Discussion Paper: Renewable-based hydrogen
CAN is opposing any hydrogen derived from fossil fuels or nuclear energy, because these methods of production are fraught with risks to the climate and the environment. CAN also opposes any type of hydrogen blending as well as hydrogen combustion with fossil fuels, which will only extend fossil fuels and delay the necessary transition towards renewables.
CAN only supports renewable-based hydrogen, and its derivatives, produced by electrolysis powered by solar and wind energy primarily, provided that it doesn’t come at the expense of decarbonizing the domestic power or ensuring access to renewable energy for all. CAN is supportive of renewable-based hydrogen use in applications where it is the most economically and technically viable option as a feedstock or energy carrier, while recognizing the need to prioritise direct electrification whenever possible and to implement demand-side and energy efficiency measures to minimise energy/hydrogen demand. This includes the use of renewable hydrogen to replace current fossil fuel-based hydrogen in industry and as a storage solution. In the transport sector, CAN acknowledges the potential of hydrogen and hydrogen-derived fuels in the decarbonization of segments that are hard to electrify (long-haul aviation and shipping), while pushing for research and measures to minimise energy consumption (e.g. more efficient technologies and behavioural changes such as reduced air travel). Even so, we note that hydrogen will likely only provide at most 10% of all energy used in a fully decarbonised global economy moving to 100% renewables.
CAN recognises the many social, economic, trade and environmental challenges associated with the build out of renewable hydrogen infrastructure and its expansion as an export commodity particularly in the Global South, and therefore demands sustainable, equitable and Just Transition principles, policies and practices wherever renewable-based hydrogen is being produced or used.
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