#betd21 Panel: At the Dawn of the Hydrogen Economy

#betd21 Panel: At the Dawn of the Hydrogen Economy

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One of today's most important challenges  is the decarbonisation of the economy.   This will require huge changes in  little more than a single generation   and will demand innovative  solutions technologies and policies.   Hydrogen will play a crucial role in making  this fundamental change to our energy systems.   A globalized hydrogen economy could play a  major role in preventing the climate emergency   from becoming a catastrophic  reality for the next generations.

Hydrogen, It's light, It's energy dense,  It's storable and it produces no direct   greenhouse gas emissions, which, of course, is  why it is attracting enormous interest on the part   of governments and business. Does the balance of  opportunities and challenges justify all the high   hopes? Our title is at the dawn of the hydrogen  academy, and we have brought together a fantastic   international panel, representing countries with  biggest hydrogen ambitions. In just a moment,   I will welcome our speakers, but I would  like to get your take on our audience poll,   which is will hydrogen become the  bulk energy carrier of the future?   And the voting as begun. As you can see, the yeses  are definitely in the majority, but we want to   keep those votes coming in for a while, ladies  and gentlemen, so if you're a registered user,   please go to the Slido window there on your screen  on this stream and let us know what you think.   Will hydrogen become the bulk energy carrier of  the future? And now it is my pleasure to introduce   our great international panel, and then we'll  come back to that graphic that we have for you.   And I'm just going to, as always, keep the  introductions really brief to try to maximize our   time for discussion. So, we begin with Juan Carlos  Jobet, the Energy Minister for Chile, set itself  

to be one of the world's leading exporters of  hydrogen by 2030. Great to have you, sir. Colombia   is joining forces with Chile and ratcheting up its  own goals. We're very pleased to have Diego Mesa,   Minister of Mines And Energy. Also very pleased  to welcome Dan J rgensen. He is Minister for   Climate Energy and Utilities for Denmark.  Europe'S largest green hydrogen facility   is planned for the Danish North Sea coast.  Also, very, very pleased to be joined by  

Jo o Galamba, Deputy Minister and Secretary  of State for Energy from Portugal, which plans   to start producing green hydrogen by the end  of next year with also the aim of becoming a   major energy exporter. And finally, Kersti  Berge is with us. She is Director For Energy   in the Scottish government. Scotland is putting  massive resources into the strategy we'll see   it generate 5 gigawatts of hydrogen by 2030,  and already hundreds of Scottish homes are   going to be the first in the world to use entirely  green hydrogen for heating and cooking. So as I   said, all of our speakers with big ambitions  in the new hydrogen economy. We'll hear more  

after we take another look at that audience poll  that we had there. And the voting seems to have   stopped, and in fact, a good 2/3 of those who  answered said hydrogen will, indeed, become   the bulk energy carrier of the future. And a  little bit later on, we're going to do a second   poll with our audience, but, first of all, let  me ask all of our panelists to get us started   with your headlines only version of hydrogen's  main advantages but also the challenges. And I   say headline only because, as always, in lieu of  our very tight schedule, we are looking for about   two minutes per speaker for this first round. So,  I will begin, if I may, with Juan Carlos Jobet. Well, thank you very much for the opportunity. And  the results of the poll, I tend to agree with your  

results. In Chile, we have enormous renewable  energy potential, so we're working aggressively   to develop green hydrogen. The use of renewable  energy, naturally produced with the sun and the   wind to be a leading exporter of green hydrogen  to the world and also to achieve our own carbon   neutrality goals. So the two main opportunities, I  would say. First is to decarbonize sectors of the   economy that are hard to electrify, right? We're  going to use cleaner electricity in many areas,   but there are other areas we need other solutions.  For example, steel, cement, and also heavy   transportation. Right? The first opportunity.  Green hydrogen will contribute possibly 25%   of CO2 reductions. And I think the second  opportunity for us is to take advantage of  

our enormous resources through hydrogen.  Other countries goals and also to develop   infrastructure, create jobs, and have the recovery  in areas of our country that have the natural   resources but don't have necessarily thriving  economies today. And the two main challenges.   First one is to avoid partial solutions. We really  need to make sure that the change of production   from the generation to the end consumer it's  really green. Right we don't want our people  

