UN-backed green hydrogen moonshot aims to make fuel commercially viable by 2026

Seven big big names in renewables have clubbed together in a United Nations-backed moonshot to get green hydrogen prices down by 50% to $2 per kg by 2026, while scaling up production 50-fold.

Iberdrola, Ørsted, ACWA Power, CWP Renewables, Envision, Yara and Snam are onboard the ambitious bid to make green hydrogen a more mainstream fuel choice this decade.

The so called Green Hydrogen Catapult will require an investment of approximately $110bn and will generate more than 120,000 jobs.

The key issue here is to close the competitiveness gap between traditional fossil fuels and new zero emission fuels

“Scaling up green hydrogen using existing infrastructure will be crucial to reaching climate goals,” commented Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam. “We believe that this new coalition of the willing composed of leading companies in the private sector, with expertise, commitment and confidence in hydrogen’s potential, will play an important role in fostering cooperation and help to deliver the projects necessary to bring green hydrogen costs to the $2/kg tipping point even sooner than expected.”

For shipping companies to take part in this new fuel, they will need vessel design breakthroughs soon as well as a rethink of how they buy fuel. Shipping would need to start thinking about signing long-term off take agreements, much further in advance than they are used to in current annual bunker contacts.

This year the shipping industry’s Getting to Zero Coalition began mapping some of the many zero emission pilots and demonstration projects going on around the world, with hydrogen research leading the way in one form or another in shipping’s pursuit of a clean fuel.

Kasper Søgaard, head of research at the Global Maritime Forum, commented at the launch of the global zero emission study in August: “The majority of projects covering fuel production focus on green hydrogen which is largely due to hydrogen’s position as a building block for the production of other fuels such as ammonia or methanol. Much of what needs to be achieved is already technically possible. The key issue here is to close the competitiveness gap between traditional fossil fuels and new zero emission fuels.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. This type of project always seems to come at a prodigious cost and generate a neat round number of jobs. They usually go well past budgets on cost and fail to generate the new jobs.

    Green hydrogen based on wind and solar power will need to accept that these renewables are intermittent but the production plants need to be run continuously.

    The plan announced also seems to imply major changes in fuel/energy procurement will be required. On whose say so? This smacks of environmental fascism.

  2. Perhaps nuclear power could be used in conjunction with renewable energy + energy storage to produce the hydrogen. Some countries (such as Iceland) may also use geothermal energy to produce hydrogen.

    The quantities of renewable electricity / heat required for the mass production of “Green” or “Blue” hydrogen will be really huge. And carbon capture and storage will also be required.
    Perhaps this should be called Environmental Fantasy – not Fascism?

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