Bureau Veritas Discusses Hydrogen in the Sustainable Energy Transition with Hydrogen Central




Bureau Veritas discusses hydrogen in the sustainable energy transition with Hydrogen Central.


Hydrogen Central had the opportunity to discuss with Bureau Veritas the role of hydrogen in the energy transition, Rajiv Sabharwal is the Vice President of Business Development of Energy at Bureau Veritas provided his insights in a nice Q&A.


Rajiv Sabharwal is the Vice President of Business Development of Energy at Bureau Veritas. With extensive industry expertise, Rajiv is an energy sector specialist with proven multidimensional global experience. His experience spans across key functions as sales, business development, customer relationship management and project management. He is passionate about accelerating the energy transition and supporting hydrogen initiatives with his team at Bureau Veritas. 


What is your assessment of the current state of the hydrogen market, and what trends do you see shaping the hydrogen sector? 


The current state of the hydrogen market reflects an advancement in the hydrogen generation projects pipeline, driven by strong policy signals and innovative support mechanisms introduced by various countries. Within this dynamic landscape, two distinct categories of incentives have emerged: supply incentives and demand incentives.


In North America, supply incentives, exemplified by the Investment Tax Credit for Renewable Hydrogen (IRA) in the United States, are playing a pivotal role. The IRA provides an attractive Production Tax Credit (PTC) offering of $3 per kilogram for renewable hydrogen and $1 per kilogram for low-carbon hydrogen. Similarly, Canada has introduced the Clean Hydrogen Investment Tax Credit (CHITC), which grants up to a 40% reimbursement of taxes on eligible equipment purchases and installations for developers of green and blue hydrogen technologies.


Turning our attention to Europe, the hydrogen sector is being shaped by demand incentives, including the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). This Directive mandates that by 2030, 42% of hydrogen products consumed by industries (excluding refining) must be of renewable origin.


As the hydrogen landscape evolves, these compelling incentives are positioning North America as a frontrunner, poised to lead the hydrogen and derivatives market by the year 2030.


While initiatives like the IRA have undeniably accelerated the expansion of low-emission hydrogen project pipelines, it is prudent to acknowledge that the long-term trajectory of the sector will be profoundly influenced by ongoing technological advancements. Indeed, these advancements hold the promise of being a more potent driver of our energy transition journey than regulatory changes alone.


Question – What are the biggest challenges facing the hydrogen sector today, and how do you think they can be addressed? 


The hydrogen sector is indeed experiencing a surge in momentum, but there are challenges that must be effectively addressed. A few prominent challenges stand out:


Investment commitment is a key challenge, as industry enthusiasm must translate into concrete financial backing. While plans for significant hydrogen investments are in motion, a more concerted effort and substantial commitments are needed to bridge the gap between potential and progress.


Developing a reliable and efficient supply chain is imperative, particularly in manufacturing essential components like electrolysers. This ensures consistent and cost-effective hydrogen production. Addressing this challenge involves targeted research, innovative manufacturing processes, and industry collaboration.


The growth of the hydrogen sector underscores the need for a skilled workforce. Training programs tailored to manufacturing, installation, and safe operation of hydrogen facilities can address the shortage of skilled personnel.


In an evolving global hydrogen market, standardized carbon intensity certification is crucial. International collaboration is essential to establish clear methods for assessing hydrogen’s carbon footprint, facilitating transparent environmental impact evaluation and cross-border trade.


Harmonized regulatory frameworks are pivotal for widespread hydrogen technology adoption. Close collaboration between governments, regulatory bodies, and industry stakeholders is necessary to formulate supportive policies that foster investment, safety, and sector growth.


Addressing these challenges demands multifaceted collaboration among governments, industry, research institutions, and international bodies. Through innovation, strategic investments, workforce development, and coherent regulations, the hydrogen sector can overcome obstacles and fully realize its potential in shaping a sustainable energy future.


Question: What solutions does Bureau Veritas offer for the hydrogen market and how do they benefit energy stakeholders? 


Bureau Veritas offers a comprehensive suite of solutions tailored to the unique challenges and opportunities within the hydrogen market, providing valuable support and benefits to energy stakeholders at every stage of the hydrogen value chain. These services include:


Safety Assurance and Risk Management: Mitigating operational risks, ensuring safety for personnel and communities.


Supply Chain Integrity: Quality assurance for components, reducing disruptions in hydrogen supply.


Carbon Footprint Verification: Quantifying carbon intensity of the hydrogen generation, facilitating transparent trading.


Technology Verification: Validating innovative solutions, attracting investments, accelerating technology adoption.


Training Programs: Equipping a skilled workforce for efficient, compliant hydrogen operations.


