The World Energy Council is continuing to promote its pragmatic 'how-to' stance in developing a new hydrogen economy. It recently co-hosted an online forum focussed on implications for regulatory enablers and technical standards. Held in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on 25 March 2020, this digital dialogue convened more than 70 policymakers and business leaders, with representation of the whole energy system value chain and adjacent non-energy sectors.
Key Takeaways – Five Regulatory Barriers and Enablers
- A shared vision aligned across national and regional levels is critical to enabling the new hydrogen economy to grow and should include a role for CO2 pricing. These visions should focus on leveraging existing infrastructure.
- A clearer definition of ‘clean’ hydrogen – which maintains options for a range of green and blue hydrogen-based fuels/production pathways - and is based on life-cycle analysis, is required.
- Policymakers should focus on developing policies which de-risk commercial hydrogen projects and their financing in order to attract private investors for projects at scale
- Procurement standards and targets could be valuable tools to quick start the hydrogen uptake. Nevertheless, a common understanding of what clean hydrogen is required.
- Collaboration between different organisations and regions is key to ensure international alignment and standards harmonisation.
- Public acceptability depends on several factors, including safety demonstration, community engagement from a very early stage and educational programmes.
The event noted that several organisations are already working on developing internationally agreed technical standards (ISO, IMO, UNECE) for the hydrogen value chain (e.g. hydrogen for domestic uses, transportation of hydrogen, etc).
“Our recent workshop with UNECE was a great step in pulling together the new ecosystems of players in dialogue about the regulatory reforms needed to realize the role of clean hydrogen in successfully managed global energy transition. Future fit regulations will be shaped by the pull of new users and new uses - including industrial heating, space cooling, and active customers - in addition to transport.” -said Dr Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General and CEO, World Energy Council
Learn more about the Council's Hydrogen Global platform.
Further information on this event
Originally slated to be held in Geneva, the workshop was moved online due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As the pandemic reaches most corners of the world, pulling together as a community has never been more important - to share experiences, practice and leadership. We are grateful to UNECE for enabling the online event, and to the many participants for their flexibility in attending.
The Hydrogen Online Workshop focused on two main outcomes: first, the development of a catalogue of regulations and standards that need revisions for hydrogen to be able to heat homes and fuel cars within the UNECE region; and secondly, the facilitation of international and cross-sector strategic knowledge exchange around public acceptability and the potential of a Hydrogen Economy for the region.
About the World Energy Council’s Innovation Forums and Workshops
The World Energy Council’s Innovation Forums and Workshops bring together decision makers, subject matter experts and policymakers for interactive small-group gatherings that enable best practice and experience sharing to address the complex issues impacting energy transition management. Innovation Forums and Workshops also serve as the World Energy Council’s testing ground for subjects that warrant further activity and insights generation.