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Hydrogen to make up 16% of global energy demand by 2050

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In light of climate promises and the cost of green hydrogen, the world is experiencing significant expansion in the green and blue hydrogen economies. However, blue hydrogen is projected to lag behind advances over the next 10 years.

Due to its adaptability as a possible sustainable energy source, hydrogen gas has become a significant source of energy in numerous industries, including transportation, from vehicles to missiles.

It is also used in the production of energy and in industries that have a tough time mitigating pollutants, such as steel, glass, and cement.

Furthermore, hydrogen energy may be the best option for long-term energy storage due to its lack of contaminants when compared to other fuels.

Hydrogen energy is created in a clean manner, either as blue hydrogen (carbon is captured when hydrogen is stripped from methane) or green hydrogen (water is divided into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable energy and an electrolyzer).

“In the realm of clean hydrogen, nearly everything has doubled this year, and we expect the momentum to continue in the next months,” said Martin Tingler, Bloomberg NEF’s chief hydrogen analyst.

According to Energy Voice, more than 40 nations have published hydrogen strategies so far, while the remainder are working on developing and developing their own.

Britain has developed a hydrogen roadmap that includes a proposal to replace 20% of the gas grid with hydrogen by 2030, a 240 million pound ($324 million) hydrogen investment fund, and a plan to create 5 gigawatts of low-carbon hydrogen annually by 2030.

While the United Kingdom’s policy is reasonably balanced in terms of blue and green hydrogen, the European Union, which intends to reach 40 GW capacity by 2030, is emphasizing green hydrogen.

By 2050, the EU wants the public and private sectors to invest 470 billion euros ($534.5 billion) in the industry.

According to the Hydrogen Council, 359 large projects have been announced worldwide, with 131 of them announced in the first half of 2021 alone.

Europe is in the forefront of this movement, with investments totaling 130 billion dollars, but other areas are catching up.

In its newest low-emissions scenario, Statcraft, a Norwegian renewable energy firm, predicted that emission-free hydrogen may account for 6% of global energy consumption by 2050, including 7% of industrial energy usage and up to 2% of energy use in dwellings.

However, in order to attain carbon neutrality, British oil firm BP anticipates hydrogen consumption to reach 16 percent.

However, methane vapor is now used to make around 70 million tons of hydrogen, and this process produces more than 10 tons of carbon dioxide for every ton of hydrogen produced.

Addressing this issue should be one of the key initiatives to manufacture clean hydrogen, decarbonize the sector responsible for 2% of world emissions, and develop a market for the clean alternative.

Michael Liebrich, the creator of BNP, has devised a concept known as the “clean hydrogen ladder,” which depicts the uses for which hydrogen is expected to be acceptable.

Liebrich placed fertilizer, methanol, and desulfurization at the top of the ladder, indicating the sectors into which gray hydrogen is already making inroads, with promising new uses in shipping, steel, long-term energy storage, and chemical feedstocks.

Liebrich placed many of the applications favored by heavy industry, energy firms, and governments, such as vehicles, trains, and buses, as well as residential heating, at the bottom of the ladder.

According to Grandview Research, hydrogen production was a $120 billion business in 2020, but that market is predicted to expand to $184 billion by 2028 as the sector sees a lot of money inflows.

For example, Joe Bamford, the CEO of hydrogen bus manufacturer Wright Boss, has announced the formation of a £1 billion ($1.35 billion) fund to invest in hydrogen production and supply, claiming that his team has already identified over 40 firms to consider the investment.

Adrian, a French investment group, has launched HY24, the world’s largest investment platform focused on sustainable hydrogen infrastructure, with a goal of raising an initial 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion). Total Energy, Air Liquide, and Vinci are among the backers.

Shell has hired Europe’s biggest electrolyzer (PEM) in Germany, with a capacity of 10 megawatts, to cut emissions from its refining operations, and it wants to build a 200 megawatt electrolyzer at the Rotterdam port by 2023 as part of the Rotterdam Green Hydrogen Centre.

Shell and Equinor are also partners in the Norte H2 project, which is anticipated to create more than 800,000 tons of hydrogen from a 10 GW offshore wind farm in the North Sea.

Equinor is collaborating with Engie in Belgium, the Netherlands, and France on blue hydrogen projects, including a plan to convert a portion of a gas-fired power station in the Netherlands to run on hydrogen.

Ineos has announced intentions to invest more than £3 billion ($4.05 billion) throughout Europe to create green hydrogen, install electrolyzers in Germany and Norway, and convert its Grangemouth refinery to hydrogen.

BP aims to develop the UK’s largest hydrogen plant in Teesside, a blue hydrogen facility, whereas Total Energy concentrates on transportation, with roughly 30 hydrogen refueling stations in operation across Western Europe, largely to service trucks and buses.

Although blue hydrogen is better suited to oil and gas firms’ present operations, it relies on carbon capture and storage, which has been difficult to develop, as well as pipelines and storage facilities that have yet to be built.

Green hydrogen infrastructure, on the other hand, is rapidly developing.

While worldwide electrolyzer capacity was less than 200 MW in 2020, it is predicted to more than double in 2021 and quadruple in 2022.

If we keep growing at this rate, the cost of technology will fall in lockstep with the cost of renewable energy.

Green hydrogen will be 85 percent cheaper by 2050, according to Bloomberg NEF.

“By 2030, most nations will not be able to afford to establish blue hydrogen production plants,” said Martin Tingler, Bloomberg NEF’s top hydrogen analyst. They will be out of business in little more than ten years, as is the situation with coal in the energy sector today.”

With the International Energy Agency’s Global Energy Outlook and Climate Summit (COP26) laying the groundwork for a far speedier energy shift than many anticipate, blue hydrogen faces being left behind even before it begins.

Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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