The Department of Energy (DOE) in the Philippines is actively working on a policy framework and guidelines for the integration of “green hydrogen” into the country’s energy mix, according to Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla.
As the world seeks cleaner and more sustainable energy alternatives, hydrogen and its derivatives are gaining momentum as promising solutions. Additionally, the DOE is exploring the co-firing of ammonia, which is derived from hydrogen, with existing coal-fired power plants to reduce carbon emissions. However, challenges such as high costs, storage and transportation issues, and safety concerns must be addressed for these technologies to achieve widespread commercial viability.
Hydrogen and ammonia are emerging technologies that hold significant potential for transforming the global energy landscape and achieving decarbonization goals. The Philippines recognizes the role of hydrogen and its derivatives in diversifying its energy sources and reducing carbon emissions. Ammonia, which can be produced using hydrogen, is seen as a catalyst for ammonia production and has the potential for co-firing with coal plants to reduce their environmental impact.
While hydrogen and ammonia show promise, there are challenges that need to be overcome for their widespread adoption. The high cost of hydrogen remains a significant barrier to its commercial viability. However, viable applications in heavy road transport and industries such as high-temperature process heat and carbon-neutral feedstock for the chemical industry offer potential avenues for its use. Additionally, hydrogen’s energy storage capabilities make it a valuable asset in balancing the intermittency of renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
To unlock the full potential of hydrogen, the Philippines must establish a robust policy and regulatory framework. This framework should address incentives for hydrogen production, storage, and transportation, as well as safety measures, distribution, scalability, and competition with other technologies. The low energy density of hydrogen necessitates large storage volumes and specialized infrastructure for compression or liquefaction. Safety concerns, including flammability and explosiveness, require stringent measures throughout the entire hydrogen value chain.