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Abu Dhabi catches the hydrogen bug

The oil-rich emirate has been slow to join the hydrogen economy—but a tie-up between the government’s corporate mainstays augurs a dramatic change of heart

Abu Dhabi has defied the global sustainable energy trend over the past year, but recent actions by the emirate’s leadership and parastatal companies signal an abrupt change of strategy. State-owned giant Adnoc responded counterintuitively to the pandemic-triggered collapse in fossil fuel demand by committing to a 25pc hike in long-term oil production capacity and to a $122bn five-year investment plan heavily focused on hydrocarbons. A vague corollary pledge to “explore opportunities in hydrogen” had the look of a tokenistic afterthought. Yet for over a decade, both the capital emirate and neighbouring Dubai have paradoxically also styled themselves as clean energy pioneers. Indeed, the two



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