to ?? we want to make sure we make sure it  makes a contribution we expect it to make.   And the second challenge is we need to reduce the  cost of producing and exporting green hydrogen and   we need to scale up production and accelerate the  process of developing new technologies of storage   and then to move it around. So I think those are  the two ways of dealing with the main challenge.  Thank you very much. We will certainly return  to some of those points a little bit later on.   Ladies and gentlemen, before I move to our  next speaker, may I remind you we would be   very eager to hear your questions to our panel.  All registered users can send us questions via   the chat function on our livestream, so  please do that. I'll go now to Minister   Mesa also for that headline version of the biggest  opportunities but also the biggest challenges. 

Thank you. It's a pleasure to be on this panel.  So, talking about opportunities, I think the great   opportunities arguably are for climate change  and to achieve that goal to get to Net Zero   by 2050. From a country such as Colombia that is  a middle-income country, the biggest opportunities   arise from our natural endowment that are needed  to produce green hydrogen. This is a country that   is extremely rich in water resources. We're the  fifth country with the largest renewable water   resources in the world. We also have significant  potential to produce energy from solar and wind,   and we are developing these technologies very  quickly. We're growing from less than 1% of our  

power matrix made up of solar and wind to more  than 12% in just a four?year period. And so I   think there is a great opportunity for countries  like Colombia to become exporters of clean energy.  Thank you. And I think for the challenges,   the challenges are mostly on capital investment,  infrastructure and logistics to be able to   distribute this clean source of energy which  could be used for different applications. Storage,  

transportation, obviously in the industrial  sector. So we need to make sure that we reconvert   some of the infrastructure abilities in many  countries to be able to have trade in hydrogen,   in green hydrogen that's able to reach specially  industrialized countries around the world.  Thank you. Thank you very much for that. I'll  move along now to minister Jorgensen from Denmark.  

Again, please, that headline version,  challenges and opportunities.  Thank you so much I'll start with  the positive side, the opportunities.   Basically there are two of them. One is that we  will have the possibility to use renewables as  

part of our energy systems where it's not possible  today. That's maritime transport, aviation, heavy   road transport. It sounds almost like science  fiction. Today it is just science. We can take   the energy from the wind, harvest the energy from  the wind make it into hydrogen add some carbon and   fly a plane from e-fuel out of that. That's extraordinary. Second big thing is   that with wind, for instance, and also other types  of renewables, we are dependent on the weather. So   we need weather storing the energy.  And hydrogen is exactly that  

possibility. Now, on the challenges. Basically,  it's already been said. We need more scale. So we   need green technology development. This will also  bring down costs. And also that the energy loss in   the transformation through hydrogen and hydrogen  to other fuels and still too big. So when we bring  

that down, costs will also go down and the scale  will go up. So it's all interconnected. Thank you.  Thank you very much. You mentioned  those transport sectors. In fact, if I'm   not incorrect, I believe that you are  planning what will be the world's largest   hydrogen powered ferry, is that correct? Yeah. Yes, actually we have a big Danish maritime  

conglomerate. It is now part of a collaboration  that will help create new fuels based on PGX   that can serve global. It's also working  together with the SAS, the Danish aviation   company, and actually the biggest, the largest  project we have now will be making fertilizer   for the agriculture sector. We planned a project  that will save the planet from 1.5 million tons of   CO2 every year by making ammonia via PGX. Thank you for that addition. Let me go to Deputy   Minister Galamba for the same question as to the  chalenges and opportunities. can you hear us?  

