Hydropower and green hydrogen sectors collaborate to achieve net zero

The newly formed Green Hydrogen Organisation (GH2) and the International Hydropower Association (IHA) have set out a mutually strengthening vision of how their two sectors can collaborate and contribute to tackling climate change.

Green hydrogen is produced through electrolysis of water, using electricity generated by low-carbon power sources such as hydropower, wind, and solar.

The Green Hydrogen Organisation will promote the production and use of green hydrogen. It has begun work on establishing a GH2 Green Hydrogen Standard to ensure that green hydrogen is certified as coming only from low-carbon sources. In addition, the GH2 Green Hydrogen Standard will be developed to align with the hydropower sector’s Hydropower Sustainability Standard.

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be the inaugural chair of the new organization, with Dr. Andrew Forrest, Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, and Fortescue Future Industries, a founding board member.

“GH2 has been established to ensure green hydrogen is central to the energy systems of the future,” said Turnbull, who is also a board member of IHA. “Green hydrogen is a vastly superior technology to fossil fuels and will inevitably replace them – the only question is when. We are running out of time. Globally, almost 800 million people lack access to electricity. Addressing this should be a priority, using renewable energy and green hydrogen, not perpetuating dependence on fossil fuels.”

The collaboration commitment by the two organizations was made at a session on green hydrogen at the World Hydropower Congress on Sept. 17, 2021. The main message of the session was that energy should be sourced only from renewable sources like sustainable hydropower.

“We hope that our organization will harness entrepreneurship and sustainability in the renewables to enable a faster shift to producing and using green hydrogen,” said Jonas Moberg, chief executive officer of the Green Hydrogen Organisation.

Eddie Rich, CEO of IHA, said: “Sustainable hydropower and green hydrogen is a perfect marriage. I look forward to working arm in arm with the green hydrogen sector to help its exponential growth built on good sustainability principles. The green hydrogen revolution is dependent on renewable energy, including sustainable and responsibly developed hydropower. With the need for renewable energy and storage growing rapidly, it will be critically important for the green hydrogen industry to subscribe to high sustainability standards.”

The founders of the new organization strongly endorsed the forthcoming San José Declaration on Sustainable Hydropower and the recently launched Hydropower Sustainability Standard.

In May 2021, IHA published a paper, The green hydrogen revolution: hydropower’s transformative role, outlining how hydropower can be pivotal in supporting growth in green hydrogen.