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UAE to launch national hydrogen strategy in April

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According to Dipak Sakaria, an energy transition specialist at the UAE Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, the UAE will release its National Hydrogen Strategy in April. The UAE aims to become a “top 10” hydrogen producer in the world by 2031.

Sakarya said the strategy would focus on 10 key elements based on the initial roadmap unveiled at the UN’s COP26 climate summit in 2021. These include international cooperation, industrial growth and skills, green financing, infrastructure and education.

Nawal Alhanaee, director of future energy at the ministry, said the strategy would help identify the locations of hydrogen-rich regions in the UAE.

Sakaria has witnessed the rapid progress of low-carbon hydrogen projects in the UAE. Seven of the 10 major projects are under development and have secured the required financing. Three others approached that step.

In the past, the UAE has shown openness to other production routes. Sharif Al Olama, the ministry’s deputy minister, said last year that it could produce hydrogen in a number of ways, including natural gas with carbon capture, storage, water electrolysis, harnessing large-scale solar power capacity and using nuclear power. Al Olama said, It is expected to produce between 14 million and 22 million tons of hydrogen per year by 2050.

Alhanaee reports that the UAE has spent more than $43 billion on clean energy over the past 15 years. The UAE plans to invest $163 billion by 2050. She said the UAE has invested more than $50 billion in 40 countries and will continue to do so for the next 10 years.

Sakaria believes there is great potential to use hydrogen in the UAE, especially given current export challenges. Abu Dhabi and the northern UAE have large steel and aluminum production bases where hydrogen is critical to decarbonisation. Hydrogen derivatives, including e-methanol, can be used for fuel supply at Fujairah port, Sakaria said.

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