He's frozen. We will go to Scotland and come  back to Portugal. Let me go then to Kersti Berge,   again with that same question,  challenges, opportunities, how you see it.  Thank you very much. Can I make  sure you hear me all right?  Absolutely. Hydrogen transition is very important   part of our goal for Net Zero. It's a  very important part of our green recovery  

and from the crisis that COVID has caused.  Scotland's vision for hydrogen is unashamedly   ambitious, and that ambition will need all of  us here today to work together to realize it.   We set out our hydrogen policy statement  just before Christmas, and in that we were   clear we wanted Scotland to become a hydrogen  nation. And strong international partners in the   production of sustainable hydrogen. So our aim is  to generate 5 gigawatts capacity of renewable and   low?carbon hydrogen by 2030, which is an ambitious  target. Supported by our stunning track record of   hydrogen demonstration projects and maximizing the  opportunities presented by our extensive natural   resources, our existing infrastructure  in Scotland and our skilled workforce,   our intention is for Scotland to become a producer  of the lowest cost hydrogen in Europe by 2025.  

Scotland's no longer a member of the European  Union. We an keen and ready to work with EU   partners as well as others to overcome some of  the challenges of safe, rapid and cost?effective   deployment that I know other ministers have spoken  about. Scotland has the potential to produce,   firstly, large?scale blue hydrogen. More  significantly, internationally, green hydrogen   for onshore and offshore. In Scotland, we have 25%  of Europe's offshore wind resource and we've got  

the largest seascape for development. It's  a huge potential for green hydrogen today.   And as we work together, one of the challenges for  all of us will be to improve our understanding of   the global nature and supply and demand for  hydrogen. Some perspective, we're very well   placed in terms of proximity and infrastructure  connectivity to a number of other European nations   and would be able to produce efficient  hydrogen for their own decarbonization.   The last thing I wanted to say, and I have to  say that because I'm sitting here in Glasgow,   is that later this year Glasgow will, of course,  host COP26 UN conference, the most significant   climate change conference since the Paris Climate  Conference four years ago. Work towards our Net  

Zero ambitions and also work collectively on  the huge opportunity hydrogen provides us.  Thank you very much for that. And exciting to be  there in the Glasgow in the run?up to COP26. Let   me go back to Deputy minister Galamba. Headline  view and then we're going to dig a little deeper.  Well, the opportunities have already been  mentioned. We believe that the renewables   present us all with an opportunity to go deeper  in terms of decarbonization and green hydrogen   for Portugal strategy is a perfect compliment to  our main strategy. We want to leverage our very   competitive resources. Portugal is blessed with  a huge solar resource and wind resource also.  

So the two combined will give Portugal a  significant edge in terms of its competitiveness   in renewables in general and in hydrogen in  particular. We've already changed Portuguese   legal and legislative framework to enter our  energy system. We've already changed the law   to allow the guarantees of origin, initially only  for electricity, to broaden into renewable gases,   and we are currently in Portugal preparing our  first hydrogen option to support end users.  

We will do an option, carbon CFD, that will  basically pay the difference between existing   carbon prices in international markets and  that theoretical carbon price that will   make hydrogen users in whatever form commercially  viable. So we are preparing it, and we want to   launch our first hydrogen to provide support  to decarbonization transportation this year.   So in Portugal, we believe we have the right  framework at the moment to kick start this.  

We have the legal and regulatory frameworks.  We have the instruments to provide support   for investment and we are currently developing to  support users who want to switch to hydrogen. The   challenges. The challenges I believe one that  was already mentioned, one of the challenges is   scaling up. There are huge advantages in terms of  costs, which are the main barrier to adoption of  

the green hydrogen, are costs. So scaling up is  crucial, but we believe that the main challenge   is collaboration. We are here on the panel  with Chile, Colombia and Denmark, Scotland   and Portugal. And the opportunity for hydrogen is  so vast that we actually are not competing against   each other. We must collaborate because either  we succeed collectively or we fail individually.   This is a very complex market that has to be  tackles simultaneously from the supply side,   and that can only be done nationally through  strong collaboration, but mainly international   through strong collaboration and partnerships  between governments, international institutions,   across all partnerships around specific  projects. We believe that this is the main   challenge. To look at an area that has been  competitive from the start and look at it  

