#betd21 Panel: At the Dawn of the Hydrogen Economy
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.