Generating electricity from clean hydrogen has always been elusive. But that may change in the not-so-distant future: the technological, political and environmental factors – the variables to create the hydrogen economy – are aligning. What remains a sticking point, though, is the cost factor. To learn more, read How To Light A Fuse Under The Green Hydrogen Economy.” Reading this article may require a subscription.

Key Takeaways:

  • More than 99% of the world’s hydrogen production comes from fossil fuels (called grey hydrogen). The goal is to get to green hydrogen, where solar and wind power is used to produce electricity that is put through an electrolyzer to create pure hydrogen gas.
  • In the interim, some say that a mix of green and blue (produced from natural gas using carbon capture and storage) hydrogen is a faster and more optimal solution. Currently, green hydrogen can be blended with natural gas at a rate of 15% while getting to 30% is doable.
  • The Los Angeles Department of Power and Water has agreed with Utah authorities to buy much of the output of the Intermountain Power Project which will generate hydrogen from wind and solar.
    • The plant will convert to a natural-gas-combined-cycle facility that can burn hydrogen as a fuel.
    • By 2025, 30% of electricity will come from hydrogen and by 2045, all of it will.
  • In its Hydrogen Economy Outlook, Bloomberg New Energy Finance says that green hydrogen could cut global greenhouse gases by 34% by 2050.
  • “Hydrogen has potential to become the fuel that powers a clean economy,” writes Kobad Bhavnagri, lead author of the Bloomberg report. “If the clean hydrogen industry can scale up, many of the hard-to-abate sectors could be decarbonized using hydrogen, at surprisingly low costs.”

Path to 100% Perspective:

Hydrogen and synthetic fuels, such as hydrogen-based renewable synthetic methane, promise to be an important piece of the decarbonization puzzle. Creating such a flexible power system would accelerate the global transition to 100% clean energy.


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