more from the angle of collaboration. So, this  is, from our perspective, the main challenge,   but we believe that we have the conditions  to tackle it and to overcome it. Thank you.  Thank you very much. And, in fact, when I  was researching this panel, I did encounter a   number of collaborations just amongst yourselves.  Chile and Colombia as I mentioned at the outset,   but also Denmark, I believe I mentioned you're  collaborating with Norway, if I'm not mistaken.   So clearly a lot going on in that space. I'd like  to drill deeper on a few of the challenges you  

have all mentioned, and also some of them being  brought up in the ?? by the audience in questions.   So, I'm just going to put a few things out  there. And whoever wants to speak to it,   just give me a hand signal, if you would. That  way we get to make this last panel a bit more   interactive, even though we're virtual.  So, one of the things that is often said  

is that the development of infrastructure has  to proceed much more quickly than it is doing   right now. And I have an audience question  that's come in that says, large?scale storage   of green hydrogen must be addressed so its  production and usage timelines are not aligned.   How do you solve this? Large?scale  storage, who would like to speak to that?   Nobody? No takers. Okay, please,  Deputy Minister, please take it away.  Yes, we are currently addressing that specific  challenge in terms of injection because the   production ?? the injection cannot be designed.  You have to have a permanent flow. The way we are   addressing is trying to socialize the investment  cost necessary for storage. So, joining several   projects and ensuring that the storage investments  are shared. Also, Portugal has salt caverns  

used to store natural gas. We plan it in our  law to evolve gradually. It will not be a sudden   switch, but we've included those assets as  part of our natural gas system that will   gradually evolve to store green hydrogen. That's  the approach that we are taking at the moment.  Thank you very much. Another question that comes  up frequently is the question of standards.   Because, of course, green hydrogen is only as  green as the power source that it used to make   it. So, some one of you or a couple of you  did mention the need for standards. The see   Minister Jorgensen raising his hand. I also  see Minister ?? I'm sorry, Jobet, I'm probably   not saying your name correctly.  We'll go to Minister Jorgensen.  

I think you're on mute again, dear sir. I think that is an important question. It's   also, unfortunately, something that the European  Union will be dealing with in the near future. The   UN commission, as you probably know, has stated  that they will form a package later this year. How   do we achieve the 55% reduction in 2030 that we  decided? How do we facilitate the transformation   to a hydrogen economy? How do we define the  different types? What types are we then willing   to subsidize? Which should we maybe not subsidize  so much? I think that is a very safe step.  Thank you very much. Can I just ask you ??  you say within Europe, but do we actually need  

international standards on this to ensure  some kind of a level playing field?  Well, in the perfect world, we would have  international standards. In the perfect world,   we would have a global carbon tax or  some other kind of pricing mechanism.   I'm a little bit hesitant to recommend that  because I don't think it's feasible to achieve   that within the next couple of years. Which is  when we need it. So maybe it's a good idea if we  

try and set standards in Europe. Other countries  can collaborate in their regions to do the same,   and then hopefully ?? and then later maybe we  can see whether or not we can make that happen.  Thank you very much. We'll go to Chile and then  Colombia. I see Portugal would like to weigh in   as well. First of all, to you, Minister Jobet,  would you tell me one time to say your name so   I say it right? Oh, okay. That makes it  easy. That makes it easier. Thank you.  So basically I think international standards,  right? The more common standards we have,   the faster we can development this  industry. And the faster we get evolve  

technology that is developed in one location to  be used in different locations. As it was said,   standards all over the world. So I think this is  an area in which international cooperation can   play a key role. We are a small production.  What bigger productions are working on ??

It's important to accelerate this  technology in different countries.  Thank you very much. And I'll move  over to Minister Mesa from Colombia.  Thank you. I fully agree on the need to  collaborate in order to have international   standards that become the norm. And I think  one of the first issues we need to tackle is   the so?called certificate for big hydrogen. As you  said, green hydrogen, the color of the hydrogen   will depend on how green or how clean your power  matrix is. And I think here we need to make sure  

that we can trade hydrogen, that we can establish  all the links in the chain to be sure that it's   green, and we need also to track CO2 emissions  for the production of hydrogen use. This will   help us internationally have an agreement. That's  why I think countries like Colombia and Chile   in which we're working towards a cleaner energy  system could take advantage. In Colombia,  

