The Green Hydrogen Organisation (GH2) has established the Green Hydrogen Standard Accreditation Committee (GHSAC), a multi-stakeholder group consisting of 3-5 representatives from government, industry and institutional investors, and civil society. In accordance with the Green Hydrogen Standard, the GHSAC reviews submissions from project proponents prepared with the support of an Independent Assurance Provider (IAP). The GHSAC reviews the submissions, assesses adherence to the Green Hydrogen Standard, and determines which projects shall be accredited by GH2. Given the lead times associated with green hydrogen project development, in the first phase (July 2023 – July 2025) the GHSAC will predominantly focus on reviewing the lessons learned from pilot studies and developing more detailed procedures and protocols, ensuring alignment with global best practice. The GHSAC will meet virtually on a quarterly basis from 1 October 2023, with an annual in-person meeting held in association with the Green Hydrogen Global Assembly.
The Green Hydrogen Organisation (GH2)1 is a non-profit foundation2. It supports the production and use of green hydrogen and derivatives such as green ammonia, and to mobilize governments, businesses and the civil society to accelerate the introduction of green hydrogen and drive deep decarbonization across industries.
GH2 launched the Green Hydrogen Standard in May 20223. The Standard provides certainty and transparency to investors, consumers, host communities and other stakeholders that green hydrogen is exactly that: hydrogen made with renewable electricity which conforms to the highest standards on emissions, ESG performance and the sustainable development goals. Green hydrogen projects that meet the Green Hydrogen Standard will be licensed to use the label GH2 Green Hydrogen. These projects 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 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.
Project operators seeking GH2 accreditation undertake the necessary preparatory work to demonstrate their project’s adherence to the Green Hydrogen Standard as outlined in chapter 2 of the Standard. Project operators then engage an Independent Assurance Provider (IAP) - at their own cost - to assess adherence to the Green Hydrogen Standard in accordance with standardised terms of reference available from GH24. The IAP consults stakeholders and prepares an assessment. A draft report is made available for public comment. The final report from the Independent Assurance Provider is then submitted to the Green Hydrogen Standard Accreditation Committee (GHSAC).
In accordance with the Green Hydrogen Standard, the GHSAC reviews submissions from project proponents. The GHSAC reviews the submission, assesses adherence to the Green Hydrogen Standard, and determines whether the project is eligible to be accredited by GH2. The decision from the Accreditation Body will indicate any issues that require attention during the implementation of the project and specify a timeframe for a review of the project’s accreditation (especially where the project involves staged development). Projects that do not meet the standard may be re-submitted, subject to the provision of additional information. The Accreditation Body will conduct risk-based spot checks and thematic reviews of GH2 accredited projects.
While more than 1000 green hydrogen projects have been announced globally, the vast majority (>95%) are at a “concept”, “demonstration” or “pre-feasibility” stage and are not yet ready for formal project accreditation5. Accordingly, GH2 has developed testing and rapid assessment tools for early-stage green hydrogen projects6. Several project developers have indicated that they plan to apply for GH2 accreditation. However, given the lead times associated with green hydrogen project development, GH2 expects relatively few (<10) applications in the next 12-18 months.
3. GHSAC Responsibilities
The responsibilities of the GHSAC include:
Review the lessons learned from pilot studies and testing of the Green Hydrogen Standard;
- Develop procedures for the submission of projects for review by the GHSAC;
- Develop a protocol for green hydrogen project accreditation, including an appeal mechanism7;
- Elaborate the "exceptional circumstances", in accordance with §1.1, whereby GH2 may consider projects involving other renewable non-fossil sources, where these projects meet the same emissions and sustainability standards.
- In accordance with the procedures (above), review the first projects seeking GH2 accreditation.
- Agree a procedure for monitoring and evaluation of accredited projects, including a riskbased approach for spot checks and thematic reviews of GH2 accredited projects.
- Make recommendations to GH2 on the implementation and further elaboration of the Green Hydrogen Standard.
- Any additional issues as agreed by the GHSAC or requested by GH2.
The GHSAC may create working groups to discuss these issues in detail, and may invite observers to support these deliberations.
The GHSAC will meet when needed or virtually on a quarterly basis from 1 July 2023, with an annual in-person meeting held in association with the Green Hydrogen Global Assembly.
Composition The GHSAC members and GHSAC Chair are appointed by the GH2 Board.
The GHSAC will consist of 3-5 representatives from government, industry and institutional investors, and civil society. The overarching goal is to ensure diverse and balanced representation from GH2 members, partner organisations and other stakeholders. GH2 will preference representatives with proven expertise in the renewable electricity and green hydrogen sector and those with wider networks that can be leveraged to advance the development of the Standard.
The members are:
- To be confirmed
The GHSAC shall make every effort to adopt resolutions by consensus. Taking account of the view of the GHSAC Members, the GHSAC Chair may decide that a vote is required. Every GHSAC Member has one vote. Voting can be done by written proxy. If a vote is required, resolutions are adopted by majority.
GH2 may provide an honorarium for members of the GHSAC.
6. Anti-trust considerations
GH2 seeks to fully comply with all applicable laws, including antitrust and competition laws and regulations.
The reviews by the GHSAC shall not discuss or share confidential proprietary or otherwise commercially sensitive information including pricing, terms and conditions of sale, production or sales levels, business relations, or other matters on which participants compete.
Discussing or sharing this information can have serious consequences for GH2 and participants including fines and reputational damage.
The GHSAC are thus asked to have due regard for antitrust and competition laws and to voice any concerns related these issues promptly.
GH2 shall obtain liability insurance for GHSAC Members. The terms and conditions will be approved by the GH2 Board.
7. GH2 Contact
GH2’s contact point for this work is:
Dr. Sam Bartlett
Director, Green Hydrogen Standard
Phone: +47 9026 7530
1. See www.gh2.org.
2. Articles of Association https://gh2.org/sites/default/files/2022-11/22.04.26_Acte%20constitutif.pdf.
4. IAPs are required to undertake assurance audits in accordance with the requirements of ISAE3000, ISO 14064-3 or an equivalent standard approved by GH2. IAPs are required to have appropriate assurance management systems in place to meet the requirements of ISQM 1 and ISQM 2, ISO 14065, or an equivalent standard approved by GH2. These requirements do not prevent GH2 establishing a Scheme in accordance with the requirements of ISO 17029 either directly or in partnership with an existing Accreditation Body.
5. The latest IEA database (October 2022) lists 209 alkaline water electrolysis (ALK) projects, 327 polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis projects and 791 “other electrolysis” projects https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/data-product/hydrogen-projects-database.
7. The Standard states that: “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”.