Renewable Hydrogen is produced by electrolysis, where water molecules are split in H2 and O2 using green electricity as input. Alternatively, it can be produced by Steam bio-Methane Reforming (SMR) from organic feedstock. As it is originally entirely from renewable sources, it is carbon free (green electricity) or neutral (SMR). When used, it emits nothing but water vapor.
Today’s energy industry, using conventional fuels, releases approximately 73% of the global GHG emissions. Replacing fossil fuels with green hydrogen can have a significant impact on CO2 intensity. Hydrogen is the energy vector with highest energy content by weight among common fuels (~3x of gasoline). The Hydrogen Council estimates that hydrogen will provide 18% of global primary energy by 2050, equating to 585 million tones of hydrogen production per annum, 8 times the current level (Hydrogen Council).
Hydrogen is also an important feedstock to the chemical industry and gas processes in many applications. Today’s global hydrogen demand is ca. 75 million tones, most of which is from fossil origin (“grey” hydrogen from coal, natural gas). Producing today’s hydrogen needs entirely from renewable sources would save 750 million tones of CO2 per annum, equivalent to the entire CO2 emission of Germany.
Hydrogen technology does not require rare earth materials such as lithium and cobalt for its storage, thereby reducing supply chain dependency and allowing local sourcing and manufacturing.
It can be generated with local resources (water, electricity, or biogas), stored, and transported, allowing maximum independence from energy imports and consequently increasing the energy security.
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