Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (Qeeri) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University recently organised an international workshop titled 'The Hydrogen Energy Opportunity for Qatar'.
The two-day event sought to inform stakeholders on the country’s hydrogen energy opportunities, promote discussions regarding a national strategy, and facilitate international collaboration in the areas of policy, business and research.
The event saw the participation of more than 50 delegates from eight countries – Japan, Australia, the US, the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Qatar.
The workshop brought together leading international experts and national stakeholders from the public, private, academic and industry sectors.
*The Hydrogen Energy Opportunity for Qatar also reflected the unprecedented attention currently being paid to hydrogen energy as well as global efforts to harness its full potential.
Dr Marcello Contestabile, principal economist at the Qeeri and chair of the workshop, explained: “There is a growing international consensus that hydrogen has a key role to play in a deeply decarbonised energy system.
“Conversely, there is also a need for large investments and international co-operation to ensure that hydrogen technology is scaled up and rolled out, and for markets to be created for the end product.”
“Qatar is already playing a global role in the energy transition as a major supplier of the cleanest fossil fuel and is taking assertive steps to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of the LNG (liquefied natural gas) it delivers through methane management and CCS (carbon capture and storage),” he said. “Hydrogen will allow the country to take this further and continue to profit from its endowment of natural gas in a low carbon world.”
Dr Jose M Bermudez, energy technology analyst in Hydrogen and Alternative Fuels at the International Energy Agency, said: “Hydrogen could play a key role in the energy transition, especially in hard-to-abate sectors where direct electrification will be challenging and sustainable biomass availability will not be able to meet energy demands.”
“However, this will require to significantly expand hydrogen use and, at the same time, switch hydrogen production to low-carbon routes,” he said. “This is not an easy endeavour and will require a lot of collaboration and co-ordination at all levels and, especially, at international level.”
“Hydrogen is a key milestone in the future to supply decarbonised gas and LNG. Today the players have an opportunity to dominate the future world of hydrogen if they lay the right strategy,” noted Yousef al-Jaber, vice-president of Innovation & Change Management at Total E&P Qatar. “Therefore, the workshop organised by the Qeeri is coming at the best time for all the stakeholders in the energy sector.”
Qatar National Research Fund executive director Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie opened the event while Dr Marc Vermeersch, the executive director of the Qeeri, highlighted the institute’s commitment towards supporting Qatar diversify its energy mix.
The round table discussions saw active participation from representatives of all key oil and gas companies in Qatar, as well as international research and policy institutions, industrial organisations, and consultancy firms.
“It is absolutely imperative that we combine forces and work collectively to achieve the targets set forth by the Qatar National Vision 2030,” Vermeersch said. “*The Hydrogen Energy Opportunity for Qatar workshop provided a platform not just for knowledge sharing and learning global best practices, but also to discuss how each of us can contribute towards building a robust and efficient strategy for Qatar.”