The new game of hydrogen in the Euro Mediterranean region
In the framework of the undeferrable energy transition, all the possible evolutive trajectories of the Mediterranean energy system stem from the interaction of three triangles: a triangle of energy attributes (security, sustainability and equity) that should drive the configuration of the future energy systems; a geographical triangle, related to the three Mediterranean macro-zones (Northern, Eastern and Southern), with differences in terms of socio-economic and energy features; a commodity triangle, including electricity, hydrogen and gas, whose interplay will be central in implementing the decarbonisation. The investigation of the interrelationships among these triangles is crucial in understanding the multi-dimensional dynamics of the Mediterranean area – taking into account not only the sustainability perspective but also the social, economic, security and geopolitical issues – and to define strategic policies able to concretely achieve the energy transition and to improve the socio-economy development of the whole region.
In this context, an important role could be played by green hydrogen, helpful for decarbonising the end-use sectors hard-to-abate and to support the decarbonisation of the other sectors. Hydrogen could represent an opportunity for the Mediterranean region, but it strictly requires a cooperative approach among countries.
Focusing on the role of hydrogen, the 2021 edition of the MED & Italian Energy Report aims therefore at completing a triptych of studies: from natural gas (ENEMED 2019), which embodies the present energy dialogue based on fossil fuels, to electricity (ENEMED 2020), which represents the key commodity for a transition to a new renewables-based dialogue, to hydrogen (ENEMED 2021), which could support the decarbonisation of the final energy uses and, consequently, the achievement of the tight goals of climate neutrality.