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Creating a global hydrogen market: Certification to enable trade

This report provides an overview of existing certification schemes and identifies gaps that will hinder the development of hydrogen certification across borders, and the associated demand for certificates.


As renewable hydrogen demand increases to meet the need for global decarbonisation, regions with limited production capacity will need to import renewable hydrogen. Trade will be developed with regions that possess plentiful renewable energy and the potential to export hydrogen. International hydrogen trade will therefore require a certification system to identify the various forms of hydrogen, their associated carbon footprints and other sustainability criteria.

None of the existing hydrogen certification systems are suitable for cross-border trade; gaps in design, standards and ecolabelling, for instance, mean that certificates provide insufficient information to allow fair comparison across borders. Therefore, standardisation and harmonisation are needed in these areas, as well as in greenhouse gas footprint calculation and compatible regulatory framework criteria.

Credible quality infrastructure and a transparent chain of custody are also needed to build confidence and trust in hydrogen certificates. Beyond facilitating hydrogen trade, certificates can help incentivise trade in hydrogen derivatives or other green commodities such as steel or ammonia.