Over the coming days, we’re going to be looking at my top 10 stories across the industrial gas year – and what a year it has been. We’re going to see hydrogen, synthetic fuels, ASU growth, medical oxygen milestones, and so much more besides.

Yesterday, we looked back on a huge story for air gases in India, and today we move over the border to neighbouring Pakistan for one of the earliest stories in the industrial gas year – and a sign of the exciting future to come.

That’s because in at number eight in my 2021 Editor’s Picks, we have a story all about Pakistan’s renewable hydrogen hopes.

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Source: gasworld

Hydrogen holds hope for many nations, of course, as they seek to implement the Paris Agreement and its decarbonisation targets. There are several properties that make hydrogen an excellent energy vector and its deployment is complimentary to an energy mix that is high in renewables. Pakistan has recognised this potential too.

With a transition to fuel cell vehicles, hydrogen for transportation applications on urban trains, heavy trucks and buses can reduce pollution in Pakistan’s major cities such as Karachi and Lahore, each of which is home to more than 10 million people.

And with abundant potential for the wind, solar and hydroelectric power generation that could be so key to a green hydrogen-based economy, Pakistan can also look forward to ‘energy-autonomy’ through the conversion of renewables to green hydrogen on electrolysers. There even exist the potential, our world exclusive in January explained, for Pakistan to transition from being a net energy importer to becoming an exporter of green hydrogen or derivatives such as ammonia or methanol.

Hydroelectric power is abundantly available in Pakistan

Hydroelectric power is abundantly available in Pakistan.

With all these potential benefits, hydrogen is getting much attention from the power and energy departments within the Government of Pakistan’s administration.

And as gasworld Asia-Pacific understood at the time of the original exclusive, work is well underway in the country as a collaboration of Asian Development Bank (ADB), Pakistan’s National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA), consultant Stephen B. Harrison of sbh4 GmbH and other local organisations work together on a pre-feasibility study and how energy priorities can be turned into projects.

The vision of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable APAC region.

Its work focuses on economic and social development while sustaining efforts to eradicate extreme poverty in the region. Beyond these aspirations, ADB also recognises the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Hydrogen deployment in Pakistan’s energy mix directly impacts SDG 7 (‘Affordable and clean energy’) and SDG 13 (‘Climate action’).

There are three significant hydrogen projects that are being sponsored by ADB at present. Firstly, the creation of the ADB hydrogen energy handbook. It will characterise the potential role for hydrogen within the APAC region. Relevant technologies, products, business models, challenges and risks will be explained.

A study into the establishment of a hydrogen trading market is also underway. This will consider the need for a hydrogen trading hub, viable pricing mechanisms and potential. Lastly, as described earlier, ADB is engaged with Pakistan’s National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA) to conduct a pre-feasibility study into the deployment of renewable hydrogen energy in Pakistan.

Turning priorities and potential into projects

The geography and geology in Pakistan are unique. The same can be said for every nation. In the north of the country, mountainous regions adjacent to the Himalaya have deep rocky valleys which are ideal for hydro-electric power generation. In the south, there is a long coastline with a shallow continental shelf which is ideal for offshore wind power generation.

In parts of the desert in the west of the country, the sunshine profile has the potential for large-scale, low-cost solar projects – like those announced in Saudi Arabian and Australian desert regions. These attributes govern the potential for renewable power generation.

In the north east of Pakistan there is a large underground salt formation that could potentially be used to create large caverns for long-term storage of vast quantities of hydrogen.

To read more, including the full exclusive, visit https://apac.gasworld.com/story/pakistan-neeca-and-adb-collaborate-for-renewable-hydrogen-deployment-study/