Harnessing Low-Carbon Hydrogen Potential in the MENA Region

Conventional fuels such as coal, petroleum, and gas have had a prosperous history due to numerous advantages, but they have a detrimental influence on the environment as the primary contributor to global warming. The rise in CO2 emissions over the previous several decades has significantly altered the global climate direction. As part of the Paris Agreement, 196 countries agreed to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius and seek steps to limit temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The pledges made, however, fall short of laying out a plan for reducing carbon emissions in a way that achieves the initial 2-degree Celsius goal. Using renewable energy sources and more energy-efficient methods of energy-intensive processes, the energy system has undergone a historically unprecedented transformation during the past decade.

With more ongoing research on emerging technologies to enhance their readiness levels to scale them up to commercialization, technological solutions have been a key enabling factor for the energy transition. The advancement of a net-zero economy was significantly aided by new technologies, which will continue with ongoing technological innovation. Moreover, the year 2020 was a turning point for the gas and oil industry, as it saw the most critical crisis in its history and, ultimately, a global acceleration toward zero-carbon solutions. This prompts us to think about how hydrogen production will develop both internationally and in the MENA region. Clean sources of hydrogen have emerged as a viable alternative fuel to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors, making it one of the strongest components due to its potential for combating climate change, decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors and playing an important role as a renewable energy transporter.

This whitepaper provides comprehensive recommendations to policymakers and stakeholders through research and reporting on hydrogen, its production processes, and the various applications it is used for, and its significant in sector coupling due to its role as an energy carrier, as it unifies and combines energy consuming sectors, namely transportation, buildings, and industry, along with a thorough analysis of recent developments in projects across several MENA countries.