New research to explore UAE-UK green hydrogen collaboration

Staff Report,

8 Jan 2022

Mutual opportunities to accelerate development of clean hydrogen in both countries to be focus of paper in collaboration between Dubai-based WGEO and Zest Associates, sponsored by HSBC

New research to explore UAE-UK green hydrogen collaboration

The potential for green hydrogen collaborations between the UAE and the UK will be explored in a new research paper as part of a joint commitment between the Dubai-based World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO) and Zest Associates.

The paper, sponsored by HSBC, will seek to uncover mutual opportunities to accelerate the development of the respective clean hydrogen markets of the UAE and the UK. Its research will engage business leaders, industry associations, policymakers, innovators and academics across both countries.

According to a report in WAM, the UAE’s news agency, WGEO “is a Dubai-based international platform that drives coalitions to enable green economic growth”. Zest Associates is a Dubai-based sustainability consultancy with links to the UK and expertise in green finance, policy and cleantech innovation, and is leading the report’s research.

WGEO chairman Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, said: “As the UAE and UK look to deepen their trading relationship and spur investment and innovation in low-carbon technology, it is critical that we create spaces for dialogue and the exchange of ideas that lead to real practical action. This report will align with the WGEO’s objective to enable and implement bankable and sustainable green projects and programmes by linking technology, capacity-building and finance.”

The research paper will examine opportunities in the green hydrogen space between the two countries, with scalable suggestions for collaborations and partnerships. It will map innovation priorities, profile hydrogen companies, and look at how policy and regulatory collaboration between the UAE and UK can facilitate trade, encourage foreign direct investment, and guarantee the low carbon credentials of hydrogen.

Research for the report will include stakeholder meetings and workshops to test and validate findings. There will also be a panel discussion on the report’s conclusions in the first half of 2022.

Abdulfattah Sharaf, CEO, HSBC UAE and head of International, said: “HSBC is committed to helping lead the transition to net zero and this research will help improve the understanding of how hydrogen’s economic and environmental benefits can be built into the low carbon journeys of the UAE and UK.”

Jeffrey Beyer, managing director at Zest Associates, added: “Our goal is to show how the UAE and UK can move from ambition to action. We are bringing together the key players – big and small – to identify collaborative opportunities and show how cooperation brings mutual benefits to all parties. The report will set out the practical steps that the UAE and UK can take to create the conditions for a clean hydrogen market to thrive, while at the same time matching up companies and innovators to catalyse deals and technology development in clean hydrogen."

T he announcement of the report builds on recent public statements aimed at supercharging the economic relationship between the UK and UAE, with a focus on cleantech and low carbon infrastructure, including expansion of the UAE-UK New Energy Partnership, said the WAM report.

In September, the UK Office for Investment (OfI) and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, signed an agreement at Downing Street to significantly expand the UAE-UK Sovereign Investment Partnership (UAE-UK SIP), a framework for investment announced in March 2021.

As part of the agreement, the UAE has committed to investing $13bn across three sectors - technology, infrastructure and energy transition - as well as building on the existing programme of life sciences investment. ADNOC, BP and Masdar announced they are expanding the UAE-UK New Energy Partnership to explore development of clean hydrogen hubs in both the UAE and UK at an initial scale of at least 2 gigawatts (GW), comprising 1GW in the UAE and 1GW in the UK.

The report will also support the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Emissions Strategy 2050 to provide 100 percent of the energy production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050.

In May 2021, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) inaugurated the first solar-driven green hydrogen production facility in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in collaboration with Expo 2020 Dubai and Siemens Energy, with the aim of demonstrating the production of green hydrogen from solar power, storage and re-electrification.

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