To begin with, the concept of Green Hydrogen is a new trend in the industry pertaining to its formation from natural gas resources. Over the last few years, interest in this particular topic has peaked exponentially. Green Hydrogen can be used as a raw material for chemical reactions to generate a variety of biofuels, and it is a good energy carrier for applications that are isolated from electricity grids or need a high energy content by weight. Green hydrogen has the potential to bridge the gap between increasing and sustainable renewable energy production and hard-to-electrify sectors.
To begin with, green hydrogen is a special form of hydrogen. It is made by electrolysis, which breaks water into hydrogen and oxygen with no by-products. Electrolysis normally necessitated such a large amount of electrical energy that it was impractical to generate hydrogen this way.The conditions have changed directly as a result of two factors: the first is the availability of a significant surplus of renewable energy in the electricity distribution networks. Instead of storing excess energy in huge battery packs, it can be used in the electrolysis of water, with the electricity being stored as hydrogen. The second reason is due to the rise in the electrolysis machines’ efficiency.
The fact that water is the only by-product of the hydrogen combustion process is well known, which is why scientists have indeed been fascinated by hydrogen as a carbon-free energy source for decades. Conventional hydrogen processing, which includes heating fossil fuels with steam, is, however, far from carbon-free. Gray hydrogen is the result of this process, and blue hydrogen is the result of segregating carbon dioxide from it.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Green Hydrogen
There are various advantages and disadvantages of investing in this particular energy source from a technical, economic, and environmental point of view. As a matter of fact, there are multiple unique aspects of this fuel alternative that could eventually put aside the present day’s conventional energy resources.
Hydrogen is a valuable source of energy for a number of purposes, the most important of which is its ample availability. Although harnessing hydrogen requires a lot of money, no other energy source is as limitless as hydrogen. That is to say, unlike other sources of electricity, it has no chance of running out. Furthermore, hydrogen can be generated on-site and then dispersed, or it can be produced centrally and then distributed. Methane, ethanol, wood, coal, and water can all be used to make hydrogen gas. Depending on the sources used, variables such as emissions levels, technological issues, and energy needs differ. Additionally, as hydrogen is burned to make gasoline, the by-products are absolutely harmless, with no known side effects; it is used as a source of drinking water in the aerospace industry. Finally, once hydrogen and oxygen are integrated into a fuel cell, electricity is produced, which will be used to drive cars, drive an electric motor, as a source of heat, and a variety of other applications. The only by-products of hydrogen’s reaction with oxygen are water and heat. Hydrogen is typically converted to drinking water for astronauts on ships or space stations after it has been used. Ali Habib, Sustainable Energy Expert noted that, “Steam reforming is not costly, actually it is the cheapest way to produce hydrogen. 48% of hydrogen produced by steam reforming, 30% by oil reforming, 18% by coal gasification, 4% by electrolysis because it is more expensive than others.”
On the other hand, it could be argued that while many hybrid vehicles today are powered primarily by hydrogen energy, hydrogen energy remains to be a source for the wealthy. One of several features of hydrogen is that it has a relatively low density. In reality, it’s much less dense than gasoline. To ensure its efficacy and reliability as an energy source, it must be compressed to a liquid state and preserved in the same manner at extremely low temperatures (nearly -253C). Additionally, because of its lightness, transporting hydrogen beautifully is a difficult challenge.Since oil is often forced through pipes, it can be transported safely. While, load trucks are a convenient way to move coal, hydrogen is often difficult to transport in massive volumes; which is why it is usually only shipped in limited quantities.
Despite the fact that green hydrogen production is still in its early stages, many countries, especially those with affordable renewable energy, are investing in this technology. Australia is one of these nations, with plans to export hydrogen produced by using available solar and wind energy, while Chile plans to produce hydrogen in the arid regions of the country’s north, which are abundant in solar-generated electricity. By 2030, China hopes to have one million hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road.
Similar programmes are underway in South Korea, Norway, and the United States of America, with California aiming to eliminate fossil-fuel-powered buses by 2040. The European Commission, for its part, recently released a hydrogen development plan for 2030. In it, it is proposed that hydrogen output capacity be increased to 500 gigawatts by 2050.
To conclude, by replacing both gas and coal with renewable electricity, current technology approaches, such as those used in the development of solar and wind energy, will minimise carbon dependency in the energy sector by up to 85%. Habib also noted that, “Egypt has the required constituents to produce green hydrogen at competitive levels. To name a few, abandoned renewable energy sources and sophisticated infrastructure. Nevertheless, several policy actions are needed to uptake this technology.”
Other industries, such as shipping and manufacturing, would have a tougher time transitioning to electricity independency. They normally need a fuel with a high energy density or the ability to generate heat at high temperatures. However, green hydrogen has a future in these industries as well as being a source of flexibility in the power sector; the Energy Transitions Commission, a consortium of energy firms, points out that green hydrogen is one of four technologies needed to meet the Paris Climate Agreement’s goals, it manifests itself in the reduction of more than 10 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year in the industrial sectors that pose the greatest threat, such as mining, construction, and chemical manufacturing.