A carbon-neutral planet by 2050 is one of the goals that multiple countries across the world have committed to achieving. In an effort to accomplish this, decarbonizing the production of hydrogen to develop green hydrogen has become a crucial aspect, with many companies pledging to make the move to using hydrogen as a clean source of energy.
What Is Green Hydrogen?
How hydrogen energy is made determines how ‘clean’ the energy is for our planet. The majority of hydrogen energy used today is often referred to as grey hydrogen; this is because it is produced by using fossil fuels which emits large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in the process. Another way to produce hydrogen is using natural gases, referred to as blue hydrogen; these gases are split into hydrogen and carbon dioxide using one of two processes, Steam Methane Reforming or Auto Thermal Reforming. During the process for blue hydrogen, carbon dioxide is captured and stored to mitigate the environmental impacts to the planet.
Green Hydrogen is carbon-neutral and produced using electrolysis to split the hydrogen and oxygen molecules in water. This process allows us to use the hydrogen for energy and vent the oxygen back into the atmosphere without any negative impacts to the planet. Renewable energy, such as wind or solar, is used to power the electrolysis needed to make green hydrogen. At the end of the process, there is no carbon dioxide as a byproduct, making it the cleanest option for hydrogen energy.
There are two other clean hydrogen options to choose from that are growing in popularity alongside green hydrogen; pink and yellow hydrogen. Both are made in a similar way to green hydrogen using electrolysis, except they use different power sources.
Pink hydrogen uses nuclear energy as its power source.
Yellow hydrogen uses solar power as its only power source, unlike green which uses multiple renewable sources.
Why You Should Invest In Green Hydrogen
As we strive for a carbon-neutral world, clean hydrogen energy is an exciting prospect, and many are hoping to make a complete shift to green hydrogen to remove carbon from all electricity sources. The output from producing green hydrogen could be used to power vehicles, industrial processes, or for household electricity and heating. Our current electrical system is responsible for a quarter of the world’s annual carbon dioxide emissions. Moving to green hydrogen would significantly reduce the carbon dioxide we are putting into our atmosphere as it could also power our heavy and transport industries, which also contribute a large amount of carbon dioxide into the environment.
As we move to using more renewable energy, green hydrogen tackles the issue of intermittency as current renewable energy can’t provide a consistent supply. We can use the excess energy from renewable energy to produce hydrogen, and we can use hydrogen to ensure that we have a constant supply of energy when demand is higher than usual or renewable energies are low.
Because of these reasons, it is projected that green hydrogen will meet approximately 24% or more of the world’s energy demands by 2050. This is why many investors are buying stocks for the biggest companies in hydrogen production now. If you are looking to throw your hat into the ring for hydrogen, you can find a list of hydrogen energy stocks from Wallstnow.
How Do You Store Green Hydrogen?
When it comes to storing hydrogen, cost-effective options at large scales are essential to achieve the full potential of hydrogen as an energy source. There are three main ways we can currently store hydrogen; geological storage, compression tanks, and liquified in insulated tanks.
Underground geological storage could offer abundant storage cost reductions and offer a larger capacity cushion to meet any possible seasonal demands or disruptions in supply. There are plenty of sites to choose from, with many companies already undergoing works to transform these underground geologic storage options into a suitable place to store green hydrogen. Salt caverns, hard rock caverns, and depleted oil or gas reservoirs are amongst the most popular locations for consideration.
As with any gas, hydrogen can be compressed and then stored in tanks. Compressed hydrogen gas is often preferred over liquified hydrogen due to the high energy costs that it takes to liquefy hydrogen and the shorter transport range as the liquid hydrogen boils off over several days. However, the downside to compressed gas hydrogen is that the storage tanks are extremely large for the amount of energy stored.
What Are The Uses For Green Hydrogen?
As we edge ever closer to the deadline for the world becoming carbon-neutral in 2050, many people are asking what green hydrogen will be used for as we change from less green energy sources.
The first, and most obvious use, is to replace the existing stocks of the gas that have been produced using carbon-intensive methods. Oil refining and steeling-making industries currently use large amounts of hydrogen in their production processes and hold large stocks of grey hydrogen on-site for use. Replacing those stocks with green hydrogen as they are depleted will contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions in our environment.
Countries rely heavily on natural gas for heating commercial and residential buildings. Making the change from gases that use carbon-intensive methods in production to green hydrogen as a heating solution will drastically reduce the carbon emissions currently produced. There are many ways that green hydrogen could be used to heat homes, with the two most popular suggestions being boilers and heat pumps. Some countries are already starting trials in small areas to see how well using hydrogen works as a heat source for the future.
A popular use for green hydrogen is fuel cells for powering vehicles. As one of the most abundant elements on the planet, it is an excellent choice for powering electric cars; many car manufacturers are already funding projects to produce hydrogen cars. Hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles run on electricity, much like battery-powered cars. With hydrogen fuel cells, however, they generate electricity on the go and have no tailpipe emissions.