Hydrogen has emerged as a key stepping stone to fulfilling net-zero climate targets, and the past two years have seen a wave of ambitious national strategies designed to stimulate and accelerate the growth of hydrogen technologies. Some countries have even included support for hydrogen in their post-COVID-19 economic recovery programmes. When produced using renewable electricity, green hydrogen fills the energy transition’s ‘missing link‘ in pursuit of the decarbonisation of sectors – such as heavy industry and aviation - where emissions reductions were thought to be challenging. Yet, the overwhelming majority of hydrogen is currently produced via fossil fuels, with only miniscule proportions through electrolysis. Still in early deployment, electrolysis cannot currently produce sufficient hydrogen at affordable costs. The hydrogen strategies of Germany and the EU seek to support innovation to reduce the costs of green hydrogen production and expand renewable hydrogen technologies at large scale across sectors.
- What ripple effects might this wave of interest and innovation have on Southeast Asia’s long-term policy visions?
- How will this impact the development and evolution of Southeast Asia’s energy systems?
- While many Southeast Asian countries look towards natural gas as a vital tool to displace coal-fired generation and to meet future rising demand, atmospheric carbon budgets are rapidly depleting and leave little room for additional fossil fuels of any kind. Can hydrogen play a galvanising role in the shift from fossil fuels towards renewable energy in the region?
These questions form the basis of two think-tank roundtables organized by Agora Energiewende as part of the SIEW 2021. The first roundtable sets the scene with insights on hydrogen strategies from Germany and Europe explores current policy landscapes looking at what is required for Southeast Asian policy makers to consider hydrogen strategies. The second part focuses on the Hydrogen outlook and explores the role thinktanks will play in supporting policy makers by highlighting long-term technological and economic perspectives, and potential strategic pathways to achieve their goals.
Agora Energiewende is a partner of the Clean, Affordable and Secure Energy (CASE) for Southeast Asia Programme, which is funded by the German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety