COP26: Key developments related to the hydrogen market

Tracking key hydrogen-related developments during the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), Glasgow UK.


The COP26 (31st October – 12th November 2021) has brought together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree on coordinated action to tackle climate change.  Below are some key developments that have been announced during the climate talks.

Hydrogen Associations (Australia, Canada, South Korea, US)

Five hydrogen industry associations have called on COP26 participating nations for clarity on policy to support investment in hydrogen and unlock new collaborations for action on hydrogen to support net-zero targets.

The organisations include the Australian Hydrogen Council, H2Korea, Renewable Hydrogen Alliance, Colorado Hydrogen Network, Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association.

  • Dr Fiona Simon, CEO of Australian Hydrogen Council, said, “With the world moving to net zero, we have no choice but to consider all potential approaches to reducing our impact on the environment.”
  • Jaedo Moon, Chairman H2KOREA, added, “In order to overcome the global environmental crisis, we should transit to a hydrogen economy faster than now with the goal of realising net zero.”
  • Michelle Detwiler, Executive Director Renewable Hydrogen Alliance, noted, “Increased collaboration, climate policy mandates and investment are key to moving forward together to build the global clean hydrogen economy.
  • Brian DeBruine, Director of Operations of the Colorado Hydrogen Networks, noted, “One often overlooked essential in developing the hydrogen ecosystem is demand — developing hydrogen supply is not enough.”
  • Mark Kirby, CEO of Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, explained, “Clean hydrogen is a key pillar to national and international net-zero targets: the faster we raise production, the sooner a global net zero can come into place.”

Australia-South Korea

Australia and the Republic of Korea will work together to drive increased adoption of low and zero-emissions technologies through a new Australia-Republic of Korea Low and Zero Emissions Technology Partnership. Australia PM Scott Morrison and Korea President Moon Jae-in agreed on the partnership during bilateral talks at the G20 summit in Rome on 30th October, ahead of COP26 in Glasgow.

The partnership will help advance technologies and trade systems for hydrogen supply, low emissions steel and iron ore, and carbon capture, utilization and storage as early priorities. The commitment builds on partnerships Australia has already entered into with Indonesia, Germany, Singapore, Japan and the UK.

This partnership is part of the Government’s AU$565.8 million commitment to build new international technology partnerships that make low emissions technologies cheaper and drive investment in Australia-based projects to create up to 2,500 jobs.

Australia and South Korea will collaborate across existing and emerging low and zero emissions technologies, including technologies for clean hydrogen and clean ammonia supply, low emissions iron ore and steel hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, hydrogen power generation, carbon capture, utilisation and storage, energy storage, solar, and the critical minerals supply chain. Both partners will work together to provide funding under their respective domestic processes to support R&D, and pilot, trial, and demo projects in priority focus areas.

ABS, HHI and KSOE agreement

At COP26, ABS, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Korea Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering (KSOE) have signed two agreements to work on green hydrogen and CCU.

AFC Energy (UK)

At the COP26 Conference, the Prince of Wales has seen a demonstration of AFC Energy’s zero-emission Hydrogen power generator that has featured in the inaugural Extreme E all-electric SUV racing series in 2021

McLaren Racing CEO confirmed their entry into Extreme E in 2022 and announced Emma Gilmour as its first-ever female driver.  McLaren will be the latest team to join the series, raise awareness of the impact of climate change, participate in Extreme E’s robust legacy programmes, and leave a lasting footprint by engaging its fans worldwide to take climate action.

The Northern Horizons Project Aker Horizons and DNV (Scotland, UK)

The Northern Horizons Project has been unveiled by Aker Horizons’ portfolio companies Aker Offshore Wind and Aker Clean Hydrogen at the COP 26 climate change conference in Glasgow.

The project describes how harnessing 10GW of renewable energy in the North Sea can deliver decarbonisation targets by sending clean products to the mainland and exporting them to fuel-heavy or hard-to-abate industries.

