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The Middle East, the world’s largest oil-exporting region, has set its sights on becoming a major exporter of clean energy through green hydrogen.
The largest oil producer in the Arabian Gulf Join the green hydrogen ride The product from electrolysis of water using solar or wind energy is gaining momentum from governments and the world’s largest oil companies.
Hydrogen is expected to play a prominent role in reducing carbon emissions from energy-intensive industries. The Middle East does not want to miss this opportunity, according to an article published by the Oil Price website, which specializes in energy news.
On the one hand, the region wants to show the world that it can export clean energy – not just crude oil – as the global energy transition accelerates. On the other hand, the oil-dependent economies of some of the largest OPEC producers are determined to diversify energy exports and reduce dependence on oil.
Dubai and Oman .. huge projects
Last week, two announcements of green hydrogen projects in the Middle East made headlines. Dubai launched the region’s first industrial-scale green hydrogen project, while Oman announced plans to build one of the largest green hydrogen plants in the world.
Dubai belonging to the United Arab Emirates, the third largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has established the first industrial scale green hydrogen facility powered by solar energy in the Middle East and North Africa region, in cooperation with Siemens Energy.
During the day, the plant uses some photovoltaic electricity from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Energy Complex to produce green hydrogen via electrolysis. At night, green hydrogen is converted into electricity to provide the city with sustainable energy, says Siemens Energy.
Solar Park (the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park) is expected to generate up to 5 gigawatts of clean energy by 2030, as the largest solar park on a single site in the world.
Companies in the region, international technology partners, as well as analysts believe that Dubai and the entire Middle East region have a bright future in solar power generation, given the abundance of sunshine in the region.
A clean fuel station
Siemens Energy said: “Against the backdrop of lower electricity costs from solar PV and wind energy in the region, hydrogen has the potential to be a major fuel in the energy mix in the future, and could open energy export opportunities in those areas that have access to resources. Abundant renewable energy. “
Christian Broch, CEO of Siemens Energy, said in an interview with CNBC that the UAE could become an exporter of hydrogen.
Another Middle Eastern oil producer, Oman – which is not a member of OPEC but is part of the “OPEC +” alliance – has also made a major announcement about green hydrogen.
Oman’s state-owned energy company OQ, Hong Kong-based green fuel developer InterContinental Energy, and Kuwait’s clean energy investor and developer, EnerTech, have announced a plan for one of the world’s largest green hydrogen facilities.
The plant will be powered by 25 gigawatts of renewable energy and could cost up to $ 30 billion.
“Given its strategic location between Europe and Asia, as well as the excellent solar radiation and wind resource facing the Arabian Sea, the project is well positioned to offer a safe and reliable supply of green fuels globally at a very competitive price,” said InterContinental Energy.
“Alternative energy is a key driver of OQ’s long-term growth and a cornerstone of its strategy. It is also in line with Oman’s ambitious vision for 2040, which aims to diversify state resources and maximize the financial value derived,” said Salem Al-Hathaili, CEO of Alternative Energy at OQ.
Saudi Arabia is in the knees
For its part, Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest oil producer and the world’s largest oil exporter, is eyeing green hydrogen projects and a share of the emerging clean hydrogen market.
NEOM, the futuristic sustainable city promoted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, signed an agreement last year with Air Products and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power for a $ 5 billion green hydrogen-based ammonia project, with the goal of exporting the product.
All these plans indicate that the oil power in the Middle East is not immune to the energy transition and the increasing global demand for clean energy products.
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