Our Hydrogen Future Requires A “Colorful” Transition


Since the signing of the Paris Agreement, hydrogen has emerged as the ‘new kid on the block’ as a green energy carrier. The EU has identified hydrogen as one of six key strategic areas where big investments and actions are needed. But the greenest form of hydrogen from renewable energy will take time to scale up. To learn more, read “Our Hydrogen Future Requires A ‘Colorful’ Transition.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Hydrogen has the potential to take a significant bite out of CO2 emissions in Europe’s power, residential and commercial, transport, and industrial sectors. It can be used almost anywhere that natural gas is used today.
  • Global hydrogen production in oil refining, ammonia and methanol production is responsible for around approximately 20% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Clean hydrogen will make big cuts to emissions in these sectors and could be used as a low-emission alternative in other sectors in which it will be difficult to otherwise decarbonize.
  • The ideal hydrogen future uses so-called green hydrogen, which is produced via electrolysis from renewable sources such as wind and solar. But it will take time for Europe to reliably produce enough renewable energy to make green hydrogen the only option.

Path to 100% Perspective: 

As renewable fuels technology advances, flexible generation plants can easily be converted to run on fuels made with excess solar and wind energy that would otherwise be curtailed. These fuels, such as synthetic methane and green hydrogen, can serve as long term energy storage in existing underground gas storage facilities, and can be used to generate electricity when renewable sources and traditional storage technologies can’t keep up with demand.


Photo: Peter De Lucia on Unsplash