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China and India have potential to become hydrogen leaders

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According to Jane Nakano, senior scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, China and India might overtake the United States as global leaders in “clean” hydrogen (CSIS).

Nakano stated on CNBC that “I think both China and India have potential to become big powers… not just as prospective suppliers and exporters of clean hydrogen, but also [as] consumers [and] users of clean hydrogen.”

Nakano said that although many nations still generate and use gray hydrogen, which is obtained from natural gas and created using fossil fuels, China, like many others, continues to do so. The least renewable type of hydrogen is this one.

Since hydrogen doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide, which warms the environment, it has the potential to be a key player in the fight against the climate issue. On the other hand, it is a leak-prone gas that, if poorly handled, might have its own warming impact, which would exacerbate the climate crisis. In addition to being expensive to create, “clean” hydrogen is also a young business.

According to a CSIS analysis, China presently produces 33 million tons of hydrogen annually, the majority of which is derived from fossil fuels.

She stated that it is crucial for China to continue moving away from the creation of gray hydrogen due to the size of its prospective hydrogen production as well as consumption.

The government of China has set the year 2025 as the deadline for expanding the usage of green hydrogen.

By 2030, India hopes to create 5 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen annually. However, almost all of the hydrogen generated in the nation is still gray.

Much work remains

According to Nakano, there isn’t much of a market for hydrogen right now, and it will take some time for it to become commercially viable.

In addition to industries that are challenging to electrify and decarbonize, she claimed that the transportation and steelmaking sectors are prospective users.

She did note that broad use has not yet become a reality. Most hydrogen is created and stored at the same location. Almost no trading occurs; if any, it only occurs inside a very narrow area.

“What we’re seeing right now is much more government-led projects,” Nakano said, noting that nations like Australia, Japan, and South Korea are working with Southeast Asian nations like Indonesia and Malaysia that are resource-rich.

Australia is a growing source and exporter of hydrogen, according to Nakano, and it intends to rank among the top three exporters.

The nation formed a clean hydrogen partnership with Japan at the start of this year with the goal of expanding Australia’s hydrogen export sector.

Additionally, Australia and the Middle East have the most potential to become significant exporters of green hydrogen, according to a 2021 estimate by energy consultant Wood Mackenzie.

Despite the fact that Europe is leading the way in commercializing hydrogen, Nakano noted that it could take some time for the continent to make the switch.

For better or worse, there is still a long way to go, according to Nakano. From the standpoint of climate change mitigation, probably for the worse.

Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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