Over the past few years, awareness about the need for coordinated action to limit the ill effects of global warming has increased globally. Most large economies, including India, have committed to net zero carbon emission targets to contribute to this cause.
What is Hydrogen?
In the energy sector, hydrogen is a simple molecule composed of two hydrogen atoms: H2. As hydrogen is created, it consumes a lot of energy, and as it is split apart, it releases that energy again. Therefore, hydrogen generation and use are similar to charging and discharging a battery.
It is not possible for hydrogen to perform better than a conventional battery in many areas. Despite this, hydrogen is a promising alternative to fossil fuels in areas like steel-making and long-distance transportation where other zero-emission solutions are not available. Additionally, hydrogen can be used for many other purposes, such as fertilizer production, simple energy storage, and powering fuel cells.
Uses of Hydrogen
Colour Spectrum of Hydrogen
From grey to blue to green hydrogen, we are entering a new era. Clearly, hydrogen will play an important role in energy transition.
Hydrogen produced from renewable sources – such as wind farms, hydropower plants and solar farms – is known as green hydrogen. Using these renewable energy sources, electrolysis is used to produce hydrogen through the electrolysis of water. Electrolysis is the use of electricity to separate water into two separate elements: hydrogen and oxygen.
Green Hydrogen benefits:
Natural gas, coal, solar energy, wind, and biomass are all sources of hydrogen that can be produced domestically.
Hydrogen produces electric power in fuel cells, emitting only water vapor and warm air. The stationery and transportation energy sectors both stand to benefit from it.
In addition to bolstering national energy security, hydrogen can reduce fuel consumption and diversify transportation options for a more reliable system when used as a fuel for highly efficient fuel cell electric vehicles.
The pollution is primarily caused by gases, such as nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons, and particulates, from gasoline and diesel vehicles. Fuel cell electric vehicles powered by hydrogen emit only water and warm air – none of these are harmful substances.
Cost of Green Hydrogen?
The production costs of green hydrogen are still significantly above what they are for grey hydrogen. Specifically, the cost to produce one kilogram of green hydrogen is roughly $5, contrasted with $1.50 for grey hydrogen and between $1.69 and $2.55 for blue hydrogen.
Following figure shows the forecast breakdown of renewable hydrogen production costs worldwide from 2020 to 2030 by Statista.
With the number of hydrogen projects and policies expanding rapidly around the world, hydrogen is currently enjoying unprecedented momentum. Hydrogen and renewable electricity constitute the major energy vectors substituting fossil fuels, and its large-scale introduction could mark the point of no-return in society and economy’s transition to a sustainable and climate-resilient future.