The Northern Horizons initiative responds to the Scottish government’s stated ambition to develop Scotland’s potential to export significant quantities of hydrogen. The government is targeting 5GW of hydrogen production by 2030 and is actively seeking international collaboration to develop a shared hydrogen economy. The Aker companies and DNV are now embarking on a consultation project with governments and businesses to mature the project toward a future investment decision.

ArcelorMittal and the government of Quebec (Canada)

At an event held at COP26, ArcelorMittal and the government of Quebec announced a CAD$205 million investment by ArcelorMittal Mining Canada in its Port-Cartier pellet plant, enabling this facility to convert its entire 10 million tonnes annual pellet production to direct reduced iron (DRI) pellets by the end of 2025.

The Quebec government will contribute through an electricity rebate of up to CA$ 80 million, which will enable the Port-Cartier plant to become one of the world’s largest producers of DRI pellets, the raw material feedstock for ironmaking in a DRI furnace. The project will deliver a direct annual CO2e reduction of approximately 200k tonnes at AMMC’s Port-Cartier pellet plant, equivalent to over 20% of the pellet plant’s total yearly CO2e emissions. This reduction in CO2e emissions will be achieved through a decrease in the energy required during the pelletising process.

Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, European Commission and European Investment Bank (EU-US)

At the COP26, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Bill Gates, the Founder of Breakthrough Energy, together with European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer, have officially entered into a pioneering partnership that will boost investments in critical climate technologies.

The partnership between Commission, European Investment Bank and Breakthrough Energy Catalyst will mobilise up to €820 million (US$1 billion) between 2022-2026 to accelerate the deployment and rapidly commercialise innovative technologies that will help deliver European Green Deal ambitions and the EU’s 2030 climate targets. Investments will be directed towards a portfolio of EU-based projects with high potential in four sectors:

  • Clean hydrogen
  • Sustainable aviation fuels
  • Direct air capture
  • Long-duration energy storage

Citi Joins Breakthrough Energy Catalyst (US)

Citi Joins Breakthrough Energy Catalyst as an anchor with a $100 million commitment over the next five years to help fund the program’s efforts to scale and commercialise climate technology projects rapidly. The announcement was made at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

An initial equity investment of $50 million will be provided through an expansion of the Citi Impact Fund, and Citi will explore mechanisms to fund the remaining $50 million. This commitment to Catalyst brings the Citi Impact Fund’s total resources to $250 million and represents the Fund’s first significant investment in a sustainability-focused fund. These efforts will also support Citi’s $1 trillion commitment to sustainable finance by 2030.

By working across the public and private sectors, Catalyst and its partners will help reduce the costs of clean technologies. The program will initially focus on four key areas: direct air capture, green hydrogen, long-duration energy storage and sustainable aviation fuel.

Cop26 Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle

The Net Zero Technology Centre announced Mineral Carbonatation International (MCi) from Australia the winning startup of the COP26 Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle, hosted by the Centre’s award-winning TechX programme.

The announcement comes after ten startups were given a chance to pitch their clean energy technology solutions at the Pitch Battle’s final event, live in Glasgow during the Centre’s COP26 programme, ‘The Road to Glasgow: Destination Net Zero’.

The winning company, Mineral Carbonatation International (MCi) from Australia, has developed a scalable carbon platform technology that safely converts industrial CO2 emissions into solid bulk materials, which has the potential to help accelerate the transition to net-zero.

Syzygy Plasmonics, the Houston-based startup’s, won the third-place, pioneering technology that uses light to create hydrogen energy and everyday chemicals at dramatically lower costs and emissions. The company is working on a photon-catalyzed reactor using LED lights powered by renewable electricity instead of thermal reactors running on fossil fuels to transform the economics of zero-emission hydrogen production.

