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Green steel, SAF likely first H2 buyers in UAE: Masdar

  • Spanish Market: Hydrogen
  • 31/05/24

UAE renewables and green hydrogen company Masdar expects output from its first hydrogen projects to be used in the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and green steel, as these face fewer logistical barriers than shipping and cracking ammonia back to hydrogen.

The company aims to take final investment decisions (FIDs) on hydrogen projects targeting these sectors within the next 6-18 months and could start production around three years later, its director of hydrogen business development and commercial, Andreas Bieringer, told Argus.

"We are working on green steel and would like to see some announcement to be made soon, also on sustainable aviation fuel, that's definitely what will go first in the UAE," he said.

Masdar has a 2024 pilot for a 2.1MW electrolyser to prove the concept of using hydrogen in direct reduction of iron alongside Emirates Steel Arkan. The firm also trialled methanol-to-jet last year, which offers a path to e-SAF in the future. And it is developing the region's first SAF using renewable hydrogen and municipal solid waste.

Projects where hydrogen or derivatives can be used directly — such as green steel, marine fuels and e-SAF — and the decarbonisation of industrial processes seem to be slightly ahead of the curve in general, Bieringer said.

"These are things where we can get firm offtake directly because it takes out the problem of how we ship the product to offtake markets where the logistic supply chains are not ready yet," Bieringer said. "That's one of the uncertainties we have now. Like port infrastructure, cracking for ammonia, pipelines in Europe — all this needs to be advanced much faster," he added.

Masdar's next step for its UAE projects is to sign firm offtake deals. "Structuring intelligent offtake agreements" that share the risk fairly on both sides is the "art everyone tries to figure out", he said. The company also needs to finalise the infrastructure to underpin the projects, but this should be more straightforward than long-distance shipping.

At the end of last year, Abu Dhabi launched its low-carbon hydrogen policy. It focuses on creating hydrogen "oases" and clean electricity parks to attract investment and increase operational efficiencies. Masdar said it is actively supporting the policy's implementation.

Outside of the UAE, Masdar is targeting projects in Scandinavia and the Iberian Peninsula. These are "very advanced front-end engineering designs" and are also focusing on logistically-easy offtake sectors, Bieringer said.

Masdar appears to have reshuffled the order of its project pipeline. One of the first hydrogen projects it announced was a 200MW renewable ammonia project with fertiliser company Fertiglobe in Ruwais. This had targeted FID in 2023 and start up in 2025, but the timelines appear to have changed. The company had also hoped to start operating a 2GW renewable ammonia project in Egypt in 2026, but this also looks like a stretch since no FID has been taken yet.

Many companies across the hydrogen industry have rolled back on the initial targets they set out — partly because of tough macroeconomic conditions but it also reflects a recognition that scaling up hydrogen might be tougher than first thought.

Even with its own plans changing, Masdar has not abandoned its target to produce 1mn t/yr of renewable hydrogen, but Bieringer recognised it could be a stretch to get there by 2030.

"We would definitely want to do it within a decade, 2030 is the guiding principle. If it maybe takes a little bit longer, I don't think it'd be too dramatic," he said. "The direction is still there, that's what you see in the market studies. The drive towards green hydrogen is unchanged".


