Taking a closer look at the ‘Hydrogen Economy’

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Ahmad O. Al-Khowaiter speaks about the growing interest of increasing hydrogen’s role in the global energy mix during a recent symposium between Saudi Aramco and the Japan Cooperation Center, Petroleum, in Tokyo.

A recent joint symposium between Saudi Aramco and the Japan Cooperation Center, Petroleum (JCCP) held in Tokyo featured the theme “The Global Perspective of the Hydrogen Economy.”

Approximately 200 participants from governmental organizations, the energy industry, shipping companies, automobile manufacturers, power generation, research centers, academia, and members from Saudi Aramco gathered to discuss hydrogen and the role it can play in achieving a more sustainable energy future. The symposium was organized in collaboration with Aramco Asia Japan.

JCCP is an affiliated organization of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry that promotes technical cooperation and personnel exchanges between Japan and oil-producing countries in the downstream sectors of the oil industry.

Moving toward a hydrogen-based society

Since unveiling the “Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Society” in 2014, Japan has spearheaded a concerted effort toward realizing a “hydrogen-based society” to address climate change concerns and establishing a foundation for a more sustainable energy sector.

Saudi Aramco considers this a great opportunity to supply sustainable hydrogen to Japan and the region for both mobility and power generation, leveraging and expanding the use of our vast oil and gas resources in a sustainable manner in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

In his opening remarks, Anwar A. Hejazi, Aramco Asia Japan representative director, emphasized the importance of continuous and close collaboration between Saudi Aramco and Japanese partners.

Growing interest internationally

Ahmad O. Al-Khowaiter, vice president of Technology Oversight and Coordination with Saudi Aramco, delivered a keynote speech that highlighted the global hydrogen energy and fuel cell industry as one of the most significant players in technology innovation, economic expansion, and sustainable development of the global economy in the 21st century and beyond. He also spoke about how that can play a key role in developing a globally competitive and vibrant Saudi energy sector.

“Hydrogen in the energy mix is attracting growing interest from many countries for a number of reasons, including environmental concerns, energy security and supply, and economic competitiveness,” said Al-Khowaiter.

He also highlighted a wide range of research and innovation efforts by Saudi Aramco in the areas of hydrogen and sustainability, and how the company would contribute to producing hydrogen from hydrocarbons economically, as well as capturing and utilizing carbon dioxide (CO2) in a cost competitive manner.

“The more collaboration we have on the technology challenges by exchanging ideas and connecting the dots among diverse industries — just like the purpose of this symposium — the more quickly we can make the ‘Hydrogen Economy’ a reality,” said Al-Khowaiter.