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Global Programme for Hydrogen in Industry

Driving net zero industrial development and wealth generation in developing countries

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A Hydrogen Economy

Produced from renewable energy sources, green hydrogen (GH2), also known as renewable hydrogen, is the fuel of the future. It offers unique opportunities for net zero industrial development in developing countries with abundant renewable power potential. It can pave the way for job creation, skills upgrading, investment mobilization, energy security, and participation in global hydrogen trade. Green hydrogen can reinforce developing countries’ overall resilience and drive a diversified and knowledge-based economy. Many countries with an already existing gas infrastructure can pursue the goals of net-zero industrialisation through the concurrent application of low-carbon hydrogen and green hydrogen.
However, developing countries and transition economies currently face several challenges that impede the establishment of a sustainable hydrogen economy, i.e. absence of a domestic green hydrogen market and the necessary infrastructure as well as lack of access to global trade. This prevents countries from taking advantage of the opportunities which hydrogen offers.


Our Support

In 2021, with the support of the governments of Austria, China, Germany, and Italy, UNIDO launched the “Global Programme for Hydrogen in Industry”. This Programme aims to assist developing countries in overcoming identified barriers and encourage a just hydrogen transition that puts social and environmental aspects in focus. Promoting tangible projects (including the development of GH2 Clusters) to accelerate the local uptake of green hydrogen and its application in hard-to-abate industries of developing countries and transition economies is a key element of the Programme.
The focus areas of the UNIDO intervention:
    •    Policies
    •    Standards
    •    Financial instruments
    •    Skills and know-how
    •    Innovation
    •    Coordination

Green Hydrogen Diagramme

How does UNIDO intervene?

Given the complexity and dynamism of a just hydrogen transition, UNIDO has structured its Global Programme on two fundamental pillars, namely “LEAD” at a global level and “ACT” for in-country interventions. The two draw on and feed into each other’s resources, expertise, and networks. The Programme consists of: The Global Partnership for Hydrogen in Industry and Technical Cooperation with country-specific tailored interventions.

The Global Partnership provides a global platform for Member States, industries, private sector, investors, research and academic institutions to explore developing countries’ needs, enable dialogue, exchange best practices and respond to challenges, by developing knowledge products, training, and joint projects.

UNIDO’s Technical Cooperation adapts and applies knowledge and tools developed globally to country-specific interventions for green hydrogen in industry. UNIDO supports the development of pilot projects and makes recommendations on their upscaling. UNIDO’s Global Programme for Hydrogen in Industry benefits from the technical support and know-how of the International Hydrogen Energy Centre (IHEC) in Beijing, launched by UNIDO and the Government of China in 2021. The Centre supports the creation of hydrogen value chains and focuses on the R&D, application, and demonstration of key hydrogen technologies.

Flagship projects

In February 2024, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved the UNIDO Global Clean Hydrogen Programme. This five-year Programme aims to initiate national clean hydrogen projects in eight countries (Algeria, Ecuador, Egypt, Malaysia, Namibia, Nigeria, the Philippines, and South Africa) while establishing a global knowledge and information exchange platform. UNIDO plans to further expand cooperation with additional countries and invite them to join the Programme.

Moreover, GEF approved another significant project titled "GH2 Energy Integrated Demonstration Application Project in China." This project is set to catalyze green hydrogen production and usage, aiming to support the energy transition in Ningdong, Dalian, and Shenyang. Over its five-year duration, the project targets the mitigation of 147 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and the creation of 50,000 green jobs benefiting local communities.

At the end of 2023, UNIDO launched the two-year Green Climate Fund Readiness Programme. This initiative is designed to enhance South Africa's institutional capacity to coordinate green hydrogen activities outlined in the country's Hydrogen Society Roadmap.

These Programmes will be operated under the umbrella of the Global Programme for Hydrogen in Industry. 


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