17 May 2022
BARCELONA – The Green Hydrogen Standard was launched today at the Green Hydrogen Global Assembly hosted by the Spanish government in Barcelona.
In the first global effort of its kind, green hydrogen projects that meet the Green Hydrogen Standard (“the standard”) will be licensed by the Green Hydrogen Organisation (GH2) to use the label “GH2 Green Hydrogen” and will be eligible to obtain and trade GH2 certificates of origin for green hydrogen and derivatives such as green ammonia.
The Green Hydrogen Standard is available here.
Malcolm Turnbull, GH2 Chair and former Australian Prime Minister said: “The Green Hydrogen Organisation is working to dramatically accelerate the uptake of green hydrogen to rapidly phase out fossil fuels in industries like steel, cement, fertilizers, shipping and aviation. In order to scale up the green hydrogen market, GH2 is today launching the Green Hydrogen Standard. The Standard provides certainty and transparency to investors and other stakeholders that green hydrogen is exactly that: hydrogen made with renewable electricity which conforms to the highest standards on emissions, ESG and the sustainable development goals.”
Green Hydrogen Industry leaders welcomed the launch:
Dr Andrew Forrest, founder of Fortescue Future Industries and founding member of the GH2 Board said: “The inextricable march of green hydrogen has been further strengthened by the global acceptance of the GH2 Standard which will ensure people get what they think they are paying for - a fuel which does not harm the planet. Anyone who talks blue or any other colour as “green” is out to mislead firstly their customers and secondly, and much worse, the local community and global public. This must be called for what it is: greenwashing".
Yun Choi, Vice Chairman of Korea Zinc said: "I congratulate GH2 on launching the Green Hydrogen Standard. This is a very timely and critical first step in building the confidence and transparency needed in the market amongst producers, investors, offtakers and the broader community to kick start the global trade of green hydrogen. If there is any chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, every industry sector must pull its weight. Green H2 is the true green solution to decarbonising the notoriously hard to abate industry sectors the group operates in. We are on track to produce green hydrogen by Q1 2023, so the future of green hydrogen is now. We encourage governments and key industry players around the world to rally behind the Green Hydrogen Standard."
Martina Merz, CEO of thyssenkrupp said: “Hydrogen is going to play a decisive role on the way to a more sustainable world, and is one of the energy carriers of the future. It is therefore extremely important to create appropriate structures for the development and rapid ramp-up of a global hydrogen infrastructure. I am convinced that the Green Hydrogen Standard will help to make green hydrogen a commodity, to set the commercial stage through defining green hydrogen and to extend global collaboration. Therefore, thyssenkrupp wishes to actively help shape the GH2 standard in a way that serves this goal and will promote its acceptance”.
Lei Zhang, founder and CEO of Envision, said: “This standard sets a clear benchmark for green hydrogen as the world's 'new oil', along with net zero industrial parks as the 'new infrastructure'. Taken together they will accelerate the drive towards green industrialisation, increase market confidence and support the global energy transition.”
Kristian Røkke, CEO of Aker Horizons, said: “Establishing a standard and certification methods will help build confidence in the market for buyers of green hydrogen. As a global hydrogen producer, we view this as an important step towards accelerating the deployment of green hydrogen, which will be critical to reaching net zero.”
Maria Paz de la Cruz, CEO of H2 Chile and member of the GH2 board said: “The launch of GH2’s Green Hydrogen Standard is great news for the industry. It will enable countries like Chile to trade its competitive products together with providing certainty to consumers about the compliance of strong sustainability criteria”.
Ronald Grasman, Vice President, H2 Fuel Cell business development, Hyundai Motor Company said: "We believe that the Green Hydrogen Organisation's effort to accelerate the spread of green hydrogen is also one of the important pillars, and we are confident that these efforts will bring forth carbon neutrality in the future”.
Jonas Moberg, GH2’s CEO said: “GH2 focuses exclusively on green hydrogen made from renewable energy. In contrast to disingenuous efforts to rebrand fossil-fuel based hydrogen as ‘clean hydrogen’, GH2’s standard ensures close to zero emissions, adherence to environment, social and governances standards, and maximising the development potential of green hydrogen in developing and emerging economies.
“Transparency and collaboration are core principles of GH2’s work”, said Jonas Moberg. “We look forward to working with government, industry and civil society on the implementation and further refinement of the Standard”.
Media Contact: Joe Williams, GH2 Director of Strategy and Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org / +447775751170
Background: GH2’s definition of Green Hydrogen
Green hydrogen is hydrogen produced through the electrolysis of water with 100% or near 100% renewable energy with close to zero greenhouse gas emissions (<=1 kg CO2e per kg H2 taken as an average over a 12-month period).
GH2’s definition is based on the technologies that are the leading candidates for scaling up green hydrogen production: hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, wave and other ocean energy sources.1 The Standard refers to “near 100% renewable energy”. There is some flexibility (e.g., for backup systems) so long as the maximum greenhouse gas emissions threshold is not exceeded.
Validating “close to zero” emissions of <1 kg CO2e per kg H2
The production of renewable electricity can involve some greenhouse gas emissions. In certain circumstances, there may be some greenhouse gas emissions associated with electrolysis and associated processes (such as water treatment / desalination). Accordingly, GH2 refers to “close to zero greenhouse gas emissions”. The Standard requires that projects operate at <=1 kg CO2e per kg H2 (taken as an average over a 12-month period).2
The <=1 kg CO2e per kg H2 threshold is considerably lower than the thresholds proposed by other so-called “clean hydrogen” or “low carbon hydrogen” standards, which have significantly higher emissions threshold to accommodate hydrogen production based on fossil fuels. Green hydrogen is the only option aligned with a 1.5-degree pathway 3.
What GHG emissions are included?
It includes “scope 1” emissions from production, including water treatment and desalination and “scope 2” emissions from on-site or purchased renewable electricity. The Standard builds on the methodology proposed by the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE).
It is expected that project operators report on the emissions associated with the delivery of hydrogen and its derivatives. The standard also encourages project operators to report on the embodied emissions associated with green hydrogen production.
What other aspects are covered in the Green Hydrogen Standard?
The Standard requires that the environmental, social and governance consequences of green hydrogen production are addressed and requires that the development opportunities and impacts of green hydrogen production are considered. Key questions include:
Are the social and environmental impacts of new projects fully considered?
Does the project comply with international human rights standards and are human rights promoted where the energy is produced?
Has a good faith effort to engage key stakeholders and communities actively been made?
Have key stakeholders and communities been provided with the information and potential opportunities to engage that they see as most relevant and needed?
These issues are vital considerations for investors, customers, consumers and the communities that host green hydrogen projects.
The Green Hydrogen Organisation (GH2) is a non-profit foundation under Swiss law. In addition to its office in Geneva it is present in London, Perth, and Sydney. The mission of GH2 is to dramatically accelerate the production and utilisation of green hydrogen across a range of sectors globally. It will push to rapidly decarbonise industries like steel, cement, fertilisers, shipping and aviation that have so far made limited progress reducing their emissions.
For more information, contact Sam Bartlett, Director for the Green Hydrogen Standard and CEO Roundtable at email@example.com
The GH2 Board launched this Standard in May 2022. This brief overview summarises the Standard, which is free to download here.