Snam, Europe’s largest energy infrastructure operator and IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency), the leading intergovernmental organisation supporting countries in their sustainable, renewables transitions, have today announced a Partnership Agreement aimed at developing hydrogen based on renewables (‘green hydrogen’) to support the energy transition worldwide.
The signing ceremony was held today at the presence of Roberto Cingolani, Italy’s Minister for the Ecologic Transition, and the agreement was sealed by Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam and Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA, during the “The H2 Road to net zero” conference organised in Milan by Bloomberg in collaboration with IRENA and Snam.
The two parties will cooperate to study and possibly implement alongside other partners, pilot projects on renewables generation, transport and distribution of green hydrogen with a view to the development of replicable business cases.
“Our collaboration with IRENA represents an important step forward to identifying green hydrogen and biomethane as key solutions to support the energy transition and the combat to climate change” commented Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam. “Hydrogen is on the cusp of happening, with costs set to fall faster than expected, pilot projects testing out its application in every sector, and policymakers the world over looking to give this market the judicious nudge it needs. Within this framework agreement, Snam will contribute by leveraging on its expertise and best practices in transporting energy across its over 40,000 km of pipelines as well as on its role as member the Green Hydrogen Catapult initiative, aimed at accelerating the scale of green hydrogen 50-fold in the next five years.”
“Snam and IRENA share the vision for the delivery of green hydrogen as a key enabler for deeper decarbonisation”, IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera added. “Green hydrogen could become a game-changer, providing renewable energy to end users where direct electrification is limited, such as heavy industry and heavy transport. As a key pillar towards net-zero, IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook estimates that hydrogen could provide almost 12% of global energy demand by 2050, two-thirds being green.”
Under the new cooperation, Snam and IRENA will encourage public-private partnerships to accelerate hydrogen demand on industrial scale and will promote research and development initiatives to bring down costs as well as support technology developments.
The partnership will leverage on Snam’s expertise as a network infrastructure operator, further boosted by its equity interests held in the Italian company Industrie De Nora and the British ITM Power, both leading companies in the hydrogen field and more specifically in the electrolysers production. The partnership will also be strengthened by Snam’s role and contribution to the Green Hydrogen Catapult initiative.
The partnership shall be subject to any possible binding agreements to be subsequently negotiated between the parties in compliance with all the relevant applicable laws and regulations.