Updated Green Hydrogen Standard welcomed by industry leaders at COP28; includes green methanol and synthetic methane requirements.TM
Read more.


The Green Hydrogen Standard™

The Green Hydrogen Organisation (GH2) launched the Green Hydrogen Standard at the Green Hydrogen Global Assembly & Exhibition in Barcelona in May 2022.

“The Standard provides certainty and transparency to investors and other stakeholders that green hydrogen is exactly that hydrogen made with renewable electricity which conforms to the highest standards on emissions, ESG and the sustainable development goals.”

— Malcolm Turnbull, GH2 Chair

In the first global effort of its kind, green hydrogen projects that meet the Green Hydrogen Standard (“the standard”) will be licensed to use the label “GH2 Green Hydrogen” and will be eligible to obtain and trade GH2 certificates of origin for green hydrogen and derivatives such as green ammonia.

GH2’s definition of Green Hydrogen

Green hydrogen is hydrogen produced through the electrolysis of water with 100% or near 100% renewable energy with close to zero greenhouse gas emissions (<=1 kg CO2e per kg H2 taken as an average over a 12-month period).

GH2’s definition is based on the technologies that are the leading candidates for scaling up green hydrogen production: hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, wave and other ocean energy sources. The Standard refers to “near 100% renewable energy”. There is some flexibility (e.g., for backup systems) so long as the maximum greenhouse gas emissions threshold is not exceeded.

Validating “close to zero” emissions of <1 kg CO2e per kg H2

The production of renewable electricity can involve some greenhouse gas emissions. In certain circumstances, there may be some greenhouse gas emissions associated with electrolysis and associated processes (such as water treatment / desalination). Accordingly, GH2 refers to “close to zero greenhouse gas emissions”. The Standard requires that projects operate at <=1 kg CO2e per kg H2 (taken as an average over a 12-month period).

The <=1 kg CO2e per kg H2 threshold is considerably lower than the thresholds proposed by other so-called “clean hydrogen” or “low carbon hydrogen” standards, which have significantly higher emissions threshold to accommodate hydrogen production based on fossil fuels. Green hydrogen is the only option aligned with a 1.5-degree pathway.

Principles of the Green Hydrogen Standard

The Green Hydrogen Standard provides a clear global minimum standard, while also retaining the flexibility to accommodate local challenges and opportunities. The following seven principles will be applied throughout the accreditation and certification process:

  1. Sovereignty and subsidiarity. GH2 acknowledges that the development of natural resources and energy markets is in the domain of sovereign governments to be exercised in the interest of their citizens and national development. To avoid duplication, demonstrating adherence to credible and comprehensive national requirements? shall be deemed sufficient to meet GH2’s accreditation and certification requirements. Similarly, any potential breaches of GH2’s requirements by government agencies and/or other parties in relation to the project shall be fully considered. Science-based knowledge should be applied, referring to peer-reviewed literature and internationally accepted standards.

  2. Proportionality (materiality). GH2 shall ensure proportionality in the accreditation and certification framework. The process should emphasise the most significant issues and impacts and allow for minor gaps / deviations in meeting the requirements where the broader objective of the requirement is met.

  3. Harmonisation. To improve quality and efficiency, GH2 encourages alignment with international best practice and will work to ensure the interoperability of its work with organisations that are pursuing similar objectives.

  4. Consultation. GH2 accreditation and certification requires clear evidence of proactive and broad-based stakeholder consultation. All stakeholders have important and relevant contributions to make - including governments and their agencies, companies and their suppliers, local communities who may be affected by the project, financial organisations, investors and non-governmental organisations. We support the principle of free, prior and informed consent.

  5. Transparency. To contribute to informed public debate and building trust, the GH2 expects disclosures from project operators to be proactive, comprehensive, and publicly accessible. Project operators should find out what is of particular relevance and interest to specific stakeholders and seek the best ways to share that information. This information should be made freely available online and in other relevant formats to the community concerned? . Free access to, and subsequent re-use of, open data are of significant value to society.

  6. Independent verification, concerns and appeals. GH2 relies on project operators to make a complete and compelling case of how they are meeting the Standard, which will be subject to independent review. GH2 will develop a review and appeal procedure but in the first instance, stakeholders with a concern regarding compliance with the Standard should raise it with the project operator and/or the appropriate national authorities. If this is not appropriate or if the concern remains, the stakeholder may petition GH2 to consider the matter.

  7. Further development of the Standard. The Standard seeks to balance predictability and flexibility in a new and rapidly growing industry. Project proponents have emphasised the need for clear and stable standards to inform long term planning. Stakeholders are also in agreement that GH2 should take into account emerging best practices, particularly as projects are scaled up from pilots to large scale operation. GH2 will review the lessons learned from the accreditation and certification process in consultation with all stakeholders. Any subsequent refinements or modifications to the Standard will include transitional arrangements that will allow project operators to make the necessary adjustments within a reasonable timeframe before coming into force.