Is hydrogen the magical solution to emissions reduction?: If net-zero CO2 by 2050 is the question, what is the answer? It’s something numerous organisations, people and governments have been talking about since targets were formed; how do we accomplish this swiftly and sustainably.

The answer is hydrogen to many people. With its green credibility nearly undisputed up to this point, and applications varying from energy production to transport also the ability to produce it in a green manner, hydrogen seems like a piece of cake.

Hydrogen comes in various forms; blue, grey, pink and green. Blue hydrogen is created from natural gas by steam methane reforming, grey hydrogen is a similar procedure to blue, but the CO2 is not captured. Pink hydrogen is produced by means of electrolysis from nuclear energy and green hydrogen is also formed through electrolysis but from renewable energy making it the most ecological production process.

Making hydrogen practicable requires investment, partnership & commitment. It’s not that easy however, where do we get each of these and how do we engage the right institutions to put this in use?

2030 is just 8 years from now, there has to be a united push not only in terms of the value of investment but where it’s coming from. We won’t reach these targets if we don’t work collectively across industry, academia, and governmental institutions. It’s vital that this is a cross-party method if we are to actually accomplish an alternative energy that is not only sustainable but reliable. As stated by McKinsey & Company, hydrogen is one of five groups of technology that could bring in $2 trillion of capital every year by 2025 and lower CO2 emissions by as much as 40% by 2050.

Is hydrogen the magical solution to emissions reduction?

Hydrogen Europe, who are dedicated to propelling carbon neutrality, say that we cannot reach this neutrality without hydrogen. COP26 saw hydrogen being discussed in detail as an essential solution to meeting critical targets. The EU released its Framework to Decarbonise Gas Markets concentrating on a move from fossil natural gas to renewable and low carbon gases including hydrogen. This framework ties itself to lowering greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 as compared to 1990 levels.

Why is hydrogen being acclaimed as the champion of carbon emissions reduction? Energy security, grid stability, soaring energy costs are an issue worldwide; in Europe the cost of energy has accelerated by over 450% in one year (Dutch Title Transfer Facility). Looking to the future, hydrogen can offer a low-cost production option, accessible everywhere, and suitable to meet the needs of network stability and customer’s demand which puts strain on the system to supply energy 24/7 365 to every household that wants it.

As reported by Reuters just a fifth of the world’s energy comes from electricity with the rest depending massively on coal, oil, and gas. If we are to actually shift to hydrogen as a reasonable option on a major scale worldwide then we need an energy system that can provide this. We need infrastructure to produce, store and transport that provides the customer to experience a seamless change. Hydrogen basically changes how we produce energy and how we get that power to the machines that need it. The beauty of hydrogen is we can mix it with natural gas and run it through current infrastructure with some modifications, this is something we can do now and ultimately that’s at the heart of the hydrogen agenda, it’s a solution we can put into action today. Furthermore, the additional CO2 savings we can make by repurposing existing assets will therefore save on manufacturing and recycling.

Approaching carbon neutrality is an evolution. It’s one all of us must be taking and with hydrogen at the helm it feels more and more possible.

As Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Hydrogen Europe CEO, stated, “The Golden Age of hydrogen starts today.”

Is hydrogen the magical solution to emissions reduction?

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