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19/07/24

Von der Leyen faces new Green Deal challenges

Von der Leyen faces new Green Deal challenges

The president promises a ‘clean industrial deal', but will need to make compromises over climate policy, writes Dafydd ab Iago Brussels, 19 July (Argus) — Ursula von der Leyen's re-election by the European Parliament as president of the European Commission on 18 July promises to see a doubling down on climate and energy policy, with her 2024-29 mandate stipulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cuts of at least 90pc by 2040 compared with 1990. "I have not forgotten how [Russian president Vladimir] Putin blackmailed us by cutting us off from Russian fossil fuels. We invested massively in homegrown cheap renewables and this enabled us to break free from dirty Russian fossil fuels," von der Leyen says, promising to end the "era of dependency on Russian fossil fuels". She has not given an end date for this, nor specified if this includes a commitment to ending Russian LNG imports. Von der Leyen went on to detail political guidelines for 2024-29. She has pledged to propose a "clean industrial deal" in the first 100 days of her new mandate, albeit without giving concrete figures about how much investment this would channel to infrastructure and industry, particularly for energy-intensive sectors. The clean industrial deal will help bring down energy bills, she says. Von der Leyen told parliament that the commission would propose legislation, under the European Climate Law, establishing a 90pc emissions-reduction target for 2040. Her political guidelines also call for scaling up and prioritising investment in clean technologies, including grid infrastructure, storage capacity, transport for captured CO2, energy efficiency, power digitalisation and a hydrogen network. She plans to extend aggregate demand mechanisms beyond gas to include hydrogen and critical raw materials, and notes the dangers of dependencies and fraying supply chains — from Putin's energy blackmail to China's monopoly on battery and chip raw materials. Majority report Passing the necessary legislation to implement her stated policies will now require approval from EU states and parliament. Unless amplified by Germany's election next year, election victories by far-right parties in France and elsewhere appear not to threaten EU state majorities for specific legislation. Parliament's political centre-left S&D and liberal Renew groups, as well as von der Leyen's own centre-right European People's Party (EPP), have elaborated key policy requests. These broadly call for the continuation of the European Green Deal — a set of legislation and policy measures aimed at 55pc GHG emissions reductions by 2030 compared with 1990. A symbolic issue for von der Leyen to decide on — or compromise on — is that of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. EPP wants to stick to technological neutrality and revise the current mandate for sales of new ICE cars to be phased out by 2035, if they cannot run exclusively on carbon-neutral fuels. The EPP wants an e-fuel, biofuel and low-carbon fuel strategy. Von der Leyen's guidelines reflect the need to gain support from centre-right, centre-left and greens. She says the 2035 climate neutrality target for new cars creates investor and manufacturer "predictability" but requires a "technology-neutral approach, in which e-fuels have a role to play". She has not mentioned carbon-neutral biofuels. It will be impossible for von der Leyen to satisfy all demands in her second mandate. This includes policy requests put forward by the EPP, ranging from a "pragmatic" definition of low-carbon hydrogen and market rules for carbon capture and storage, to postponing the EU's deforestation regulation. EU member states are expected to propose their candidates for commissioners in August, including for energy, climate and trade policy, with von der Leyen's new commission subject to a final vote in parliament in late October. Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Trump vows to target 'green' spending, EV rules


19/07/24
19/07/24

Trump vows to target 'green' spending, EV rules

Washington, 19 July (Argus) — Former president Donald Trump promised to redirect US green energy spending to other projects, throw out electric vehicle (EV) rules and increase drilling, in a speech Thursday night formally accepting the Republican presidential nomination. Trump's acceptance speech, delivered at the Republican National Convention, offered the clearest hints yet at his potential plans for dismantling the Inflation Reduction Act and the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law. Without explicitly naming the two laws, Trump said he would claw back unspent funds for the "Green New Scam," a shorthand he has used in the past to criticize spending on wind, solar, EVs, energy infrastructure and climate resilience. "All of the trillions of dollars that are sitting there not yet spent, we will redirect that money for important projects like roads, bridges, dams, and we will not allow it to be spent on the meaningless Green New Scam ideas," Trump said during the final night of the convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Trump and his campaign have yet to clearly detail their plans for the two laws, which collectively provide hundreds of billions of dollars worth of federal tax credits and direct spending for renewable energy, EVs, clean hydrogen, carbon capture, sustainable aviation fuel, biofuels, nuclear and advanced manufacturing. Repealing those programs outright could be politically difficult because a majority of spending from the two laws have flowed to districts represented by Republican lawmakers. The speech was Trump's first public remarks since he was grazed by a bullet in an assassination attempt on 13 July. Trump used the shooting to call for the country to unite, but he repeatedly slipped back into the divisive rhetoric of his campaign and his grievances against President Joe Biden, who he claimed was the worst president in US history. Trump vowed to "end the electric vehicle mandate" on the first day of his administration, in an apparent reference to tailpipe rules that are expected to result in about 54pc of new cars and trucks sales being battery-only EVs by model year 2032. Trump also said that unless automakers put their manufacturing facilities in the US, he would put tariffs of 100-200pc on imported vehicles. To tackle inflation, Trump said he would bring down interest rates, which are controlled by the US Federal Reserve, an agency that historically acts independently from the White House. Trump also said he would bring down prices for energy through a policy of "drill, baby, drill" and cutting regulations. Trump also vowed to pursue tax cuts, tariffs and the "largest deportation in history," all of which independent economists say would add to inflation. The Republican convention unfolded as Biden, who is isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, faces a growing chorus of top Democratic lawmakers pressuring him to drop out of the presidential race. Democrats plan to select their presidential nominee during an early virtual roll-call vote or at the Democratic National Convention on 19-22 August. By Chris Knigh t Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Czechia expects shift to renewable H2 imports from 2030


