2024 stands as a pivotal year in the global energy sector, marking a transformative shift towards sustainable energy solutions. Central to this transition is hydrogen, emerging not just as a key player but also as a catalyst for profound changes in the energy landscape. The recent surge in renewables, characterized by significant job creation and an increase in installed capacity, sets a promising backdrop for hydrogen’s rising prominence.

Currently, hydrogen production primarily relies on fossil fuels, with natural gas accounting for around three-quarters of the global hydrogen production. This method, however, faces cost variations due to gas prices and capital expenditures, with regions like the Middle East, Russia, and North America benefiting from lower hydrogen production costs due to low gas prices. Conversely, countries dependent on gas imports, such as India, encounter higher production costs.

Despite this, there’s a growing interest in producing hydrogen through water electrolysis, especially with declining costs of renewable electricity sources like solar PV and wind. Producing hydrogen with electrolysers is a cleaner alternative to using gas. Electrolysers use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, which is less polluting. This method cuts down on carbon emissions, making it a more sustainable and environmentally friendly choice, especially when powered by renewable energy sources.

This shift towards Green Hydrogen could significantly influence the hydrogen economy, particularly in cost competitiveness against fossil fuels, which has become increasingly evident during recent fuel price crises​.

The renewable energy sector has experienced a remarkable surge, with the global workforce in renewables soaring to 13.7 million, nearly doubling over the last decade. This surge signifies a paradigm shift in global energy priorities, as evidenced by the commitment at COP28 to triple renewables and double energy efficiency by 2030, in alignment with the 1.5°C pathway.

Renewable energy’s resilience is evident in its cost competitiveness, especially during the fossil fuel price crisis. In 2022, 86% of newly commissioned renewable capacity boasted lower costs than fossil-fuel-fired electricity. This translated into substantial global fuel savings, estimated at $520 billion in the electricity sector.

With IRENA’s climate financing platform ETAF exceeding $4 billion in financial commitments, securing financing for renewable projects is increasingly feasible under the right conditions.

Hydrogen takes center stage globally

In 2024, hydrogen, particularly Green Hydrogen, is taking center stage. Driven by legislative acts such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Infrastructure Investment and Regulatory Act (IRA), the Green Hydrogen economy is nearing takeoff with over $50 billion in announced investments.

Pending Treasury guidance on tax credits is expected to make Green Hydrogen economically competitive, aligning with the European Union’s approach and potentially unlocking significant investments.

Developments in seven selected hydrogen hubs and the launch of the first end-to-end Green Hydrogen system mark pivotal moments in hydrogen’s evolving narrative.

The scenario in Middle East

Countries in the Middle East are proactively engaging in the emerging green hydrogen economy, with ambitious projects and targets. The UAE plans to produce 1.4 million tons per year of green and blue hydrogen by 2031, scaling up to 15 million tons per year by 2050, aiming for a 25% share of the global low-carbon hydrogen market by 2030.

ADNOC, a state-owned entity in Abu Dhabi, has taken a 43% stake in Masdar’s green hydrogen business, targeting one million tons of green hydrogen annually by 2030.

Clean hydrogen in Europe

Europe’s clean hydrogen market, though facing challenges like higher capital costs and supply chain disruptions, is gearing up for significant advancements. But Norway and Germany are actively collaborating to advance the production and utilization of clean and green hydrogen, marking a significant stride in their energy transition efforts. This collaboration, rooted in their strategic partnership on climate, renewable energy, and green industry, is primarily focused on developing large-scale value chains for low carbon hydrogen.

A pivotal aspect of this partnership involves the construction of new gas power plants in Germany, aimed at transitioning from coal to hydrogen as a primary fuel source. These plants, initially powered by natural gas, will gradually switch to hydrogen, with the long-term goal of operating entirely on hydrogen when volumes and technology permit. This shift plays a critical role in Germany’s roadmap to phase out coal-fired power plants by 2030.

In parallel, Norway is committed to building facilities for producing low-carbon hydrogen from natural gas, utilizing carbon capture and storage technology. The hydrogen produced in Norway will be exported to Germany via a pipeline, which is currently under evaluation.

Moreover, the collaboration extends to the joint development of offshore wind farms in both Norway and Germany. These projects are essential for the future production of renewable hydrogen, which will eventually complement and replace low carbon hydrogen in the pipeline, ensuring the delivery of fully decarbonized fuel.

Additionally, Norway and Germany have established a joint Task Force to follow up on the results of an ongoing joint feasibility study. This study explores the technical and economic feasibility of large-scale hydrogen supply solutions, particularly through a large-scale pipeline, and includes solutions for CO2 transport from Germany to Norway.

The success of this collaboration hinges on the synergy of governmental support, industry partnerships, and regulatory frameworks, underlining the commitment of both nations to achieving their climate goals and fostering green industrialization​

India’s Green Hydrogen ambitions

For India, the strategic impetus to actively promote Green Hydrogen is substantial. The potential economic benefits are considerable. By 2030, Green Hydrogen could result in about $3–5 billion in exports and $7–15 billion in import substitution, thereby unlocking more extensive opportunities in the decades to follow.

India’s bold approach should include planning a substantial investment for this initiative. Estimates suggest that up to $4–12 billion may be required cumulatively by 2030, depending on the rate of cost reduction. Though these figures are substantial, they are relatively modest compared to India’s oil import bill, projected at a staggering $1.0 –1.4 trillion over the same period. This investment represents a comparatively small expense for substantial long-term benefits in terms of climate impact and economic gains. Investing in Green Hydrogen now is a strategic move towards sustainable economic growth and reduced environmental impact in the long term.


As the world stands at a crossroads in energy transition, hydrogen’s role becomes ever more crucial. The momentum in renewable energy, evolving financial landscapes, and global commitments set the stage for a transformative year in energy. Keeping a close eye on hydrogen developments, global energy transitions, and emerging market trends will be essential for navigating the dynamic landscape of 2024 and beyond. With its versatility and potential for decarbonization, hydrogen is undoubtedly scripting a new chapter in the narrative of clean energy.

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