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GHD Advisory and Fraunhofer Society Collaborate to Develop UAE National Hydrogen Strategy

GHD Advisory, the advising arm of one of the world's leading professional services companies, and the German-based Fraunhofer Society, Europe’s leading research organisation for the applied sciences, have been commissioned by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI) to develop the UAE’s National Hydrogen Strategy 2030. The Emirati-German Energy Partnership is supporting the GHD-Fraunhofer collaboration.

H.E. Eng. Sharif Al Olama, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure for the Energy and Petroleum Sector, said, “The UAE believes that collaboration is paramount to shaping a secure energy transition and a sustainable future in line with the Paris Agreement.”

H.E. Al Olama further emphasised that “in this ambitious journey, the UAE National Hydrogen Strategy will support local Industries, build low carbon energy systems, support our international partners such as Germany in their decarbonisation efforts, and establish the UAE as a competitive global hydrogen exporter.”

By developing the framework and implementing the different phases of the strategy, GHD and Fraunhofer will carry out one of the steps required for the UAE to enhance its energy transition initiatives, drive job creation and support the establishment of new industries that contribute to economic diversification and environmental sustainability.

Bassam Halabi, Regional Manager for the UAE at GHD, said: “We believe that the work we are carrying out with the Ministry will be an example to other nations. We are committed to supporting our clients, partners, and communities in the transition to the future with affordable, reliable, secure, and low-carbon energy.” 

In March 2022, a delegation from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the MOEI signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the presence of the German Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Robert Habeck. With the MoU, both sides agreed to cooperate on innovative research projects, including low-carbon hydrogen technologies. Fraunhofer’s participation in the UAE’s National Hydrogen Strategy is a massive step toward enabling research cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and technology between the UAE and Germany.

Prof. Dr. Christopher Hebling and Prof. Dr. Mario Ragwitz, spokespersons for the Fraunhofer Strategic Research Field Hydrogen Technologies, emphasised: “The UAE hydrogen strategy focuses on decarbonising the nation’s domestic energy system, including its industry, cooling, and mobility sectors. It also supports the UAE’s ambition to become an exporter of low-carbon hydrogen. We are pleased to be part of this important phase of the UAE’s energy transformation.”

GHD’s scope for developing the National Hydrogen Strategy is expected to set the direction for a hydrogen economy in the UAE. GHD’s preliminary work in the first phase of the UAE’s National Hydrogen Strategy assessed the critical elements necessary to develop an overarching framework that would support the development of the strategy.

The work was focused on developing a framework and gap analysis to support the National Hydrogen Strategy 2030. The comprehensive national strategy intends to:

  • Position the UAE as a low-cost producer and exporter of low-carbon hydrogen by capturing 25% of the key export low-carbon hydrogen market.
  • Contribute to the country’s net-zero ambition: minimising carbon emissions in heavy industries, energy storage for renewables and providing heavy goods transport with fuel cell technology.

During the upcoming second phase, GHD, in partnership with the Fraunhofer Society, will deliver the Hydrogen Implementation Roadmap as a whole-system approach to building the hydrogen economy, outlining how government and industry must coordinate and deliver activities throughout the value chain.

Amani El Sehrawey O’Neill, Public Policy and Government Transformation Lead at GHD Advisory, said: “Our ongoing collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure shows our commitment to define and recommend innovative energy transition and decarbonisation solutions. This work will expand on the identified key elements of a hydrogen strategy that will bring together all stakeholders to create an enabling policy and provide connectivity across various hydrogen initiatives in the UAE.”

The hydrogen strategy will assist in moving forward early initiatives to build up the supply chain and enable learning while also developing the longer-term frameworks required to create a mature, competitive hydrogen economy and capitalise on the consequent economic potential for the UAE.


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