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Reaching carbon neutrality cannot rely on renewable energy resources and electrification alone and will need the widespread development of hydrogen as a vector of decarbonization. Developing countries in the Mediterranean region with good renewable energy resources could produce green hydrogen locally, generating economic opportunities, increasing energy security, and reducing exposure to oil price volatility and fuel supply disruptions. Moreover, they have the potential of meeting the needs of neighboring developed countries, such as the European Union that has an ambitious program to develop hydrogen demand, besides satisfying local demand.
One of the activity of the CMI Mediterranean Forum on Electricity and Climate Change is to monitor the policy, legal and regulatory developments resulting from the adoption of the objective of carbon-neutrality by the European Union and to analyze their implications for energy trade across and around the Mediterranean. One of the key elements of the EU Green Deal, that underlies the COVID Recovery Plan, is a plan for massive development of hydrogen. The joint WB/CMI Mediterranean Platform for Knowledge Exchange on Green Hydrogen provides a neutral ground for countries and stakeholders to share information and lay the groundwork for the trade and investment decisions needed to develop green hydrogen in the region.
As part of the program, the CMI and the World Bank are organizing a series of webinars to serve countries and regional organizations bordering the Mediterranean. The objective of the World Bank – CMI Joint Webinar Series “Knowledge Exchange on Green Hydrogen for the Mediterranean Region” are to promote exchange of information among the key players, assess investments needed to establish a Mediterranean hydrogen market and identify regulatory requirements. The series of of webinars engage Mediterranean stakeholders (i) to discuss their hydrogen strategies and share knowledge to establish roadmaps, (ii) to unlock the potential for trade in green hydrogen in the Mediterranean region, (iii) to assess the role of hydrogen in COVID recovery plans and (iv) discuss how green hydrogen would create opportunities for innovation and technological development in the Mediterranean region. Other topics will be identified during the webinars.
The first event “Green Hydrogen in Developing Countries: Implications for the Mediterranean Region of the World Bank’s Report” focused on a presentation and discussion of the World Bank/ESMAP report “Green Hydrogen in Developing Countries”. This event aimed to advance awareness and understanding of the opportunities and challenges in the Mediterranean region of this rapidly growing field by:
The second webinar reviewed prospects for both blue and green hydrogen in the Mediterranean and analyze the implications for gas and hydrogen transport infrastructure. Speakers aimed to illuminate those issues requiring deeper study to inform the formulation of national and regional strategies, including:
The third webinar of the series started with an overview of the principles and formulation processes that underpin good policy to support hydrogen market development, including setting national strategies, identifying policy priorities, establishing governance systems and enabling policies, and creating and harmonizing standards and certification systems. Speakers from several Mediterranean countries then discussed their emerging national strategies, exemplifying how they have begun to grapple with laying the foundations for the region’s future carbon economy.
The fourth webinar examined strategies that firms are adopting to participate in this market. Speakers addressed a number of issues, including the following: