Press Release: Tripling renewables and doubling efficiency: a global pledge that must be protected from overly ambitious low-carbon hydrogen goals 

Publish date: December 5, 2023

In the spotlight of COP28’s energy and industry day, Bellona applauds the ambitious aim to triple renewables by 2030, translating to a substantial 11,000 GW of installed capacity. However, achieving this RES target will be difficult if the aim is to also double hydrogen production to 180 Mt yearly by 2030, thereby causing significant additional demand for renewable electricity. The success of this hydrogen initiative hinges on ensuring that renewable electricity for this purpose is additional to the necessary resources to decarbonise current and future direct electricity demand. Carefully balancing these objectives is pivotal for a sustainable energy transition.  

«Without a serious commitment to shift from fossil fuels to renewables, we don’t stand a chance of reaching net zero. However, such commitment must be backed up by the prompt rollout of the grid infrastructure to distribute this electricity. Tripling renewables means tripling the effort that needs to be put in grids deployment.»

Ganni Vassallo

Policy Advisor, Electricity Grids

If utilising abated fossil-based hydrogen (blue hydrogen) to meet the ambitious 180 Mt/year goal, Bellona underscores the importance of enforcing strict global standards that drastically reduce methane emissions and ensure over 95% capture rates are non-negotiable. 

«If those 180 Mt annually were to be produced with renewable electricity, reaching this goal would require an 1,800-fold increase on current levels of renewable hydrogen production, and around 9000 TWh of electricity. This is more than three times as much as the EU’s current annual electricity generation. Keeping the renewable goal separate from the renewables needed to achieve green hydrogen goals is crucial to ensure that the entire economy has the energy to transition.»

Marta Lovisolo

Senior Policy Advisor, Renewable Energy Systems

Direct electrification is often a more efficient avenue and therefore, balancing hydrogen expansion with renewable goals is key for achieving an effective and affordable the energy transition  

«All in all, we believe that while these pledges make good headlines, for them to deliver what they promise, they must be accompanied by a commitment to adhere to a credible standard and a reduction in hydrogen ambition that would call everything else into question.»

Luisa Keßler

Policy Advisor Sustainable Hydrogen Economy, Bellona Deutschland

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