The Middle East and North Africa region, with its strong focus on renewable energy and several investments in logistical infrastructure, can become the global hub for hydrogen as it looks to shift to a low-carbon economy.
“We think that hydrogen is the next place for Mena and Mena is the next place for hydrogen,” said Pierre-Etienne Franc, CEO of the hydrogen fund Hy24. Hy24, an investment fund headquartered in France, is focused on accelerating the global growth of the hydrogen economy. The company is expanding its operations to attract investors to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Franc, a representative of Hy24, made this announcement during the hydrogen summit held in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
The company aims to spearhead the development of innovative projects that address the MENA region’s infrastructure and technological requirements for hydrogen production. Hydrogen, being a clean fuel, holds significant potential in facilitating the energy transition from fossil fuels to low-carbon alternatives.
There are three primary types of hydrogen: blue, green, and gray. Blue and gray hydrogen are derived from natural gas, while green hydrogen is produced through electrolysis, which involves splitting water molecules. As nations worldwide strive to adopt cleaner fuel sources, hydrogen is anticipated to play a crucial role in facilitating this transition for economies.
“Many countries starting with the UAE have already developed hydrogen papers and hydrogen strategies, which [show] the priorities you want to put between local use, export [and] decarbonization,” Franc added.
He added that while UAE is heavily investing in hydrogen and has already drawn up a road-map to export the clean fuel and has announced plans for laying down a large pipeline, it will need international support to finalize the decision for investment.
“Everyone is waiting for the others … to take risks to move into a decision and this is the core of the topic we need to solve now,” he added.