for example, we have more than 70% of our power  matrix that is clean, because we depend heavily   on hydro generation, and with the incorporation of  renewable energy we're getting closer to 90 or 80%   of our matrix. Is key and we have to collaborate  to develop those standards along those lines  Thank you very much. Let me go now to Portugal. If you care to speak to it, I would be very   interested to know who can drive this standard  setting? How ?? do you do we make that happen?  Well, willing nations that have an interest in  developing this market. But I have to say that,  

yeah, we have to work with what we have. Following  the Danish Minister. What Portugal has done in its   law regarding guarantees of origin. It's basically  to use the certification that is currently being   developed by a joint venture between the industry  and the European commission. The fuel cell   hydrogen that they're taking because the standard  that is available, it is a European standard still   being developed. And that's what we used because  that's what we have, but we are, of course,   very committed to working with other countries to  work ?? towards international standards, but first   we start with what we have, which is the beginning  of certification. That's what we have. That's what   we used. Because we wanted to have something in  the Portuguese law that we could start working  

with. Yes, we are fully committed to working with  international organizations and coming to the   countries to work together on  this. But I agree with the Minister   that it's difficult to establish international  standards at such an early age. That's why we  

started with the certification that  we had, which was a European one.  Thank you very much. And now also over to Kersti  Berge who also wanted to speak to this point.  It's a hugely important point. Development of  hydrogen relies on global markets. For example,   wind production was put for standardized  consumption. Absolutely critical to ensure   a market for hydrogen developers. So with that  in mind, Scotland's position is I think also,  

you know, let's work with what we  have, but there's no reason why,   you know, an approach an EU approach  to standardization can't progress,   but there is a risk, you know, if you  wait for too long for the perfect system,   it's not going to arrive in time and not be  what we need for the Net Zero transition.  Can I just ask whether new technologies offer  some promising solutions along the issue of   guarantee of origin and tracing? Because, of  course, we often hear that is well suited to   such. Anybody have a few about technology's role  in all of this? Okay. Not off?hand. That's fine. I   have another question that I'm happy to answer. We've included block chain in the energy   communities, but not yet in certification.  We will include peer-to-peer mechanisms   regarding energy communities and self-consumption,  but not yet determination of an average.  Thank you. I'd like to move on to perhaps not a  challenge, but often something discussed in the  

hydrogen community as an essential step that needs  to be taken. Mainly moving the use of hydrogen   into sectors where it hasn't been employed here  to for. A couple of you have mentioned that.   What would you say are crucial aspects of  that. Shipping, heating. Mentioned Scottish   homes are going to be using this for cooking.  Minister Jorgensen, I see you raised your hand.  

I'm going to ask Minister Jorgensen to  start and then I'll come to you, thanks.  I think there are some differences. One is there  is no subsidy which I think we need. So much   research and development, science community and  the private sector. And now of course we shouldn't   make the same mistakes as was done decades ago in  the fossil fuel segment. Becoming so dependent on   subsidies that it became difficult to keep  up with people. But that is side, we need to   acknowledge that we need subsidies. Second thing  that I think is really important is immigration.  

We need to put away the different challenges  that are there now, the red tape that are there   now which basically has been necessary for a  different type of economy. For one example,   for some of these issues you need to add carbon  to the hydrogen. So, that needs to be changed. So,   there are so many things you need to do is  first we need to put a price on pollution.   If we put a higher price on carbon production  the final technologies look very much different.  Very much. Thank you. Kersti  Berge, I'll come to you. 

I very much agree with the Minister. It's very  interesting to hear from Portugal that they're   already putting in mechanisms. We have been  very successful and the UK of using mechanisms   for wind deployment so a 10?year?old can  play. We've got work to do on demonstration,  

and then quickly moving from demonstration to  employment. You mentioned opportunities for   hydrogen in heat. So in Scotland, about 80% to  90% of our domestic housing is heated by gas. We   see high opportunities to use hydrogen as heat as  well as other processes in Scotland. We've got a   project we are testing, hydrogen supply to about  300 households and 5 in Scotland. Doing so that   we can actually understand what's been done and  put into context what's been recorded as well.  Thank you very much. I believe  Minister Jobet wanted to add a word. 

