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Online Hydrogen Workshop: The Role of Hydrogen in the UNECE Region

25 March 2020


On 25 March UNECE teamed with the World Energy Council to organize a digital dialogue on regulations, standards and public perceptions that drive deployment of clean hydrogen. The workshop was a step in the process of creating an inventory of regulations and standards that will allow the distribution of hydrogen through natural gas pipelines. This work will continue with a goal to finalize the inventory by the end of 2020.

The dialogue identified five key regulatory barriers and enablers:

1. For hydrogen economy to grow, we need a shared vision that must include carbon pricing.

2. ‘Clean’, ‘green’ or ‘blue’ should not be defined arbitrarily, but through life-cycle analysis.

3. To attract project finance, policies must de-risk commercial hydrogen projects.

4. Procurement standards and clear targets can jumpstart the hydrogen uptake.

5. The work on international alignment and standards harmonization must accelerate.

Through its work on standards for transport of dangerous goods by road, UNECE is already a standard-setting authority. Our work should now expand to cover hydrogen for home electricity and heating and transport through pipelines. In this UNECE should join forces with other standard setting authorities such as ISO.

Technical work is not enough: to bring the public on board, perception of hydrogen must change. Public campaign should promote safety, familiarity, education, informed decision-making, engaging communities and providing economic incentives for people to switch to clean hydrogen.