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What is Green Hydrogen, and will it Power the Future?

To avoid some of the worst effects of climate change, experts suggest that we stop the global temperature from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius above the industrial levels. To achieve this, global carbon emissions need to drop zero by 2050 through solutions like green hydrogen adoption.

What is Green Hydrogen?

Green Hydrogen is hydrogen that has been exclusively produced from renewable power.

Hydrogen could help us decarbonize areas that have proven hard to clean up in the path—for instance, the chemical, iron, steel and the transportation industry.

Since hydrogen is very reactive, it’s only found in other elements like water. To get hydrogen, you must free it from natural compounds like water, which is energy-intensive.

And although hydrogen is a free molecule, most of the hydrogen produced in the US today are made from fossil fields in a heavy pollution process. Globally hydrogen production is responsible for around 843 metric tons of carbon dioxide every year.

However, green hydrogen production is an expensive process. Even with the costs getting down, other challenges like transportation, storage, and fuel cells transforming hydrogen into usable energy for cars are still costly.

No-brainer, but green hydrogen has a market potential of $2.5 Trillion by 2050.

Global Hydrogen Production by Source

Brown hydrogen (16%) is made from coal through gasification. Grey hydrogen, which accounts for three quarters (82.8%) of all hydrogen globally, is made from natural gas via steam methane reforming and extraction from fossil fuels.

Blue hydrogen is also made from fossil fuels through corporate carbon capture and storage technology.

Electrolysis is another method used to produce green hydrogen. A device known as an electrolyzer splits hydrogen from compounds like water using an electric crate.

There is an increasing demand for green hydrogen globally. For instance, the EU is investing 500 Billion Euros towards hydrogen in the next ten years. China and Japan are pushing towards moving the automotive market towards a hydrogen-fueled society.

Hydrogen in Transportation

The advantage of hydrogen over battery electric vehicles is that hydrogen fueling time is faster and has a better energy storage volume than electric vehicles.

There is a massive opportunity for hydrogen refueling stations which were just 407 globally in 2020. Hydrogen fuel vehicles adoption is slow but has vast potential.

Hydrogen in Energy Storage

Mitsubishi Power and Magnum Development are building a hydrogen storage facility to store 1,000 Megawatts of clean power that could start operation by 2025.

Bottom Line

It is estimated that green hydrogen consumption will hit 22% globally up in 2050 from 4% today in energy production and storage, industrial and transportation sectors. 


Author: CNBC – Source: YouTube

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