Yeah, very quick. If you want to use hydrogen  in new industry, we have to make sure it's safe.   If we have a problem with safety, the  impact that could have on the street could   be huge. So I think we are trying to  introduce free packages to our gas tanks. But   realistically make sure that people  understand that this is safe.   So, safety. I think that is very  important to introduce to the consumer. 

Thank you very much. I believe Deputy  Minister, you also wanted to add a point.  I'm circling back to your question, how do we  again that some ?? basically what we want to do is   find a quantity which we're willing to subsidize.  Those end users that required at each moment in   time the smallest state absolutely. Basically  that's what they're do so all end users can  

compete in the option, but the option requires  the smallest green in terms of ?? we think   those are the most ways to attract heavy regions  of the city where ?? that's the way we are   envisioning it, and we believe this is the best  way to ensure preproduction consumption. We are   producers and we will provide resources with  the mechanism that we basically finance.   Where the carbon price is not high enough  to make hydrogen commercials viable.  

If carbon prices rise, then the subsidies  will seize because that's the advantage of   carbon CFT option. It's not a fill in. And  we believe this is the most efficient way   to manage subsidies and to attract end users. Very interesting. Thank you very much for   that. I believe that Minister  Mesa also wanted to say a word.  Yes, just to complicate what the Deputy Minister  said from pouring. We were talking about how to  

promote demand for hydrogen, which you also think  of the policymakers. If you have incentive on   the supply side and they go to the production of  reliable ?? I think it's important to think about   incentives for any users to make the switch  and an incentive to demand clean energy such   as in hydrogen. It has to be well?balanced  between subsidies and taxes. I'm not only   analyzing the consumption of some fields while  attempting to watch all of the supply side.  Thank you very much. One last question. It came  in from the audience. There is really nobody  

from this region to address it, but I'm going  to give it to the two Latin American voices   on the panel because the question  is this. What is your opinion   on North America's opportunities to become  a green hydrogen export championship? So,   Chile and Colombia, are you looking at significant  competition from the north? Minister Jobet?  I'm not an expert, but we have a  company developing a product in Chile.  It's very, very competitive nature.  I mean, you want a smart thing,  

there are certainly areas they think. For  example, Texas where the combination of solar,   rain and wind. We're not out to whatever it was  per hour. That is very competitive to produce.   And eventually export hydrogen. I think in  the US is changing, particularly in the last   couple of months. We are convening, but we need  to get together so cooperation, this mixture of   cooperation and competition, I think. If  a player invests heavily in this solution,  

it will accelerate its development.  So I think that would be good news.  Thank you. I believe Minister Mesa also  wanted to speak to this point and then ??  I agree with what Minister Jobet said. We  can leverage some of the technology that's   going to be possible with the new focus on  climate change in the US administration,   but thinking about competition, I think we  could also leverage our natural, you know,   competitive advantage in countries like Colombia.  Even though, you know, one of the main inputs for   green hydrogen is viable renewable energy because  of our location, because we don't have seasons,   even that variability can be more  predicted in a country likes ours.  

It's an advantage we have, but it's a  natural advantage, and, and we have to   make sure we are more competitive  in the production of green hydrogen.  Thank you very much. Let me go to Kersti,  who wanted to say something to this point.  Yeah, thank you very much. I wanted to emphasize  we've got huge ambitions for hydrogen in Scotland.   This is an area we need critical mass.  We saw what happened to a country   when the US does it. We need the US across the  world will move to deal with the safety issues.  

And I can't speak for North America, that energy  commission is in California and they're looking   really, really hard at hydrogen. I'm not  sure what extent they're looking to export.   They use a lot of gas for their heating. In the  US and as well as other big global players on   the hydrogen stage. Because we just need them. Thank you very much. We're simply going to say   thank you and good-bye to this excellent panel  looking at the future hydrogen economy. Many,   many thanks to all of you, and  utmost success in your endeavors.

2021-03-26 23:07

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