Delivering a keynote speech in the Hydrogen Transition Summit at COP27 today, Dr. Serhan said, “Unfortunately there is no switch that we can deflect from gray to green. Hydrogen production paired with carbon capture and sequestration is a natural step, a bridge that will enable us to produce low-carbon hydrogen, at the same time with the scale of the energy transition, and growing energy demand, there is definitely room for blue and green.”

He said the global energy transition is one of our critical issues of our lifetime, and we need to move faster, and more decisive steps are necessary. 

“These steps must be realistic,” he said. “The promise of renewable energy and electrification are real, but they alone cannot accommodate the energy demand of today and the future. This is why hydrogen comes in – it’s the best source of low-carbon energy to address the emissions from sectors that use high-density energy, such as heavy duty vehicles, shipping, planes, steel making and chemicals production.”

Dr. Serhan added that, despite both hydrogen types likely to flourish, it is really important now to ramp up significantly investments and activity in the optimum fuel – green hydrogen. 

“As the largest producer of hydrogen in the world today, Air Products has made commitments of more than $15bn – these are real projects, not co-operation agreements, coming on stream in the next few years. The key is scaling up,” he said.

“We need to continue working collaboratively to bring low-carbon hydrogen at scale. Investments and innovations throughout the whole value chain is really important to develop the whole eco-system – technology, product development, production, infrastructure and consumption.”

He praised the Inflation Reduction Act as “forward looking legislation” and cited Canada, Middle East and Europe which are also actively spurring hydrogen development. 

“For the energy security in Europe it’s essential that the local production of low-carbon hydrogen is supplemented by imports. We definitely need a level playing field in Europe between imports and local hydrogen production – it requires immediate and targeted policy action,” he said.

“Hydrogen is a key enabler for decarbonisation. The moment to act with focus and clarity is now. Hydrogen production is only one part of the equation – the real difference is when we use low-carbon hydrogen, and when we can move humanity forward.”

Total planned production for green and blue hydrogen through 2030 has reached more than 26 million MT a year – which has roughly quadrupled since 2020 – according to McKinsey.