The Middle East could soon become a global hub for green hydrogen, which many think will be a major clean fuel of the future as the world weans itself off carbon.
Regional eyes are currently on Egypt, which seems to be betting big on this sustainable way of producing the most abundant chemical element in nature.
While it is being seen as part of the Egyptian government’s carbon reduction aims, the main driver for investment in green hydrogen is the hope that the industry will fuel economic growth.
Its vision is to become an established producer by 2030, working with the private sector and foreign investors to position the country as a leader in this emerging industry.
From atoms to industry
Green hydrogen is a clean energy source that only emits water vapour. Unlike fossil fuels, it leaves no residue in the air.
The gas propels road, air, and space travel. The International Energy Agency says demand has tripled in recent decades.
An electrical current is sent through water to separate water’s hydrogen and oxygen in a process known as electrolysis. If the electricity used to do this comes from renewable energy sources like wind or solar, then the result is green hydrogen.
Today, most hydrogen is produced from electricity derived from fossil fuels (often described as ‘grey hydrogen’).