18/07/24
18/07/24

Czechia expects shift to renewable H2 imports from 2030

Hamburg, 18 July (Argus) — The Czech Republic wants to have 400MW electrolysis capacity installed by 2030, but does not expect major additions afterwards as renewable hydrogen demand could then be more cost-effectively met by imports, based on an update of the country's national hydrogen strategy. The country will need around 21,600 t/yr of renewable hydrogen, including as derivatives, by 2030 to meet EU targets in the revised renewable energy directive (RED III), according to the strategy. Member states have to ensure that 42pc of all hydrogen used in industry is renewable and that renewable hydrogen and derivatives make up 1pc of all transport fuels, based on RED III. In order to reach the required renewable hydrogen supply, 400MW of domestic electrolysis capacity should be installed based on an expected utilisation of 30pc, the government said. Prague wants to have at least 160MW of capacity installed by the end of 2027 as this capacity would then be exempt from the EU's additionality rules , it said. Under EU rules, electrolysis plants that come on line after December 2027 would have to be powered by renewable assets that were commissioned not more than 36 months earlier. This is intended to avoid "cannibalisation" of existing renewable power for hydrogen production. Plants that come on line earlier would only have to adhere to the additionality rules from 2038 onwards. Avoiding these initially could reduce the cost of renewable hydrogen production as plants could then draw on power from existing renewables assets, the government said. Prague's updated plan also foresees that the country could by 2030 possibly make 20,000 t/yr of low-carbon hydrogen — such as via electrolysis fed by nuclear power or from natural gas with carbon capture and storage or utilisation — to help decarbonisation efforts, even though this does not count towards the EU targets. Still, the combined renewable and low-carbon hydrogen production of just over 40,000 t/yr by 2030 is much lower than the 100,000 t/yr planned in the country's original strategy from 2021, which had been based more broadly on industry expectations rather than specific policy requirements. Required infrastructure for hydrogen pipeline imports will not become available this decade, necessitating the focus on domestic production, the strategy suggests. But beyond 2030, the Czech Republic is betting on renewable hydrogen pipeline imports from other parts of Europe or even further afield. The strategy does not outline further additions to domestic production capacity in the 2030s as imports will be cheaper then, according to the government. Prague expects that imported renewable hydrogen could be available at around €4/kg "at the exit of the transport system" in the early 2030s, while domestic production might still cost as much as €8/kg, even with subsidies. In order to ensure stable supply via imports, the government wants to implement facilitating measures, such as a conversion of gas pipelines, as soon as possible. According to the strategy, renewable hydrogen could be imported directly via pipeline from the Balkans and Turkey, the Baltic Sea and Scandinavia, North Africa and possibly from Ukraine. But while the Czech Republic is landlocked, it could also receive hydrogen that is delivered to European ports from overseas, the government said. Prague estimates that combined demand for renewable and low-carbon hydrogen could reach 1mn t/yr by 2040. The strategy sets out a range of measures that should be explored to support the sector, including funding for domestic production in the coming years. This would primarily come from the EU Modernisation Fund and could involve measures such as tax incentives for production and consumption. By Stefan Krumpelmann Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

