for energy is still growing. At the same time, CO2 emissions must be drastically reduced. This means that we are designing and implementing a whole new energy system. After a somewhat wait-and-see attitude and the hope that we can build a new energy system in the old way, many energy (-related) companies are now realizing that this does not work.
Consider the hydrogen economy. Where the oil and gas industry had a chance to grow organically over the last century, we’re going to completely build the hydrogen economy within a decade. Production, transportation and off-take must be aligned in terms of time frame and quantities. The entire value chain must be planned and that requires a different way of working together from companies, governments, knowledge institutions and the financial sector. The first so-called Hydrogen Valleys in which this happens are starting to take shape, such as in the Northern Netherlands. A Hydrogen Valley provides for the entire chain and has the major advantage that the various Valleys can be copied and linked to each other, leading to an enormous jump in scale.
Various consortia, energy companies, ports and large-scale consumers will take the plunge and look for the most competitive hydrogen outside their own region. Green hydrogen made on a large scale, at a low price because of the high energy density (solar and wind) and low land price.
Europe is working on realizing more than 30 Hydrogen Valleys. And to import 40 GW of green hydrogen from Africa.
A logical development that, as with oil and gas, soon leads to production of green hydrogen in developing countries. The first contracts are concluded, the production chains set up and within a few years hydrogen will be exported from the countries with high energy density and low energy consumption to countries with less energy production but high consumption. In terms of CO2, we will really need this development to meet the climate targets: green hydrogen is the game changer that will enable us to meet those targets. But we can make hydrogen a real game changer if we also make green hydrogen contribute to green growth and sustainable development in the places where the green hydrogen is produced.
We are working to realize green growth, sustainable development and Hydrogen Valleys at both ends of the pipeline: not only where the hydrogen is imported, but also where it is exported.
By setting up international trade in hydrogen,  your company can also contribute to sustainable development in the countries of production. And thus also contribute to the realization of your own ESG / SDG goals.