The transition to a green hydrogen (GH2) economy is key to a sustainable economic system. The global geography of a future GH2 economy can only be seen in outline at the moment. What is clear is that Europe and Japan will be large net importers of GH2, while the U.S. and China are expected to be largely self-sufficient. The HyPat project, in which the DIE is collaborating with institutes of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (FhG) and other partners (www.hypat.de), aims, among other things, to identify countries that possess a particularly high potential to become exporters of GH2. On 28 January, DIE together with FhG-ISI (Karlsruhe) conducted an expert workshop to identify particularly promising candidates for four world regions (sub-Saharan Africa, MENA, Eastern Europe / Central Asia and Latin America). Specific regional conditions that do not come to light in a global analysis should be identified. Experts from DIE, SWP, GIGA, FU Berlin, Nordic Africa Institute in Sweden, ODI in London, and universities in Israel and Turkey were invited to the workshop to contribute their regional expertise and knowledge from different disciplines.
Many developing countries have great potential to produce green hydrogen based on solar, wind, hydropower or geothermal energy. During the expert workshop, it was emphasised that it is not purposeful if the role of developing countries in a global GH2 economy is limited to exporting a new raw material to the global North. Entering the GH2 economy needs to be embedded in more complex socio-economic strategies that include developing local value chains, e.g. to decarbonize heavy transport or the fertilizer industry. The regional potential countries identified by the experts will be investigated in more detail, mainly in 2022, in in-depth country case studies conducted by DIE and FhG-ISI. Socio-economic and technological potentials will be considered as well as governance aspects and the acceptance of an entry into the GH2 economy by the most important stakeholders.