Heat around hydrogen

There are few hotter topics on the Recharge website than green hydrogen and its role at the centre of the energy transition.

It could be making an impact sooner than expected, becoming the the cheapest form of H 2 production within the next five years, revealed a Recharge report of discussions at the Irena Assembly in Abu Dhabi, where the subject was extensively debated at the annual gathering of the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Recharge subscribers have been kept in touch with the latest thinking on the impending green hydrogen economy, with a series of exclusive special reports last year exploring the massive rise of interest in the fuel, its implications for the wider renewable energy sector and the increasingly global reach of projects.

Other big topics reported from Abu Dhabi included Irena’s warning that the share of renewables in the global energy system needs to more than double by the end of the 2020s ­— with $10trn of fossil-fuel investment redirected — if the world is to limit climate change to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

On a more positive note, Irena predicted that the global renewables industry could be providing more than 40 million jobs by 2050 .

EU green dream threatened?

The EU is proud of its record as a leading global champion of green energy growth, but that status has looked less assured in recent years.

The bloc will attempt to reignite its energy transition under new European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, unveiling a €1trn ($1.11trn) plan that would provide the financial backbone for the coming ten years to the recently announced European Green Deal, which aims to take the EU to net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

Amid the Brussels back-slapping, a Recharge analysis article pointed out that a mixture of German penny-pinching and Polish blackmail tactics could yet leave the plans in tatters.

However, Poland was also a source of cheer for the bloc's renewables advocates when Recharge revealed that a draft offshore wind act aims to award more than 10GW in the Baltic Sea by 2027.

China closing the gap

China’s offshore wind sector may still be lagging behind its western counterpart, but the gap is closing fast.

The nation will soon have a 10MW turbine in place – Recharge reported exclusively how the foundation for the Dongfang Electric machine was successfully installed off Fujian Province.

And as European oil groups like Shell and Equinor embrace offshore wind, their peers in China are doing the same – most recently CNOOC, which now has its first turbines in the water and announced an expanded ambition in the sector.

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