Hydrogen generated from renewable energy sources will account for 20% of Europe’s electricity consumption in 2050 and 10% globally, according to a report released by Norway’s Statkraft.

Green hydrogen is created by splitting water molecules in electrolysers using a renewable electrical current. The gas is positioned as a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels in industries that are notoriously difficult to decarbonize.

According to Statkraft’s sixth annual Low Emissions Scenario study, European power consumption would reach slightly over 5,000 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2050, with green hydrogen production accounting for roughly 1,000 TWh, up from the present demand of around 30 TWh.

The corporation is one of Europe’s major producers of renewable energy and also owns and runs many natural gas power facilities in Germany. It bases future investments on its analysis from the Low Emissions Scenario.

Global electricity demand is expected to more than double to just over 60,000 TWh by 2050, as electrification is viewed as the primary method for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, with renewable energy meeting roughly 80% of that demand, the report found.

At the moment, green hydrogen generation is more expensive than conventional hydrogen production using fossil fuels, but Statkraft stated that this would change in the future.

The company predicted that investment prices for electrolysers would reduce by 60% by 2050, which, when combined with storage, would assure a consistent supply for industry.

Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, as required by the Paris Climate Accord, will require increased renewable energy and faster electrification, Statkraft stated.

Nedim Husomanovic

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