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Editorial comment

2024 has been touted as the ‘year of elections’, with more than 50 countries around the world taking to the polls. As I write this, the results are just coming in from the general election in India, where Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lost its parliamentary majority, forcing the Prime Minister to negotiate with coalition partners in order to return to power. Although the result was a shock – Modi’s party had been expected to win by a landslide – the BJP has sufficient support from its political allies to form a majority government. This is potentially good news for the country’s hydrogen sector, as it should ensure the continuation of the BJP’s ‘National Green Hydrogen Mission’, which aspires to position the country as a global hub for green hydrogen production, utilisation and export. The mission targets a green hydrogen production capacity of 5 million tpy, as well as the addition of 125 GW of renewable energy capacity, by 2030. This will result in the abatement of nearly 50 million tpy of greenhouse gas emissions by the end of this decade.

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Turning our attention from the world’s most populous country to the world’s most powerful economy, election season is also heating up in the US. A potential Trump presidency could have significant implications for the country’s green hydrogen sector, if his administration chooses to prioritise traditional energy as it did during his first term in office (in the run-up to this election, Donald Trump has summarised his energy policy with the slogan “drill, baby, drill”). During his previous term, Trump also rolled back a number of environmental regulations. His re-election would leave question marks surrounding Joe Biden’s signature Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which includes substantial incentives for clean energy and hydrogen projects. Although a full repeal of the IRA is unlikely due to significant investments in Republican states, it remains to be seen what aspects of the policy would be at risk under a Trump presidency.

Meanwhile, here in the UK, a shock summer general election was called for 4 July. Both of the country’s main political parties have made the transition to renewable and low carbon sources of energy a key part of their pitches to voters. However, if opinion polls are to be believed, it is likely the UK will have a new Labour government in power following the election, and the party has pledged to set up a publicly-owned company, Great British Energy, to invest in clean and renewable energy. As part of this plan, the Labour party has said that it will double the current government’s target on green hydrogen, with 10 GW of production for use in flexible power generation, storage and industries like green steel.

This issue of Global Hydrogen Review includes a regional report from Deloitte Consulting exploring the US clean hydrogen economy, as well as a number of articles looking at current hydrogen initiatives in the UK. On p. 45, First Hydrogen details the results of a trial to create a hydrogen vehicle ecosystem in Wales, while Xoserve considers how to future-proof the UK’s gas data system (starting on p. 71). This issue also includes an interesting article written by Krzysztof Koziol, Professor of Composites Engineering and Head of Composites and Advanced Materials Centre at the UK’s Cranfield University. This piece details some of the university’s work into material research and development for a future hydrogen economy.

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