Green Hydrogen Catapult

World’s green hydrogen leaders unite to drive 50-fold scale-up in six years By Climate Champions | December 8, 2020
  • World’s biggest green hydrogen project developers and partners come together to launch Green Hydrogen Catapult initiative
  • New initiative aims to drive down costs to below $2 per kilogram, to transform energy across most carbon intensive industries, accelerating race to zero emissions
  • Founding partners include ACWA Power, CWP Renewables, Envision, Iberdrola, Ørsted, Snam, and Yara

Please note: the Green Hydrogen Catapult is an initiative that was convened with the support of the High Level Climate Champions and hosted by RMI. It is a separate initiative that is not a partner of Race to Zero and does not facilitate membership into the campaign. Currently only 2 companies in the Green Hydrogen Catapult are in Race to Zero: Iberdrola and Orsted.

Seven world-leading companies today announced a global coalition that will accelerate the scale and production of green hydrogen 50-fold in the next six years, helping to transform the world’s most carbon intensive industries, including power generation, chemicals, steelmaking and shipping.

The new “Green Hydrogen Catapult” initiative will see green hydrogen industry leaders, including ACWA Power, CWP Renewables, Envision, Iberdrola, Ørsted, Snam, and Yara, target the deployment of 25 gigawatts through 2026 of renewables-based hydrogen production, with a view to halve the current cost of hydrogen to below US$2 per kilogram.

Recent analysis suggests a US$2-per-kilogram price represents a potential tipping point that will make green hydrogen and its derivative fuels the energy source of choice across multiple sectors—including steel and fertilizer production, power generation, and long-range shipping—where ample near-term demand exists in Europe and elsewhere. Green ammonia, a derivative of green hydrogen, is also being tested to displace fossil fuels in thermal power generation, greatly decreasing the emissions intensity of existing energy infrastructure.

Green hydrogen is produced by using renewable energy (wind and solar) to power electrolysis that splits water into its constituent parts. It is widely regarded as the leading contender to decarbonize emissions-intensive heavy industry and transport sectors.

“Having led the race to deliver photovoltaic energy at well-below US$2 cents per kilowatt-hour, in certain geographies, we believe the collective ingenuity and entrepreneurship of the private sector can deliver green hydrogen at less than US$2 per kilogram within four years,” says Paddy Padmanathan, CEO of ACWA Power. “From an industry perspective, we see no technical barriers to achieving this, so it’s time to get on with the virtuous cycle of cost reduction through scale up.” Concurrently, the Saudi Arabia-based company is today announcing its commitment to the Business Ambition for 1.5ºC campaign.

The Green Hydrogen Catapult aims to align the production and use of green hydrogen with a trajectory that displaces fossil fuels at a rate consistent with achieving net zero global emissions by 2050, and limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius. In this way, the initiative is a key element of the private sector climate action strategy being pursued by UN High-Level Champions for Global Climate Action Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz through their “Race to Zero” campaign.

“The world urgently needs to massively ramp up deployment of breakthrough solutions like green hydrogen,” says Nigel Topping, COP26 High Level Champion for Climate Action. “The bold vision and leadership of businesses can propel green hydrogen along an exponential growth trajectory to support economic recovery and deep decarbonization sooner than anticipated.”

It is now estimated that green hydrogen could supply up to 25% of the world’s energy needs by 2050 and become a US$10 trillion addressable market by 2050. These projections are underpinned by the recent emergence of strong hydrogen-focused national hydrogen strategies including in Australia, Chile, Germany, the EU, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and South Korea.

“Scaling up green hydrogen using existing infrastructure will be crucial to reaching climate goals,” says Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam. “We believe that this new ‘coalition of the willing’ composed of leading companies in the private sector, with expertise, commitment and confidence in hydrogen’s potential, will play an important role in fostering cooperation and help to deliver the projects necessary to bring green hydrogen costs to the $2/kg tipping point even sooner than expected.”

In establishing the new Initiative, the founding partners of the Green Hydrogen Catapult are collaborating to accelerate the necessary technology, component manufacturing and construction advancements, market development and flow of investment. The Catapult target will require investment of roughly US$110 billion and deliver more than 120,000 jobs, thus in parallel facilitating recovery from COVID-19.

Companies in this initiative will work toward the target by developing project capacity, supporting the design of specific tools to solve early market challenges, and sponsoring targeted collaboration to accelerate access to clean air, creation of green jobs, supply chain resilience, and economic growth using green hydrogen. Rocky Mountain Institute, a global non-profit think-and-do-tank, will facilitate the initiative alongside partners.

Committed businesses with aligned vision and gigawatt-scale projects under development, as well as mission-aligned investors, customers, and city and regional governments are invited to participate as the initiative takes shape and builds global momentum in advance of the next UN Climate Summit, scheduled to be held in Glasgow in November 2021.

For more information, please contact Kieran Coleman, COP26 Climate Champions hydrogen lead: