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What are the Promises of Green Hydrogen Energy?

by | May 21, 2022 | Sustainability




Humanity is facing a battle with some of the worst effects of climate change. Experts are pointing out that the global temperatures need not rise 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. And to achieve this global carbon emissions need to drop to zero by 2050. Hence, to reach this goal, we need to adopt a clean and sustainable solution to many of our energy needs.

Today our sustainable resources of energy mostly comprise wind and solar. But these sources sometimes struggle to fuel industry and heavy modes of transport like buses, lorries and ships. Hence. other sustainable power sources are needed to satisfy our ever-growing need for energy. That’s where hydrogen comes in.

Green hydrogen is hydrogen produced exclusively from renewable power. It is a clean-burning molecule meaning that it can help to decarbonize a range of sectors that have proved hard to clean up. It has also been hailed as a fuel of the future that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and aid the transition to net-zero emissions.

Hydrogen is the first element of the periodic table and it is also the most abundant element in the universe. It is essential for life and is present in almost all living things. However, on Earth pure hydrogen is very scarce. It mainly exists combined with oxygen in the form of water. So how does this abundant element get turned into a fuel that could help save the planet?

What is green hydrogen?

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and is found in many natural sources. Also called natural gas, it can be produced from renewable sources, such as water, which produces a low concentration of carbon. This is a green and renewable energy source and produces almost no emissions.

Green hydrogen is a type of fuel that can be produced and used as a clean alternative to fossil fuels. It can be produced in many ways. About 70 million metric tons are produced every year around the world. This element is a clean form of hydrogen produced through clean power sources.

hydrogen fuel cell uses the chemical energy of this element to produce electricity. Some fuel cells can even use the by-product heat as an additional energy source, boosting their efficiency to as much as 90%. As a result, green hydrogen can almost eliminate emissions.

The concept of a hydrogen fuel cell is simple. It uses the chemical energy of natural gas to create electrical energy. Its basic operation is similar to that of a battery. The natural gas is fed into the anode and hydrogen ions travel through an electrolyte to the cathode. When hydrogen and oxygen are constantly fed to the fuel cell, it produces electricity and heat.

A hydrogen fuel cell uses natural gas as a fuel to produce electricity and heat. Electricity is generated from the chemical reaction of hydrogen atoms with oxygen. Water is generated as a by-product of this process. The water dribbles out of the tailpipe as distilled water or steam. Hydro fuel cells can be a convenient source of energy.

To meet climate targets, we need all hands on deck. Natural gas can play an important role in this transition. In terms of carbon footprint, green hydrogen can reduce emissions by up to 95%. This green source can lower carbon emissions and can be an effective way to decarbonize certain sectors and help curb climate change.

Promises of green hydrogen

Today, almost all the hydrogen we produce is used to make other things like fertilizer or petroleum. It has always been easier and cheaper to directly burn fossil fuels for electricity. But that is changing. As the world is slowly waking up to the climate crisis, companies and entire countries are committing to not only reducing emissions but also reaching net-zero goals.

As hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, it can help balance renewable energy supplies and end-user demands. It is a renewable energy that is derived from water. It can be harvested from natural sources and is also an excellent alternative fuel. If green hydrogen is produced on a large scale, it would help cut carbon emissions from carbon-intensive industries.

The initiative has already attracted several partners, including Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, the Australian project developer CWP Renewables, the Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Envision, European energy giants Iberdrola and Orsted, Italian gas company Snam and the Norwegian fertilizer producer Yara.

Green natural gas has many applications in the industrial sector, from making steel to producing methanol. The European Union has drafted a strategy for large-scale green hydrogen deployment, although the strategy has yet to be adopted. The plan provides funds for building green hydrogen electrolyzers, transportation and storage.

This source of power is also expected to lower energy costs. It can make a significant contribution to the global energy mix. With its abundant natural resources and high energy density, natural gas can play a critical role in mitigating global warming. However, the costs of storing and transporting this element will remain high. Governments must invest in these technologies to reap the benefits.

Green natural gas has the potential to bolster energy supplies while lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, it is a valuable storage option for intermittent renewable energy sources. It can also be used as a zero-emission fuel for aviation and maritime shipping. We should even see this energy source entering our homes and our cars.

Hydrogen is non-polluting and is an alternative fuel for remote areas. Additionally, it provides greater efficiencies in terms of usage times. Fuel cells are capable of providing power to a range of mobile and stationary applications. Ultimately, they will help in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and help countries democratize their energy.

Green hydrogen has great potential to address major challenges in the energy sector. It presents opportunities for decarbonizing sectors such as chemicals, iron and steel and long-haul transportation. This green source can also improve air quality and strengthen energy security. Unlike fossil fuels, this energy is abundant and can be stored for a long time.

Natural gas has three times the energy density of fossil fuels. It can also be produced anywhere there is water and electricity. Its environmental benefits are numerous and can be stored for extended periods, allowing us to balance renewable supply with demand. Furthermore, this element is a key ingredient in low-carbon fuels, including biofuels, which are both clean and cheap.

