New recommendations for producing clean hydrogen have been made public by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
According to these requirements, hydrogen produced from fossil fuels, such as natural gas, can be regarded as clean if the production process’ carbon intensity satisfies particular requirements.
The extensive set of guidelines developed by the IEA is intended to evaluate the carbon intensity of hydrogen production. To meet these criteria, one kilogramme of hydrogen must create no more than seven kilos of carbon dioxide.
Although burning hydrogen fuel doesn’t release carbon dioxide, the production of it can be carbon-intensive. Blue hydrogen is created by blending fossil fuels with carbon-capture technology, whereas green hydrogen is often created utilising renewable energy sources.
The development of the hydrogen market has been impeded by the absence of precise standards identifying green or blue hydrogen. The likelihood that investments in clean hydrogen won’t satisfy future benchmarks is increased by this ambiguity.
According to the new regulations, fossil fuel-based blue hydrogen producers can be classified as clean if they use carbon-capture equipment to keep emissions below the 7 kilogramme limit. According to Statista, the demand for hydrogen is predicted to roughly treble between 2021 and 2030. The total annual demand for hydrogen in 2021 was 94.3 million metric tonnes. The majority of hydrogen is still predominantly produced from fossil fuels and used in the chemical and refining sectors.
Effect of regulations
The new regulations will likely affect investment choices in the hydrogen industry even though they are not enforceable by law.
In order to update its hydrogen policy, the Japanese government is looking at blue hydrogen produced from natural gas as a viable fuel source in the near future. India’s new green hydrogen strategy was introduced by the Indian government in February, with promises of less expensive renewable energy and a 25-year tax waiver for interstate power transmission for projects finished before June 2025.
Additionally, it includes land in mega industrial zones and renewable energy parks to support the transition of nearby industry away from fossil fuels. If the world reaches net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2050, hydrogen is anticipated to play a substantial part in the global energy mix, providing 12% of the world’s end-use energy demand.
The Hydrogen Council and the American consulting firm McKinsey & Co. estimate that by 2050, there will be 660 million tonnes of demand for hydrogen and its derivative products worldwide. In the steel, aviation, and shipping industries, hydrogen and ammonia may gain popularity as environmentally friendly substitutes for conventional fuels.
A important step in fostering the expansion of the hydrogen market is the implementation of unambiguous criteria for the generation of clean hydrogen. As the world’s energy mix transitions away from carbon, hydrogen is anticipated to play an increasingly significant role.