Dubai launched its first green hydrogen plant at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the site of the UAE’s biggest solar facility.
The pilot project, developed by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Expo 2020 and Germany’s Siemens Energy, plans to demonstrate how to produce hydrogen from solar power, as well as how to store and re-electrify the clean fuel.
The green variant of the fuel is produced entirely from renewable sources.
The plant has been built to accommodate future applications and test platforms for the different uses of hydrogen, including potential mobility and industrial uses, Siemens Energy said in a statement on Wednesday.
The UAE plans to offer hydrogen-powered transportation locally and encourage “the use and licensing of vehicles, facilities and equipment” related to the clean fuel, Dewa managing director and chief executive Saeed Al Tayer said at the launch of the pilot project.
Dubai, the country’s commercial and trade hub, plans to derive nearly three quarters of its energy needs from clean sources by 2050. The emirate is also increasing the use of sustainable transport as part of its 2030 green mobility initiative.
Dubai’s green hydrogen pilot project allows for “buffering renewable energy production, both for fast response applications, as well as for long-term storage”, Mr Al Tayer said.
The utility is currently assessing studies and strategies to develop a potential roadmap for hydrogen usage in Dubai.
“The green hydrogen project represents a major step forward in this direction and will greatly accelerate our production of renewable and clean energy sources and contribute to our ongoing climate action efforts,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, minister of industry and advanced technology and UAE special envoy for climate change.
Dr Al Jaber also heads Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, which earlier this year entered into an alliance with fellow state entities Mubadala and ADQ, to develop a hydrogen economy in the UAE.
Blue hydrogen, which will be produced by Adnoc, comes from steam methane reforming.
Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, Masdar, is also advancing the development of a hydrogen demonstrator project as part of this alliance. The project’s design is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
The company has already begun an assessment of its green hydrogen demonstrator project, which will find uses for fuel cells in buses at the carbon-neutral Masdar City as well as in aviation fuel to be used by Etihad and Lufthansa.
The UAE is drawing up a comprehensive roadmap to position itself as an exporter of hydrogen and tap into the clean fuel’s potential.
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.