30 Nov 2023
A shift towards developing green hydrogen away from grey hydrogen
Hydrogen has huge potential to work as a clean fuel vector as well as a type of energy storage. With this in mind, it is possible that hydrogen could be used to transition our energy methods for the future. Despite this, some people believe that hydrogen is simply another dangerous chemical which is being pushed on us by fossil fuel companies as a cover-up for something that is better for the environment.
Last year, worldwide hydrogen production was valued at over $150 billion. As we move towards 2030, this figure is expected to increase each year by 10%. It is important to note that nearly 99% of this hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels, which means that each ton of hydrogen produced in this manner, which is known as grey hydrogen, will release 10 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
With this in mind, we need to focus on producing green hydrogen as opposed to grey hydrogen in order to develop a sustainable hydrogen economy. Green hydrogen will be powered by strong overnight winds and other renewable power methods.
Currently, the UK is claiming to be the leader in hydrogen technology. In September 2023, the UK and Germany made an agreement on hydrogen, where both parties agreed that an impactful hydrogen economy would play a beneficial role in the energy transition to net zero.
In terms of electrolysis deployments, Germany is far ahead, having just doubled its 2030 green hydrogen target. Whilst the UK also has a similar low carbon hydrogen target for 2030, they are expecting to use a mixture of green and blue hydrogen, whereas Germany is focusing on using entirely green.
Experts believe that it is critical for grey hydrogen to be phased as out fast as possible. This is why all members of the EU are being encouraged to set dates for the ban of grey hydrogen entirely. In addition, it should be noted that for green hydrogen to be successful, innovative storage methods are crucial to be developed as soon as possible. In the UK, a business known as H2Go Power is working on this current storage challenge, developing a material which acts as a hydrogen sponge. Once developments have been scaled up, units are expected to provide longer-term storage solutions,
Furthermore, as well as their developing storage technology, H2Go is developing an analytics system called HyAI. This platform will be able to maximise storage as well as help with the generation and usage of hydrogen. This new platform will provide solutions for the design, production, storage and distribution of hydrogen in the coming years.
It is the responsibility of all nations to to focus on producing green hydrogen as opposed to grey hydrogen, in order to develop sustainable hydrogen that will be better for the environment.
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