Energy can be stored and transported in the form of hydrogen. This makes it possible to generate solar power in the desert, for example, and then bring it to where it is needed. Hydrogen therefore has an important role to play in the global energy transition. However, this transition also involves radical changes to economic systems and the ties that make up our interconnected world, and so it is an issue of geopolitical relevance. Producers of traditional fossil fuels need to adapt their economic model. Germany is thus establishing “hydrogen diplomacy offices” in strategically important partner countries. Following the first office in Nigeria, a second will be opening in Saudi Arabia on 27 February.
The opportunities and challenges created by the global energy transition
The role of the hydrogen diplomacy offices is to increase dialogue with strategic partner countries, covering areas such as the development of the international hydrogen market and ways to enhance cooperation in order to harness the opportunities that this market creates. Because promoting hydrogen and its downstream products also generates competitive advantages. The offices are therefore tasked with providing expertise as well as analyses of the local and regional impact of the transformation. Another key part of their role is to build ties between decision-makers, experts and companies from both countries. The offices are established in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and supplement existing energy partnerships.
Hydrogen as an element of bilateral economic cooperation
Saudi Arabia has launched the programme Vision 2030 to diversify its economy and modernise its society. As part of the programme, it is making the development of renewable energies and green hydrogen a priority. German companies are contributing to these efforts, and the hydrogen diplomacy office will now help to further enhance cooperation in this area.