And the cost is significantly lower than fossil fuels. The initial costs are higher, but the potential payback will be worth it. The initial costs of green hydrogen production are very high, but the technology is becoming increasingly competitive which will reduce the cost. Clean hydrogen is crucial to decarbonizing our energy system.

Green hydrogen can be used to help renewable energy sources make a bigger contribution to our energy supply. It can be used to transport energy from renewable sources over long distances to energy-hungry cities. In this way, natural gas can play an integral role in the net-zero economy. It can help to decarbonize heavy transportation and strengthen the energy security of nations.

This power source has numerous applications in the industrial and transportation sectors. It can be added to natural gas and burned in thermal power plants, district heating systems and even ships. It can also be used as a precursor to other energy carriers such as synthetic hydrocarbons, fuel cells for cars, ships and other vehicles, as well as industrial hydrogen derived from natural gas.

Take the steel industry, it uses lots of energy and is responsible for around 8% of the global CO2 emissions. It was long thought that only fossil fuels could power the chemical reactions needed to turn iron ore into steel. But natural gas can get the job done as well while only leaving water behind.

And then it can be used to clean up heavy transport. A study showed that container ships could run on hydrogen fuel cells. The same goes for aviation. A major aircraft manufacturer Airbus is working on three models and they believe that hydrogen-powered aircraft could be in the air by 2035.

While there are several challenges with this fuel, the company believes it will play a vital role in decarbonizing air transport. Even if green hydrogen isn’t yet ready for prime time, it is gaining attention for the carbon reduction benefits it offers. Its energy density is up to three times that of jet fuel, making it an exciting zero-emissions fuel for aircraft and ships.

Large-scale deployments of clean hydrogen are critical to achieving our ambitious climate goals. While it may not be feasible overnight, there is a clear path toward achieving that goal. A major step in making it a reality is to introduce a government-funded policy to reduce the cost of fossil fuels.

Future of green hydrogen

While green hydrogen has many benefits, it is still in its infancy and isn’t widely available yet. The costs of deploying this technology are still high and the technology is still in its pilot stage. As the earth begins to decarbonize, it will become more competitive and widespread in the global energy market.

Among the many challenges associated with the use of green hydrogen as a fuel is the high cost of building pipelines to transport it. But once the cost fall, this will be easier to justify. Another big challenge that remains is that this natural gas has a relatively low energy density.

This implies that it requires about three times more space to store this gas as compared to natural gas. So, we’ll likely have to build a lot of new storage facilities, depending on how much of this natural gas we’ll need. Transporting this gas is also one of the technological barriers that need to break. But like 40 years ago we didn’t know how to transport natural gas in a liquid form, we see the same with hydrogen.

As a flammable gas, hydrogen does not have many distinguishing characteristics from other flammable gases. Its low minimum ignition energy makes it less dangerous than many other gases. But it does have one key feature that separates it from other flammable gases. This natural gas is extremely low density and as a result, needs to be kept at very high pressure.

In the quest to make clean energy, natural gas has a unique role to play. It can be produced as a byproduct of the burning of natural gas, which is the source of hydrogen today. It can be used for industrial processes, long-distance heavy-duty vehicles and aircraft. However, the production of green hydrogen involves energy-intensive processes.

Other challenges are that it requires significant investment in a production system that is cheaper and more energy-efficient. Next, production technologies must be improved and more money must be spent on research and development. Finally, this green power must be sustainably transportable and storable. Only then will the technology be truly green and environmentally friendly.

It is just a matter of time and research and development before natural gas becomes viable. Governments must support research and need to make bold leaps in financing new projects, invest in promising technologies and assume greater risks. Policy innovation can manifest itself in clear roadmaps for hydrogen production, directing industrial actors to invest in new technologies.

This element is available locally, which makes it an ideal alternative to diesel fuel in many areas. The future of green hydrogen as a fuel also depends on a number of investments made by carmakers, manufacturers, and energy companies. To achieve this goal, governments must first invest in the technology and make it viable.

Moreover, green hydrogen can be applied in several sectors. As the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen can help balance intermittent renewable energy supplies with end-user demands. This renewable energy can be used to power various equipment, which helps reduce energy penalties.

Natural gas can be extracted from water which is an excellent solution for growing global energy demand. In addition to providing clean transportation fuel, green hydrogen can be used as feedstock in industrial processes. In remote areas, it can be produced locally and stored for use as an alternative to diesel fuel. A key challenge for the future is ensuring that its production is affordable for every citizen and sustainable.

The potential of green hydrogen to address the world’s energy needs is huge. Its production can meet about a quarter of the power needs of the world. Wind power, solar panels and decarbonized gas are unlikely to fully supply energy demand. It can be the perfect solution to give an extra boost to renewable energy transitions.

As an alternative energy source, hydrogen is very promising. While it is highly flammable, it is non-toxic and is found in organic molecules and water. Its near-term influence has been overlooked by traditional metrics and is currently based on one-time emissions over 100 years. As such, natural gas is a viable solution for many environmental problems, especially with its zero emissions.

While green hydrogen is still in its infancy, it is likely to be the next energy revolution. Strong government support and global investment are further driving momentum. In the next decade, we may see the global gigawatt-scale commercialization of this natural gas.