Clean hydrogen is crucial for ensuring the transition to a carbon-neutral economy, and large quantities of it will be needed in the future. The transition from a hydrocarbon to a hydrogen economy will have significant geopolitical and geoeconomic consequences.
Due to its unique properties, hydrogen will not become the “new oil”. While oil and gas have encouraged a concentration of power – in the hands of producer countries, major oil companies, and around strategic choke points – hydrogen will favour a dispersion of power.
The transition to a hydrogen economy will see strong competition over technologies, raw materials, and regulatory standards.
Hydrogen has the potential to make the world energy trading system more balanced, more democratic, and less prone to price fluctuations, but it could equally lead to fragmentation, inadvertently contributing to current geopolitical divisions.
For the EU and Finland, the transition towards a hydrogen economy presents both challenges and opportunities. Concerted action and active diplomacy will be needed to prevent Europe from being overtaken by others and slipping into new dependencies.