Hydrogen could account for around one-third of global marine energy trade by 2050 from zero, as countries see the fuel source as a way to achieve net zero emissions from carbon.
WoodMac predicts that global hydrogen demand will reach 530 million tonnes per year by 2050, compared to less than 1 million tonnes currently, in an accelerated energy transition scenario limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2, 7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.
About 150 million tonnes will be traded in the maritime market, of which 55% of import demand is expected to come from Northeast Asia, he said in a report on the so-called low-emission hydrogen. carbon released Thursday.
“Global energy trade is expected to experience its biggest disruption since the 1970s and the rise of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC),” said Prakash Sharma, head of markets and transitions for the ‘Asia at WoodMac in the report.
Low carbon hydrogen refers to hydrogen derived from processes with little or no carbon dioxide emissions. For example, so-called blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas with the carbon dioxide released during the process captured and stored, while green hydrogen is made by splitting water in an electrolyzer powered by renewable energy. .
Hydrogen is seen as the likely replacement for coal, oil and gas when electrification of energy use is not possible – such as in trucking, shipping, steelmaking and cement. The countries best positioned to export hydrogen are Saudi Arabia, Australia and Russia, already the world’s top three energy exporters, Sharma said in an interview.
WoodMac predicts that green hydrogen, currently about three times more expensive than blue hydrogen, will be competitive with blue by 2030. Saudi Arabia and Australia are well positioned to capture large market shares in blue and green hydrogen, Sharma said.
Not only do the two countries have abundant solar and gas resources, but they both have strong carbon capture and storage (CCS) potential, the key to blue hydrogen. âWithout CCS and without hydrogen, there is no net zero,â Sharma said.
The Middle East accounts for the largest share of green hydrogen projects announced globally with 34%, ahead of Australia with 23%, WoodMac said. This does not include the ambition of Australian iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group to produce 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2030, which Sharma says would be a “Herculean task”.
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