Awaidha Murshed Ali Al Marar and Jeremy Harrison. — Supplied photo
Hydrogen is fast emerging as a viable clean energy option and Abu Dhabi has distinct advantages to unlock the decarbonisation potential of the green fuel
The Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) in partnership with Canada and the Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC) recently hosted the ‘Canada Advancing Clean Energy – Hydrogen and Decarbonisation’ forum in Abu Dhabi.
Held on the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit, and during Expo 2020 Dubai’s Global Goals theme week, the event brought together stakeholders from the UAE and Canada to reach their shared target of achieving net zero by 2050.
The event was opened by Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Trade and Export Development for the Province of Saskatchewan, and Jean-Philippe Linteau, Consul General of Canada in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, and gathered industry experts from Canada and the UAE to foster closer collaboration in the hydrogen and decarbonisation space.
Awaidha Murshed Ali Al Marar, chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, said: “We are delighted to join this event to discuss Canada and the UAE’s key achievements in energy diversification and investment in new clean technologies, such as hydrogen, to expand decarbonisation for sustainable future growth. Building on the strong trade and economic ties between our two nations, we foresee exclusive prospects for cooperation and partnerships to advance our clean energy capacity while minimising climate impacts.”
Ahmed Mohammed Belajer Al Rumaithi, Undersecretary, Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, gave a keynote speech outlining the role of hydrogen in driving Abu Dhabi’s future energy transformation plans, and underscored that: “Like many countries around the world, Canada and the UAE stand at a crossroads on energy and climate change, with national development plans focused on restructuring our operations and renewing our energy systems towards sustainable, low-carbon economies.”
Hydrogen, he said, is emerging as a viable clean energy option and Abu Dhabi has distinct advantages to unlock the decarbonisation potential of this green fuel. “The emirate is an excellent base for both blue and green hydrogen production due to its high level of predictable solar radiation, land space, low levelised renewable energy cost, significant reserves of hydrogen-bearing compounds and due to its industrial capacity across the energy value chain, advanced infrastructure and experience in export of flammable materials, strategic location between large demand markets, and importantly due to its significant financing abilities and enabling foreign investment regulatory frameworks.”
The exchange between the public and private sector industry experts in Canada and the UAE provided an unprecedented opportunity to discuss the recent developments, challenges, and opportunities in hydrogen and decarbonisation in Canada, the UAE, and wider Mena region, and to forge future partnerships. The private sector expert speakers included; Carbon Connect, CCS Knowledge, Edmonton Global, Kent PLC, Hatch, and Sacre-Davey Engineering, from Canada, and Masdar, Mubadala, Qamar Energy, and TransEngy from the UAE.
Today, Canada is home to the largest green hydrogen plant in the world and a leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cells. Canada’s Hydrogen Strategy aims to develop the clean fuel economy worth $50 billion, and reach its net-zero targets by 2050 by supporting the low-carbon hydrogen value chain, from hydrogen production through to storage and transport technology, as well as end-user application advances.
Jeremy Harrison said: “Significant room exists for cooperation between our two nations and for Canada to share our clean energy expertise in a number of areas including carbon capture, utilization and storage; hydrogen production; the development of small modular nuclear reactors; and supplying uranium to the UAE’s nuclear energy industry. Together we can develop pathways to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”
To mark the closure of the event, the Mena Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC) and the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to stimulate cooperation between Canada and the Mena region in the development and deployment of zero-emission hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.
“We are very pleased to enter into a cooperation agreement with the CEBC,” said Mark Kirby, CHFCA’s President and CEO. “The agreement will lead to opportunities for Canadian and UAE companies to partner in offering clean hydrogen solutions to help meet the decarbonisation objectives of both countries.”
Jean-Philippe Linteau said: “Canada is a leader in hydrogen development and commercialisation. Today’s event is a catalyst for partnerships between Canada and the UAE to advance our respective decarbonisation goals.”