GS Paper - 3 (Energy)

Rapid growth of the global hydrogen economy can bring significant geoeconomic and geopolitical shifts giving rise to a wave of new interdependencies, a new analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said. "Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation: The Hydrogen Factor" sees hydrogen changing the geography of energy trade and regionalising energy relations.

What

  1. Driven by the climate urgency and countries' commitments to net zero, IRENA estimates hydrogen to cover up to 12 per cent of global energy use by 2050.
  2. Growing trade and targeted investments in a market dominated by fossil fuels and currently valued at $174 billion is likely to boost economic competitiveness and influence the foreign policy landscape with bilateral deals diverging significantly from the hydrocarbon relationships of the 20th century.
  3. Hydrogen is clearly riding on the renewable energy revolution with green hydrogen emerging as a game changer for achieving climate neutrality without compromising industrial growth and social development.
  4. Hydrogen is not new oil; the transition is not a fuel replacement but a shift to a new system with political, technical, environmental, and economic disruptions.
  5. It is green hydrogen that will bring new and diverse participants to the market, diversify routes and supplies and shift power from the few to the many.
  6. With international co-operation, the hydrogen market could be more democratic and inclusive, offering opportunities for developed and developing countries alike.
  7. IRENA estimates that over 30 per cent of hydrogen could be traded across borders by 2050, a higher share than natural gas today.
  8. Countries that have not traditionally traded energy are establishing bilateral energy relations around hydrogen.
  9. Cross-border hydrogen trade is set to grow considerably with over 30 countries and regions planning for active commerce already today.