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Study Announcement: The Potential of Green Hydrogen in the GCC Region

By June 7, 2021 4   min read  (767 words)

June 7, 2021 |

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Dii Desert Energy and Roland Berger Join Forces to Accelerate the Energy Transition in GCC Countries with a new study on the potential of localizing the hydrogen value chain and job creation opportunities

‘The Potential for Green Hydrogen in the GCC Region’ outlines the massive opportunity for green job creation and localization of certain parts of the green hydrogen value chain. GCC can accelerate the energy transition, repurposing many jobs from oil & gas to future-proof industries and become a global powerhouse in green molecules.

Dubai – GCC countries can be one of the most competitive locations globally to produce and export green hydrogen and derivatives such as green ammonia or power fuels, thanks to unique natural (solar & wind) resources, abundant space as well as world-class infrastructure and expertise.

The lowest-cost solar and wind energy globally make the GCC region potentially one of the most competitive for hydrogen production. A recent tender in Saudi Arabia was awarded for a price of USD 0.0104/kWh. Taking advantage of the Oil & Gas economy, significant funding is available through sovereign funds as well as international investors. Furthermore, the region has a proven track record in building and operating export infrastructure and it has a central location to future large energy demand markets, such as the European and East-Asian markets. Lastly, the region’s highly qualified workforce in the oil& gas sector also represents a major opportunity for the development of the hydrogen economy in the region. In addition to the export market, GCC countries could cater for their regional demand.

Key findings of the joint paper include:

  • Long-term renewable energy deployment of up to 1,000 GW, with up to 500 GW electrolyzer capacity, leading to the production of approximately 100m MT of green hydrogen.
  • Annual revenues from green hydrogen in GCC could grow up to USD 200 bn by 2050.
  • High job creation potential across different parts of the value chain: Up to 1 million jobs by 2050.
  • Different projects under development mark the start of a big movement with countries like Saudi Arabia e.g. planning to become the world’s largest exporter of green hydrogen.
  • International experiences from hydrogen valleys show that this concept could be a key enabler in creating local hydrogen economies.
  • GCC countries should address four key enablers to unlock the green hydrogen potential:
  • Set realistic and quantified targets for their strategies with a comprehensive and integrated approach, as well as define a governance body to coordinate and oversee the development of the hydrogen ecosystem.
  • Building hydrogen valleys, combing green hydrogen production, storage, distribution, and end-use in one geographical area.
  • Engaging in international and technology partnerships.
  • Enhancing capacity-building programs to prepare the qualified workforce across its wider value chain.

Among the partners that contributed to the paper, Masdar has played an important role during the series of interviews. Masdar and Dii Desert Energy share the belief that innovation and partnerships will accelerate the global energy transition towards cleaner energy sources and that green hydrogen is a key enabler to achieve a long-term sustainability strategy for socio-economic development and green job creation.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, the CEO of Masdar, said: “Green hydrogen has great potential not just as a fuel of the future, but as the foundation of an industry requiring new technology and a new generation of skilled employees. The demonstrator plant we are building in Masdar City with our partners will go a long way to proving the commercial viability of green hydrogen.”

Cornelius Matthes, Chief Executive Officer of Dii Desert Energy, said: “Building on the first major study of the job creation potential for the solar & wind value chain (Economic Impacts of Desert Power, 2013), Dii is thrilled about the partnership with Roland Berger to jointly analyze the job creation potential of the entire hydrogen value chain, a huge opportunity for the GCC region. Creating sustainable jobs and good perspectives, particularly for young people, are an integral part of the socio-economic development and the hydrogen value chain provides a great opportunity for the much needed diversification of the economies in the region.”

Vatche Kourkejian, Partner at Roland Berger, said: “The GCC region is on the verge of a new era similar to the discovery of oil decades ago. In our joint study with Dii Desert Energy, we showcase the huge potential that green hydrogen pauses for the GCC region and the opportunity to continue being the main energy supplier to the world in a sustainable manner. The study looks at green hydrogen’s job creation potential as well as the opportunities for localization of parts of the value chain, which would be transformative for the region’s economy and drive for diversification.”

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