By Verity Ratcliffe, Salma El Wardany and Matthew Martin
The kingdom also plans to generate hydrogen from solar power — so-called green hydrogen — at a $5 billion facility in Neom, a futuristic city being built on the Red Sea, starting in 2025.
By adding hydrogen to its mix, Saudi Arabia hopes to preserve its role as an important energy supplier as more countries shift away from pollution-emitting fossil fuels.
Yet, hydrogen is difficult to transport and requires plenty of energy to produce, making it expensive. Green hydrogen costs between 3.50 euros ($4.15) and 5.00 euros per kilogram, according to the International Energy Agency. That compares with around 1.5 euros for the conventional, dirtier process that produces so-called grey or brown hydrogen. The cost of producing blue hydrogen lies in between these two levels.