Solatom (Spain), another participant, showcased to be a relevant actor in the energy transition with its modular concentrated solar plant, hybrid boiler and potential to produce green hydrogen

ExxonMobil- Pertamina (US- Indonesia)

ExxonMobil and Pertamina (the Indonesian state-owned energy company for Indonesia) also signed an MoU to evaluate the potential for large-scale deployment of low-carbon technologies in Indonesia during COP 26. The MoU strengthens a decades-long strategic partnership between ExxonMobil and Pertamina and aims to advance Indonesia’s net-zero ambitions.

The companies have agreed to assess the potential for technologies such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage, and low-carbon hydrogen. By jointly examining subsurface data, the companies expect to identify geologic formations deep underground that could be suitable to store CO2 safely and the potential for safe, commercially viable utilisation of CO2.

First Movers Coalition (FMC) 

The First Movers Coalition (FMC) has officially launched at the COP26. The coalition is a partnership between the World Economic Forum and the US Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.

Focusing on hard-to-abate sectors, where green gases and green fuels are required – in particular, aviation, shipping, trucking, steel – the First Movers Coalition is a new collective initiative aiming at accelerating by 2030 the development at the scale of competitive net-zero carbon supply chains.

Members committed to purchase or contract zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles by 2030, including battery or fuel-cell electric vehicles, and incorporate renewable sources of electricity and hydrogen for charging. Members are also committed to purchasing volumes of near-zero-emissions steel by 2030. The deployment of breakthrough iron and steelmaking technology is needed to deliver a net-zero steel sector with minimal residual emissions. These technologies include hydrogen direct reduction, carbon capture use and storage, and electrolysis-based production processes.

Founding members:

  • Aker ASA
  • Agility Logistics
  • P. Møller – Mærsk
  • Bain & Company
  • Bank of America
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Boeing
  • Cemex
  • Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited
  • Deutsche Post DHL Group
  • Fortescue Metals Group
  • Holcim
  • Invenergy
  • Johnson Controls
  • Mahindra Group
  • Nokia
  • Ørsted
  • Scania
  • SSAB Swedish Steel
  • Trafigura Group
  • Trane Technologies
  • United Airlines
  • Vattenfall
  • Volvo Group
  • Yara International
  • Western Digital
  • ZF Friedrichshafen AG

Fortescue with JCB and Ryze Hydrogen (Australia-UK)

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), JCB and Ryze Hydrogen agreed on multi-billion green hydrogen (GH2) supply deal. Under the agreement, JCB and Ryze will purchase 10% of FFI’s global green hydrogen production.

Fortescue and Argentina (Australia-Argentina)

Fortescue Metals Group and Argentina have announced a multi-billion potential green hydrogen project in Argentina alongside the COP26.

Green Hydrogen Catapult aims for 45 GW hydrogen capacity 

The Green Hydrogen Catapult (a coalition of green hydrogen leaders) announced members’ commitment to developing 45 GW of electrolysers to be developed with secured financing by 2026, with targeted commissioning in 2027. The initial target set by the coalition at the time of its launch in December 2020 was 25 GW.

GHC members call for policy and business leaders to accelerate green hydrogen adoption through the following actions:

  • Matching GHC’s ambitions by setting and regularly updating five-year targets instead of longer-term, 2030-focused goals
  • Ensuring at least equal market conditions for all fuels (conventional and green) to create fair competition in energy markets
  • Providing near-term incentives to enable heavy industry sectors with long capital cycles to adopt green hydrogen and contribute to rapid cost reductions
  • Establishing market support for green hydrogen through investing in the infrastructure required for the energy systems of the future, including hydrogen pipelines to connect production and consumption hubs

H2X presents in COP26

H2X Global Ltd, the company behind Australia’s first hydrogen-powered ute, has been invited to present as a headline participant at COP26. It is a part of a select few companies asked to speak at the event and share the latest innovations in the hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle space.

H2X has developed highly efficient hydrogen fuel cell technology and hydrogen power trains for vehicles and machinery. The technology will be used in its Warrego Ute, a fuel cell electric utility vehicle set to be manufactured in Gippsland, Victoria, which has already drawn more than $50 million in pre-orders.

