Large volume international hydrogen trade will be needed in the future to enable the energy transition, however, as the current hydrogen market is nascent there is still confusion about how this will develop.
For hydrogen to be a practical solution in the energy transition, it must be available in sufficient volumes, at an acceptable cost, and with low or zero carbon emissions. Achieving this will require hydrogen to be transported and traded internationally. The current system of rules for energy products is set by the World Trade Organisation and national governments and is not well-adapted to hydrogen. For example different carbon footprints are not readily distinguished, infrastructure access may be prevented and policy support may conflict with trade. The multi-government International Partnership for Hydrogen Energy (IPHE) wants to recognise and help address these issues now, to ensure appropriate future trading conditions.
E4tech worked with the IPHE to examine the potential for future international hydrogen trade and identify potential barriers, hurdles, and considerations. The resulting discussion paper International Trade Rules for Hydrogen and its Carriers: Information and Issues for Consideration is now being used by member governments and others who can influence the future of hydrogen trade.
For more information about E4tech’s work in hydrogen and sustainable energy please see our Fuel Cells and Hydrogen page.