Now, who would think that the Middle East, with the world’s largest oil and natural gas reserves, would be a hot bed for hydrogen and fuel cell technology? Apparently, a man named Dr. Homam Albaroudi wants it to be that way as he is the Managing Director of Middle East Forum on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Economy (MEFH), which is the first organization in the Middle East to promote fuel cells and hydrogen. MEFH is based in Bahrain.
Dr. Albaroudi does not believe that hydrogen technology will compete with Middle East fossil fuels, but will complement it. Because most hydrogen right now is derived by steam reforming natural gas, this means as the demand for hydrogen grows so does the demand for natural gas, which will grow many of the Middle Eastern economies. While the U. S. is aiming for energy independence, not all other countries are making this a priority as this point in time.
Dr. Albaroudi believes the demand for hydrogen will grow slowly enough so that Middle Eastern countries will be able to capitalize on both hydrogen and fossil fuels at the same time, for many years. He says that Abu Dhabi and Qatar also have forward-thinking initiatives aimed at growing the hydrogen economy in the Middle East.