EU’s von der Leyen re-elected as Commission president


18/07/24
18/07/24

EU’s von der Leyen re-elected as Commission president

Brussels, 18 July (Argus) — The European Parliament today approved Ursula von der Leyen's re-election as president of the European Commission. Nominated by EU states in June, von der Leyen received 401 votes, by secret ballot, from parliament's 720 newly elected members. Von der Leyen called for continuing climate and energy policy in her 2024-29 mandate to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) cuts of at least 90pc by 2040 from 1990 levels. "I have not forgotten how [Russian president Vladimir] Putin blackmailed us by cutting us off from Russian fossil fuels. We invested massively in homegrown cheap renewables. And this enabled us to break free from dirty Russian fossil fuels," said von der Leyen, promising to end the "era of dependency on Russian fossil fuels". She did not give an end date for this, nor did she specify if this includes a commitment to end Russian LNG imports. Von der Leyen went on to detail political guidelines for 2024-29. In the first 100 days of her new mandate, she pledged to propose a "clean industrial deal", albeit without giving concrete figures about how much investment this would channel to infrastructure and industry, particularly for energy-intensive sectors. The clean industrial deal will help bring down energy bills, she said. Von der Leyen told parliament the commission would propose legislation, under the European Climate Law, establishing a 90pc emission-reduction target for 2040. Her political guidelines also call for scaling up and prioritising clean-tech investment, including in grid infrastructure, storage capacity, transport infrastructure for captured CO2, energy efficiency, power digitalization, and deployment of a hydrogen network. She will also extend aggregate demand mechanisms beyond gas to include hydrogen and critical raw materials. Her political guidelines note the dangers of dependencies or fraying supply chains, from Putin's "energy blackmail" or China's monopoly on battery and chip raw materials. Majority report Passing the necessary legislation to implement her stated policies will now require approval from EU states and from parliament. Unless amplified by Germany's election next year, election victories by far-right parties in France and elsewhere appear not to threaten EU state majorities for specific legislation. Parliament's political centre-left S&D and liberal Renew groups, as well as von der Leyen's own centre-right EPP, have elaborated key policy requests . These broadly call for the continuation of von der Leyen's Green Deal, the set of legislation and policy measures aimed at 55pc GHG emission reduction by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. A symbolic issue for von der Leyen to decide, or compromise on, is the internal combustion engine (ICE). Her EPP group wants to stick to technological neutrality and to revise the phase-out, by 2035, of new ICE cars if they cannot run exclusively on carbon-neutral fuels. The EPP wants an EU e-fuel, biofuel, and low-carbon fuel strategy. Von der Leyen's guidelines reflect the need to gain support from centre-right, centre-left, and greens. For the ICE phase-out, she said the 2035 climate neutrality target for new cars creates investor and manufacturer "predictability" but requires a "technology-neutral approach, in which e-fuels have a role to play." She made no mention of carbon-neutral biofuels. It will be impossible for von der Leyen to satisfy all demands in her second mandate. That includes policy asks put forward by the EPP, ranging from a "pragmatic" definition of low-carbon hydrogen, market rules for carbon capture and storage, postponing the EU's deforestation regulation, to catering more for farmers, even by scrapping EU wildlife protection for wolves and bears. EU member states are expected to propose their candidates for commissioners in August, including those responsible for energy, climate, and trade policies. When parliament has held hearings for candidates in late October, von der Leyen's new commission would then be subject to a final vote. By Dafydd ab Iago Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Spain includes SAF, marine fuels in renewables targets


17/07/24
17/07/24

Spain includes SAF, marine fuels in renewables targets

London, 17 July (Argus) — Spain will start counting sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) and marine fuels towards its renewable energy targets, the government said. Starting from the 2024 financial year, SAFs and marine fuels will count toward meeting targets for sale or consumption of biofuels. A multiplier of 1.2 will be applied to the energy content of the fuels. An EU-wide SAF mandate will come into effect in 2025 that will set a minimum target of 2pc. The target rises to 6pc from 1 January 2030 and to 20pc from 1 January 2035, with a minimum share of 5pc of synthetic aviation fuels. The law defines synthetic aviation fuels as certified renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO) that includes renewable hydrogen and derivatives such as e-methanol, e-ammonia and e-kerosene. EU states must bring this into their national legislation in line with the revised renewables directive by 21 May 2025. Spain's new remit also introduces hydrogen , biogas and RFNBOs . These will be double counted under Spain's biofuels certification system. By Evelina Lungu Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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