UAE and Japan join forces to explore hydrogen development

Globally, the hydrogen industry is expected to grow to $183bn by 2023

Suhail Al Mazrouei, the UAE’s Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. Victor Besa / The National
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The UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure has teamed up with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to explore opportunities in the field of hydrogen development.

The pact, which was signed virtually, will see the countries expanding the areas of collaboration and boost investment in the hydrogen sector, state news agency Wam reported on Friday.

It will accelerate the energy transition towards a low-carbon future, it added.

Such partnerships support the direction of the two countries towards achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as contributing to the shift towards clean, renewable energy by relying on hydrogen production, Suhail Al Mazrouei, the UAE’s Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said.

He said the Emirates intends to enhance investment opportunities in the field of hydrogen, develop new technologies and reduce costs for green and blue hydrogen production.

"The agreement also aims to open broad prospects for growth and development as part of the two countries' efforts to diversify the energy mix … relying on clean energy, building more partnerships and strengthening cooperation,” Mr Al Mazrouei said.

Globally, the hydrogen industry is expected to grow to $183 billion by 2023, from $129bn in 2017, according to Fitch Solutions. French investment bank Natixis estimates that investments in hydrogen will exceed $300bn by 2030.

Oil exporting countries in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE plan to tap into hydrogen and produce the clean, alternative fuel for exports in the future.

The UAE seeks to reduce the carbon footprint by implementing the 2050 energy strategy aiming at reducing carbon dioxide in the country by 70 per cent and raising the individual and institutional consumption efficiency by 40 per cent by 2050.

"We also aim to diversify the future energy mix and raise the contribution of clean energy to the total energy mix produced in the country to 50 per cent,” said Mr Al Mazrouei.