Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Green hydrogen is a vital component in the pursuit of a clean energy future and the UAE has the potential for its development, a senior official of a global company which assists economies get into sustainable, reliable and affordable energy systems, said.
Siemens Energy Middle East Finance director Michael Bueker was among the panellists at the “Energy & Leadership Talk: Shaping the Future of Energy Innovation,” an initiative of the MEA (Middle East and Africa) Innovation Hub at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park.
The discussion focused on how natural resources could be harnessed to further accelerate motion towards clean energy and low carbon usage even as challenges still exist since countries across the globe are at various stages of progress and development.
As Beuker’s fellow panellist, Crescent Petroleum chief executive officer Majid Jadaf said: “There is a lot of great research that goes on in the universities around the world but the mechanisms to bring that into application and scale are not always there, and for that you need government policy.”
Jafar added: “This hub at AUS (American University Sharjah) is particularly timely because by promoting research here in the UAE, it spurs development of technologies that might not otherwise be developed. It also enables you to bring in research from other parts of the world and have a pilot project for them and start to test something at scale.”
Gulf Today consequently email interviewed Bueker for he had mentioned at the discussion the Siemens Energy Middle East-Dubai Electricity and Water Authority-Expo2020Dubai “Green Hydrogen Project.” This is a pilot project with a plant located at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park inaugurated in May 2021. The plant produces 20.5 kilogrammes per hour of hydrogen at 1.26 Megawatts Electric of peak power.
“This was developed to demonstrate the production of green hydrogen (produced by the splitting of water by electrolysis) from solar power, store the hydrogen and allow for re-electrification. This is a system that allows for buffering of renewable energy production, both for fast response application as long-term storage. The plant has been built to accommodate future applications and test platforms for the different uses of hydrogen,” said Bueker.
“The UAE provides excellent potential for green hydrogen production and export, with large amounts of available land, existing industrial capacity, excellent solar resources, and geographical proximity to growth markets,” Bueker also said.
For Bueker, the green hydrogen sector is at its early development which must be supported by “strong collaboration and partnerships across industry.” He described this alternative source of energy as a “clean and efficient energy carrier” that even can reduce the carbon emissions from the transportation, aviation, shipping, steel, fertilisers and chemical industries, “it is the missing piece of the puzzle from the whole energy transition.”
“Just switching electricity generation from fossil fuels to renewables such as solar, wind and hydro will not help us decarbonise our whole energy system. The challenge is that these renewables are highly fluctuating power sources. For some downstream sector applications, fluctuating inputs provide operational challenges.
“We need to find a way to manage and optimise performance across the whole value chain,” he explained, pointing out that green hydrogen is the element needed.
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