The UK’s leading association supporting the hydrogen sector and the fuel cell industry joined representatives from across the world to share expertise to facilitate a global clean energy scale up.

The UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UK HFCA) was represented by its CEO and founder Celia Greaves at the event in Seoul, South Korea, who met with delegates from 18 other countries.

The group used the opportunity to strengthen international cooperation and launch the Global Hydrogen Industrial Association Alliance (GHIAA) which supports private-centred activities and provides a platform for cooperation including sharing information regarding hydrogen industry trends.

Ms Greaves said: “The conference was a superb opportunity to promote UK activity and expertise, share our knowledge and learn from the expertise of others – which is precisely the point of the GHIAA. We have a common goal and it makes absolute sense to pool resources and create a global taskforce. Collaboration will be key and GHIAA provides an important vehicle for us to achieve that.”

Included in the members of the Global Hydrogen Industrial Association Alliance are the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, China, Spain, Singapore, Colombia and South Korea.

The participants elected the Chair of Korea Hydrogen Convergence Alliance (H2Korea) Moon-Jae-do as the inaugural chairman of the new organisation. The former government bureaucrat will lead the alliance over the next two years and the secretariat will be operated in Seoul during his term.

“To achieve the global hydrogen economy, we need to collaborate to realise so many opportunities lying ahead of us,” he said. “Hence, our inaugural meeting’s slogan is collaborations and opportunities.

“The GHIAA would try to become a platform for developing technology and making investments to achieve the hydrogen economy. In addition, we will work on making standards for the related business.”

After the official launch, the participants held a forum to discuss ways of supporting the hydrogen industries and sharing government policies of the 18 countries.

Ms Greaves took to the podium to showcase the UK’s progress in hydrogen and the event also included an open innovation session providing information on the hydrogen industry in Korea.

In addition, there were opportunities for cooperation and partnership with major companies – offering export prospects to fuel growth in the sector.

Ms Greaves said: “The UK already has world-class hydrogen production capability which, with the right support, could become a key export opportunity.

“We need to maintain and build momentum to stay at the forefront of this global opportunity and ensure that we deliver strong economic growth as well as the transition to net zero. It was insightful hearing how other countries were benefitting from policy changes and support to meet ambitions.”

Renewable energy will take up nearly 42% of South Korea’s power generation capacity by 2034, attendees of the event heard.

The country’s Hydrogen Energy Portfolio Standard (HPS) makes it mandatory for electric utility companies to generate a certain amount of electricity from hydrogen fuel cells.

Meanwhile, the US has established the Hydrogen Shots objective and described its aim to invest approximately $9.5 billion in the hydrogen industry through a bipartisan infrastructure investment package. Germany launched a 900 million euro (1.2 trillion won) ‘H2 Global’ fund and stated that it intends to set up a worldwide hydrogen trading market mechanism through government subsidies.

According to Precedence Research, a Canadian market research firm, the conference heard that the global market for fuel cells is expected to surpass around USD 42.3 billion by 2030 and is expanding growth at a CAGR of 25.1% from 2021 to 2030.

In the UK, the Government is committed to ramping up the country’s hydrogen production and published its much-awaited Hydrogen Strategy in August, outlining plans to unlock £4bn of investment in blue and green generation, storage, and usage this decade. A series of subsequent announcements are setting the foundations for production of low carbon hydrogen to scale up to 10GW by 2030.

UK joins world leaders in the field of hydrogen to cement global alliance