RIYADH: Partnerships between the private and public sectors are required to address hydrogen development infrastructure, according to a UN Industrial Development Organization expert.
Eunji Park emphasized in a panel discussion titled “Connecting the Dots for the Hydrogen Economy” by King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center on the sidelines of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference key factors for a successful global transition to a hydrogen-based economy.
She highlighted the impact of policies like the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, encouraging industries in developing countries to shift toward cleaner industrial processes.
Park said: “Only 10 percent of the projects are presented for local offtake, so in order to solve infrastructure challenges in line with the scale of financing, we really need to ensure that public-private partnerships address more basic infrastructure to be in place for hydrogen development.”
The expert also called for the proximity of renewable energy sources to industrial clusters, advocating on-site installations for maximum efficiency. Park underscored the need for more hydrogen transport pipelines to facilitate widespread adoption.
In addressing a critical gap, she emphasized the urgency for more skills development, citing deficiencies in current international assistance schemes.
“We need more skills development and technical capacity building within the countries. This is something that is currently lacking in the international assistance schemes, so more opportunities for upskilling sufficient knowledge,” she said.
Park added: “I think these are the elements that need to be closely addressed within the public-private partnerships.”
On the topic of upskilling and reskilling, she emphasized the need for a just transition, recognizing the challenge of shifting fossil fuel-based economies without job losses.
Park stressed the importance of a systemic approach to ensure inclusivity in the transition process.
Green hydrogen is hydrogen produced by the electrolysis of water using renewable electricity. The production of green hydrogen causes significantly lower emissions than the production of gray hydrogen, which is derived from fossil fuels.
As COP28 progresses, experts like Park continue to play a pivotal role in shaping discussions and strategies for a sustainable and inclusive hydrogen economy.