In summary, Bureau Veritas’ comprehensive range of solutions for the hydrogen market addresses key challenges, ensures safety and compliance, and provides essential support to energy stakeholders, ultimately contributing to the growth and success of the hydrogen economy.


Question- What are some of the potential safety concerns associated with the use of hydrogen, and how can they be mitigated? 


The utilization of hydrogen as an energy carrier brings forth crucial safety considerations, including flammability, embrittlement, high pressures, and potential asphyxiation risks. These concerns demand proactive measures to ensure safe implementation. Engineering solutions encompass careful design, material compatibility, and leak prevention. Rigorous safety protocols, along with thorough personnel training, play a pivotal role in handling hydrogen-related incidents.


Employing leak detection systems, and pressure relief mechanisms helps manage potential hazards. Hydrogen embrittlement risks can be mitigated through material selection and stress-relief treatments. Equally vital is the identification and management of ignition sources, supported by well-established emergency response plans.


Adherence to industry regulations and standards specific to hydrogen safety provides a structured framework for risk mitigation. By integrating these approaches, the hydrogen sector can navigate potential safety challenges, enhance the overall safety of hydrogen applications and ensure the well-being of personnel and the environment.


Question: What role do you see hydrogen playing in the transition to a more sustainable energy system, and how can hydrogen certification help to support this transition? 


Hydrogen is poised to play a vital role in the shift towards a more sustainable energy system due to its manifold advantages. Notably, hydrogen combustion generates no greenhouse gases or sulfur oxides, and its utilization in fuel cells produces only water vapor. Furthermore, its local production potential and compatibility with diverse clean energy sources contribute to its versatility as an energy carrier. The sectors of mobility, heavy industry, and energy are particularly poised to benefit from hydrogen’s attributes, offering a potential game-changing solution to meet ambitious climate objectives.


In this transformative journey, hydrogen certification emerges as a critical instrument, bolstering safety, sustainability, and transparency within hydrogen production and deployment. Certification processes rigorously assess the entire life cycle of hydrogen production, analyzing carbon intensity and sustainability.


By verifying these aspects, hydrogen certification instills confidence among consumers, investors, and stakeholders, ensuring that the hydrogen used aligns with low-carbon and sustainable energy objectives. This assurance, in turn, catalyzes broader adoption of hydrogen across sectors, stimulating market demand and attracting investments.


Furthermore, hydrogen certification extends its impact to the global stage by fostering international trade and collaboration. The establishment of a standardized framework for assessing the carbon footprint of hydrogen across regions promotes harmonization and creates a foundation for a thriving global hydrogen market. This international synergy allows countries rich in renewable resources to produce and export hydrogen, contributing significantly to the worldwide reduction of carbon emissions.


In summary, hydrogen’s multi-faceted potential positions it as a key player in advancing a sustainable energy system. Hydrogen certification serves as a linchpin in this transition, ensuring the credibility and environmental integrity of hydrogen, enabling broader adoption, and facilitating global collaboration toward a cleaner energy future.


Question- What challenges does the industry face in the adoption of clean hydrogen production, and how are they being overcome?


The adoption of clean hydrogen production faces challenges despite growing regulatory support. These challenges encompass a complex web of issues. Foremost among them is the challenge of cost competitiveness, especially notable in methods like electrolysis due to high materials costs and a lack of economies of scale.


Furthermore, the development of robust hydrogen infrastructure, encompassing storage, transportation, and distribution networks, encounters logistical intricacies. The effectiveness of carbon capture and storage (CCS) for blue hydrogen production also presents a significant concern.


Additionally, improving public awareness and understanding of clean hydrogen’s potential impact is imperative. The sourcing of materials, components, and skilled labor for hydrogen production systems proves intricate, as does achieving global coordination for a harmonized hydrogen market.


Addressing these challenges requires a multifaceted approach. Active research and development efforts focus on enhancing the efficiency of electrolysers, reducing materials costs, and achieving economies of scale, with government incentives and subsidies further reinforcing these efforts.


Repurposing existing gas infrastructure, establishing dedicated hydrogen pipelines, and creating refueling stations can help ease some of the infrastructure challenges. Advancements in CCS technology are essential for effectively capturing and storing carbon emissions, thereby enhancing the environmental benefits of blue hydrogen production.


Simultaneously, elevating public awareness and knowledge, along with stakeholder education, is crucial for fostering broader support. Building a robust supply chain, along with targeted workforce training, helps overcome sourcing and labor challenges. Lastly, global coordination, standardization efforts, and knowledge exchange among countries and regions are pivotal for achieving a cohesive global hydrogen market.


Collectively, these solutions chart a roadmap for steering the clean hydrogen industry towards a more sustainable energy future. Concurrently, the industry and regulators are proactively collaborating to establish clear and consistent regulations, standards, and financial incentives, creating an enabling a thriving and safe hydrogen network. 



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