Irena and World Economics Forum launches Green Hydrogen Toolbox

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the World Economic Forum launched a jointly developed series of “Enabling Measures Roadmaps for Green Hydrogen” at the UN Climate Conference COP26 in Glasgow. The new toolbox aims to empower policymakers to prioritise policies for green hydrogen and accelerate its deployment at the international level in pursuit of a net-zero energy system aligned with a climate-safe 1.5°C scenario.

The roadmaps show the top ten measures and critical timelines for their implementation in cost reduction, demand growth, international standards, infrastructure, and technology development. They will enhance public-private dialogue to turn industry recommendations into concrete policy measures and accelerate action on the path to net zero. The first roadmaps for Europe and Japan have been developed through consultations with leading industry players and international organisations.

Port of Antwerp, Port of Zeebrugge and Chile (Belgium-Chile)

Port of Antwerp, Port of Zeebrugge and the Chilean Ministry of Energy signed an MoU during the COP26 to make green hydrogen flows between Chile and Western Europe a reality.

The partners will collaborate to set up a corridor between their countries to ship green hydrogen or derivatives produced in Chile and received at the Belgian Ports for further distribution to meet expected demand in Europe. They will also collaborate in exchanging knowledge, experiences, and other information to further explore the cooperation’s possibilities.

Juan Carlos Jobet, Minister of Energy in Chile, commented, “Our potential in clean energy will allow us to be the cheapest producers of green hydrogen in the world, with which we will be able to satisfy our demand, but also help other countries to advance with their climate goals.”

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp, said, “We will continue to push forward our ambitions to make sure our entire fleet, eco-friendly and to further develop as a multi fuel port, offering the alternative fuels that sustainable shipping requires.”

Tom Hautekiet, CEO Port of Zeebrugge, added, “This opportunity will allow us to realize our shared ambition of importing hydrogen to Europe together.”

Port of Antwerp and the Port of Montreal (Belgium- Canada)

The Port of Antwerp and the Port of Montreal have signed a cooperation agreement to support the creation of the first green shipping corridor in the North Atlantic.

Both partners aim to facilitate the trade of green fuels and the supply of renewable fuels and clean technologies to vessels. They intend to support direct and indirect electrification of the shipping industry, mainly through green hydrogen, green ethanol and green methanol, and biofuels such as biodiesel and renewable natural gas.

Both ports have been working together since 2013 on projects in sustainable development and the energy transition, innovation and trade. Both are signatories of the Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonisation.

Martin Imbleau, Montreal Port Authority President, said, “The St. Lawrence port and marine ecosystem is well-positioned to use, distribute and export renewable fuels such as hydrogen and methanol produced using Quebec hydropower.”

Jacques Vandermeiren, Antwerp Port Authority President, added, “Together with the Port of Montreal, we are working on the transition to a multi-fuel port, with renewable fuels that are better for the climate and the quality of the air.”

Ulemco: The world first hydrogen-powered ambulance (UK)

Ulemco has displayed the world first hydrogen-powered ambulance prototype on an NHS exhibition stand at COP26 at Glasgow. Named for Zero Emission Rapid Response Operations ambulance, the Zerro project was originally started by Yorkshire Ambulance Service. It will, in the meantime, be trialled by the London Ambulance Service, where they can gain access to the public refuelling stations around London. The project is led by ULEMCo, with expert partners including Mellor, Promech Technologies, Lyra Electronics and VCS, and supported by Innovate UK and NHS England & NHS Improvement.

Wrightbus: The world first hydrogen double-decker bus (UK)

The world’s first zero-hydrogen double-decker bus, developed by Wrightbus, is also taking part in the COP26 summit and is parked in the COP26 Green Zone. Besides, Wrightbus, there will be other electric and hydrogen auto players including DAF Trucks, Extreme E, Ford, Global System Mobile Association (GSMA), JCB, Mini, Oceanways, Polestar, Rolls-Royce and Switch Mobility.

This page was last updated on the 5th November 2021. We will update this page regularly. Bookmark this page to stay up to date.

Back to top button