Renewable energy: Zeroing-in on climate neutrality with hydrogen

Recent efforts highlighted at COP26 2021 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) raised hopes that it may be possible to achieve the global 1.5°C climate limit using hydrogen technology, according to Angelica Buan in this report.

There may not be a silver bullet to carbon neutralising the world but major economies already have their policies set on adopting clean hydrogen (H2) energy as soon and as widely as possible.

Global demand for renewable and hydrogen energy green hydrogen

While it is renewable, efficient, and produces no harmful emissions, it can be costly to produce, flammable, and difficult to store and transport. However, proponents of H2 believe that these obstacles can be overcome.

To reshape the global energy system, the government and industry will need to work closely together. Clean H2 deployment will be accelerated if policymakers develop a solid investment and action framework.

Hydrogen to help reduce global carbon by over 20%

The development of the hydrogen economy is critical for cost-effective and efficient global carbon reduction, allowing nations to reach their carbon neutrality targets, stimulate green economy, and create long-term jobs, according to the Hydrogen Council. The latter is a global CEO-led initiative of 123 companies from over 20 countries and across the entire hydrogen value chain, which promotes H2 as a means of accelerating the clean energy transition.

Global demand for renewable and low-carbon H2 could increase by 50% in the next decade. In 2050, China will be the largest hydrogen market, followed by Europe and North America, accounting for roughly 60% of global demand. The potential emission reductions for H2 in 2030 could be 800 million tonnes/year of CO2 emissions, the organisation said.

Clean H2 is the only long-term, scalable, and cost-effective option for deep decarbonisation in sectors like steel, maritime, aviation, and ammonia, and it augments other low-carbon energy technologies like renewable power, biofuels, and energy efficiency improvements, according to the Hydrogen for Net Zero report by the Hydrogen Council and McKinsey & Company.

The COP26 summit in Glasgow brought together world leaders

The report stated that clean H2, which has an “annual abatement potential” of 7 Gt in 2050, could provide the “lowest-cost” decarbonisation solution for over a fifth of final energy demand by mid- century, resulting in a total reduction of 80 Gt CO2, and is thus a critical solution for achieving the 1.5°C climate scenario. This will necessitate a large scale- up of clean hydrogen production in the coming decades, or a tenfold increase over the currently installed 2.8 TW of H2 capacities will be required.

The report added that H2 rollout will not be feasible without the right regulatory framework in place, with governments and businesses to take action. A set of appropriate policies is included in the requirements, such as mandates and strong carbon pricing, large-scale infrastructure development, and de-risking and focused support for large initial investments.

A tall order for countries

In November, world leaders met in Glasgow, Scotland, for the COP26 (Conference of the Parties) summit. The 26th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference aimed to come to agreement on how to reach the Paris Agreement's global temperature limit of 1.5°C. It also emphasised the importance of low-energy technologies such as clean hydrogen in making it happen.

Already, 28 companies from mining to energy, vehicle and equipment manufacturers, and financial services have pledged to accelerate the use of decarbonised hydrogen at the COP26, according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI). The companies are also signatories to a new initiative called H2Zero, which focuses on accelerating the use and production of H2 as an integral part of the future net-zero energy system.

The pledges in three categories – demand, supply and financial or technical support, correspond to nearly a quarter of the decarbonisation potential for hydrogen by 2030.

On the demand side, the pledges – which total 1.6 million tonnes/ year of lower-carbon hydrogen – are primarily directed at replacing grey hydrogen, which is currently widely used in the refining, chemical, and fertiliser industries, as well as diesel fuel in heavy industries like mining. This would cut CO2 emissions by more than 14 million tonnes/year.

Meanwhile, the pledges amount to more than 18 million tonnes/ year of lower-carbon hydrogen on the supply side. If grey hydrogen, natural gas for industrial heat, and petroleum fuels in transportation are replaced, CO2 emissions will be reduced by 190 million tonnes/year.

Read full article...


Subscribe to Get the Latest Updates from PRA  Please click here

©2021 Plastics and Rubber Asia. All rights reserved.

©2020 Plastics and Rubber Asia. All rights reserved.

Home Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy Webmail Site Map About Us


Contact Us Register Subscribe