The Geopolitics of Hydrogen


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Governments around the world are throwing their weight behind the new “hydrogen economy”– par-ticularly in Germany and the EU. Clean hydrogen could ultimately help decarbonise such economic sectors as heavy industry, aviation, and maritime trade, thereby mitigating climate change. However, recent geopolitical events such as the Russian inva-sion of Ukraine have cemented the previously latent shift in the EU’s narrative of the energy transition – from climate action and justice towards strategic autonomy and industrial policy. Policymakers are thus eyeing hydrogen as a way to achieve long-term energy independence. At the same time, Germany and the EU will have to rely on hydrogen imports – a fact that throws a spotlight on the international dimension of hydrogen. As that dimension evolves within a maelstrom of surging (technological, indus-trial, and systemic) competition, security tensions, and the fragmentation of global supply chains, it is ever more important to consider the geopolitics of hydrogen.

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