There is no alternative to using hydrogen for climate protection. Climate change and its ensuing measures require a lot of effort, money, and above all, the right solutions.
Therefore, a meaningful project, which will be perceived worldwide as a model for complete technological change, is particularly important – and that is what the Bonn Climate Project and the CTC Bonn perfectly stand for!
We can already see great steps towards a hydrogen economy in Germany. Steps are good, but not enough, we need the implementation of a hydrogen economy – now!
The OPEC’s are now required
Now the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are required, especially the Gulf countries and North Africa, because without the supply of hydrogen from these countries, the absolutely necessary immediate conversion to a hydrogen economy is not possible. These countries have the unique opportunity to supply Europe and the world no longer (only) with oil and natural gas, ultimately hydrocarbon fuels, but with pure CO2 free hydrogen.
This is possible from North Africa via the existing natural gas pipelines or from the Gulf countries by means of liquid hydrogen by tanker. Therefore, nothing has to change in the business model of the oil-exporting states – only the share of export quantities of green or blue hydrogen is growing, as we in Germany and other EU countries want or have to do without coal combustion and substitute it by using hydrogen.
Instead of hydrocarbons, the OPEC’s will export pure hydrogen in the future. Everything can therefore stay with the existing business system:
- Green hydrogen is hydrogen from electrolysis with electricity from renewable energies acc. Electricity criteria for green hydrogen or from biomass produced in a certified green thermochemical or biological conversion process.
- Blue hydrogen is climate-neutral hydrogen from natural gas with CO2 capture and storage.
The Gulf countries are the ideal future producer and supplier of green hydrogen due to the very cheap production of electricity from solar power plants. The enormous demand for green hydrogen for transport, industry and housing cannot be produced from the sources available in Germany and Europe. In this way, the Gulf countries can already counteract a possible decline in prices and the loss of importance of crude oil and natural gas by steadily increasing electromobility and (over) compensate for this by supplying hydrogen.
“If the Gulf countries now work in parallel with Germany and the EU to introduce a hydrogen economy and make a joint effort, then this will be a great success”
Increasing importance of hydrogen
An increasing importance of hydrogen as an energy source will inevitably lead to a market establishment of hydrogen technologies. Market establishment will in turn drive demand further. Participation of the Gulf countries in this cycle has a socio-political and socio-economic dimension (as already stated by the author of Hydrogen Economy for Arab Countries: Perspectives, published on 27th July 27, 2018):
The author wrote: “Arab world is facing major sustainability challenges in achieving social, economic and environmental goals. Hydrogen economy can help Arab governments, companies, and citizens to save billions of dollars each year from reduced energy bills and sustainable waste management, while at the same time reducing carbon footprints – a win-win solution.”
“Extremely arid climate, acute water scarcity, high energy consumption and polluting oil and gas industry present a unique challenge in Arab countries. Almost one-fifth of the Arab population is dependent on non-commercial fuels for different energy uses. All sectors of the economy — residential, commercial, transport, service and agriculture — demands modern energy services.”
“Gaseous emissions from the exploration and burning of fossil fuels is heavily polluting the atmosphere in the Arab world. Waste management has emerged as a major environmental issue with mountains of wastes accumulating in big cities across the Arab world. Compared to other countries, Arab countries are experiencing higher emissions of oxides of nitrogen, sulphur dioxide and volatile organic compounds.”
“More than 40% of the Arab population in rural and urban poor areas do not have adequate access to energy services. It is also noted that almost one-fifth of the Arab population relies on non-commercial fuels for different energy uses.”
“A Glance at Basic Principles: Water is life, energy and a fuel:
- Water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen.
- Water changes its state into hydrogen and oxygen and then back to water.
- Nothing is lost in the world. Everything only changes its status and can be used over and over again: from the solid to the liquid state to the gaseous state This is the hydrologic and hydrogen circle.
- Our energy is utilised in the form of oil, gas, coal, or wood; all are hydro-carbon elements and compounds.
- Take away the carbon and use only the hydrogen as CO2 free energy for universal use.”
Against this background I draw the following conclusion:
The Gulf countries are already far ahead of most other nations because of their significant commitment to climate change and can further strengthen their position through cheap export of hydrogen. If the Gulf countries now work in parallel with Germany and the EU to introduce a hydrogen economy and make a joint effort, then this will be a great success. Then we can still save our climate – and with it our world.