Is Asia the new hydrogen frontier?

The latest WTW Renewable Energy Market Review makes interesting reading, not least in its suggestion that now that we are at the start of 2023, “it is clear that the time for hydrogen has arrived”.

Well, here at Emerging Risks we certainly wouldn’t argue with that! Only this week, we ran the story that India established green hydrogen consumption targets for certain industries, in a further indication of its bid to become one of the world’s leading players in what is rapidly becoming a key emerging risk.

One of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, India approved a plan of incentives worth more than $2 billion to develop a green hydrogen production capacity of 5 million tonnes a year by 2030.

Also this week, we delivered news that Brazilian chemical manufacturer Unigel is to invest some $1.5 billion in its complex in the state of Bahia to produce green hydrogen. The plant, located in the city of Camaçari, should have the first of three phases inaugurated by the end of 2023, expanding capacity until it achieves production of 100,000 tonnes of hydrogen by 2027, or 600,000 tonnes of one of its derivatives, ammonia.

So it should come as no surprise that, according to the excellent WTW report, that Asia is flagged up as one of the most exciting geographies for hydrogen investment.

Specifically, it highlights the forward-looking Singapore government, which it says is investing in the hydrogen economy as it seeks to diversify its heavy reliance on natural gas that is vulnerable to supply chain disruptions. 

Presently, according to WTW, Singapore is planning to source renewable power from Australia and Sarawak through the subsea transmission of electricity from large scale solar farms. In addition, it has numerous memorandums with Japanese partners, as well as other potential hydrogen technologies. 

To quote from the report: “Having a varied and resilient energy mix will help Singapore secure control of its future energy and power needs, while meeting its stated climate obligations.” 

We couldn’t agree more! Here’s to a hydrogen-powered future.

Marcus Alcock

Editor, Emerging Risks