Breaking Our Reliance on Fossil Fuels
Hydrogen-powered technology has seen a great deal of interest and innovation in the past decade, overcoming many of the barriers to widespread adoption: growing public awareness, and investment in fueling infrastructure. For automakers, with the increased production of fuel cell electrical vehicles (FCEVs) and California’s aim to have one million hydrogen fuel cars on its roads by 2030, the clean production of hydrogen is a key next step in consumers’ adoption of a decarbonized future. Clean hydrogen, or green hydrogen, has key advantages:
- Created by renewable energy sources
- Versatility to be used across industries
- Reduces CO2 emissions
While alternative energy sources are critical to impacting climate change, today most hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels. The production of hydrogen through natural gas reforming or coal gasification has been a necessary growth step for the industry, but we are now poised to further remove our dependence on fossil fuels by expanding production in green hydrogen technologies.
Isn’t all hydrogen green?
Hydrogen fuel is thought of as ‘clean power’ because it only produces water vapor emissions. However, hydrogen has traditionally been created through natural gas reforming. Hydrogen can be produced from any number of domestic resources:
- Electrolysis – the use of electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen
- Solar—solar thermochemical, photoelectrochemical (PEC) and photolytic biological water splitting
- Wind—wind generated electricity to power electrolysis to produce hydrogen
- Biomass—as most hydrogen produced today in the US is made through steam-methane reforming, biomass may be a viable alternative for methane
Green hydrogen emissions are carbon free, and these alternative technology pathways can further lower or eliminate emissions.
Most of the renewable sources of hydrogen rely on water. But just like nature’s water cycle, the use of hydrogen produces distilled water—about a liter per 100kms of hydrogen consumed in a FCEV car.
Reducing Costs of Hydrogen Production
The Hydrogen Council, a global initiative dedicated to growing the hydrogen economy, expects hydrogen solutions costs to decrease by as much as 50% in the next 10 years, making hydrogen a viable competitor to both other low-carbon and conventional alternatives.
2020 has brought an increased public focus on climate change. Amidst the publicity of quickly-dropping emissions due to pandemic-related shutdowns, as well as a volatile oil and gas economy, some major companies and cities are beginning to make investments in new power sources to support a more sustainable future and reduce dependency on fossil fuels.
- Royal Dutch Shell NortH2 Project – new consortium aims to produce green hydrogen using renewable energy generated from a mega offshore wind farm in the North Sea of the Netherlands.
- Los Angeles Department of Water and Power – The city department is making a shift to using gas turbines designed to run on green hydrogen created by solar and wind power.
While our current hydrogen sources have been an important steppingstone toward a viable hydrogen supply chain, green hydrogen production will help us reach both the momentum and promise for greener mobility and industry.
Learn how Haskel is contributing to the development of cost-effective hydrogen refuelling and they new solutions we have coming: