Published at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, IRENA’s Accelerating Hydrogen Deployment in G7: Recommendations for the Hydrogen Action Pact, has laid out status summaries and outlooks for hydrogen in each G7, with recommendations for accelerating global hydrogen trade.

It comes off the back of the launch of the Hydrogen Action Pact by the G7 in May (2022), which aims to strengthen joint action on Power-to-X, hydrogen and derivatives, and to streamline the implementation of existing multilateral initiatives.

The IRENA recommendations for G7 members are:

Align efforts on standards and certification. It says members should establish common sustainability criteria for traded and support hydrogen; align methodologies for hydrogen certification; and spearhead efforts to set harmonised technical standard.
Collaborate internationally and share lessons from early implementation. IRENA suggests the G7 should support the sustainable development of hydrogen in global south countries; share lessons learnt as first movers; implement innovative schemes such as regulatory sandboxes for hydrogen valleys; and address technology gaps and transfer technology knowledge.
Balance focus on supply with demand creation. According to the agency, G7 members need to prioritise hard-to-abate industrial applications for hydrogen demand; agree on common actions to decarbonise shipping and aviation; coordinate supply and demand; and plan the scale-up of financing.
Promote hydrogen uptake in industrial applications. Its report suggests countries should test and implement new policies for the uptake of green products; address carbon leakage and create a level playing field; and support disruptive and step-changing technologies.
Conduct outreach among civil society and industry stakeholders. It calls for the G7 to adopt a unified message around hydrogen and increase awareness; involve civil society in the governance of the hydrogen sector; and introduce and sponsor an international eco-label for hydrogen-based products.

Commenting on the publication of the new report, Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA, said, “G7 has a sizeable economic footprint, accounting for 30% of global energy demand. Through joint action and focused collaboration, it can be a first mover and determine the conditions of a future hydrogen market in line with the Hydrogen Action Pact.”

Adding, “Policymakers must also show leadership by sharing knowledge, finance and policy know-how with the international community to replicate opportunities and best practices everywhere else in the world. Crucially, with international co-operation, the emerging hydrogen market has the potential to be more inclusive, with opportunities for developed and developing countries alike. Clear intent must be broadcast, to signal confidence to investors and industry.”