The Case of Hydrogen in the Gulf States: Opportunities and Challenges
On April 7, 2021, OIES with and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) held the annual OIES-KFAS Workshop on Energy Transition Post-Pandemic in the Gulf. During the hydrogen session, Dr. Manal Shehabi presented a paper titled “Opportunities and Challenges of Hydrogen in the Gulf”. The buzz around hydrogen in the global energy transition had seen hydrogen plans in Europe, Japan, Korea, and other countries. Now GCC states– namely Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, and Kuwait– are joining. But how viable is the hydrogen economy in Gulf states? This question is the theme of this presentation. It concludes that opportunities in the Gulf are significant including potential comparative advantage in blue and green hydrogen for use in exports and domestic decarbonization. Nevertheless,, but a viable hydrogen economy is currently constrained by many challenges. A national hydrogen strategy for any Gulf state needs to be determined as part of a larger integrative policy which includes detailed economic assessment of the viability of hydrogen.