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Italy drafts guidelines for national hydrogen strategy

November 24/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Italy has set out guidelines for a national hydrogen strategy to help decarbonize the economy as it phases out coal and boosts renewable energy production to meet long-term climate targets, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

In a draft document called National Hydrogen Strategy Preliminary Guidelines, the Industry Ministry said it was targeting investments in the sector of around 10 billion euros (USD12 billion) to 2030, with half of the amount coming from European funds and private investments. To help boost production of green hydrogen, about 5 gigawatts of electrolysis capacity to extract the gas from water would be introduced over the period, the document said.

Electrolysis can be a carbon-free process if the power used is generated from renewables. Hydrogen is now mostly produced from fossil fuels or other carbon emitting processes, as electrolysis is too expensive due to the amount of power needed. By 2030 hydrogen could make up 2% of Italys final energy demand and help eliminate up to 8 million tons of CO2, the document said. As the industry scales up and costs fall, this could reach up to 20% by 2050, it said.

The document, when published, will become a basis for consultation before a final hydrogen strategy is approved, possibly early next year. Brussels mapped out its plans this year to promote hydrogen as it strives for net zero emissions by 2050. France, Germany, and Spain have already set out their own targets.

Hydrogen today is too expensive for widespread use but as costs fall governments round the world see it as a replacement for fossil fuel in areas where electrification is not an easy solution. The ministry document, which said the plans could create more than 200,000 jobs and generate up to 27 billion euros for Italys gross domestic product, said hydrogen could be used in transport, heavy industry and natural gas pipelines.

Italian gas group Snam has been experimenting with a 10% mix of hydrogen in part of its natural gas network, while utility Enel and energy major Eni both have hydrogen plans.

As MRC informed previously, global oil demand may have already peaked, according to BP's latest long-term energy outlook, as the COVID-19 pandemic kicks the world economy onto a weaker growth trajectory and accelerates the shift to cleaner fuels.

Earlier this year, BP said the deadly coronavirus outbreak could cut global oil demand growth by 40 per cent in 2020, putting pressure on Opec producers and Russia to curb supplies to keep prices in check.

And in September 2019, six world's major petrochemical companies in Flanders, Belgium, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and the Netherlands (Trilateral Region) announced the creation of a consortium to jointly investigate how naphtha or gas steam crackers could be operated using renewable electricity instead of fossil fuels. The Cracker of the Future consortium, which includes BASF, Borealis, BP, LyondellBasell, SABIC and Total, aims to produce base chemicals while also significantly reducing carbon emissions. The companies agreed to invest in R&D and knowledge sharing as they assess the possibility of transitioning their base chemical production to renewable electricity.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,594,510 tonnes in the first nine months of 2020, up by 1% year on year. Only high denstiy polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 880,130 tonnes in the nine months of 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports, excluding producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.


mrcplast.com
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, crude oil, neftegaz, petrochemistry.
Category:General News
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