As countries look for a way to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels and develop sustainable alternatives, green hydrogen is an increasingly attractive energy source. Hydrogen is often produced through electrolysis, a process in which an electric current breaks apart water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. However, green hydrogen is more than just a fuel source. This roundup will cover some of its most significant advantages and benefits for the planet and its people.
Hydrogen Is Abundant
We can never run out of green hydrogen because it is a renewable energy carrier. The most environmentally friendly way to produce hydrogen is by using electricity to slice water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen becomes "green" when we use a renewable source of electricity to make it. Systems are already under development in the US to increase efficiency, and hydrogen fuel cells have been gaining popularity in many industries.
Green Hydrogen Is a Clean Energy Carrier and Fuel
When we burn hydrogen, no harmful byproducts are released into the atmosphere. This clean energy source is a proven method of generating energy in space rockets, where it has replaced volatile chemical fuels that we once used to power the rockets. In fact, after being utilized as an energy source, hydrogen may be transformed into safe drinking water. In fuel cells for machinery and transportation, hydrogen creates heat and electricity while emitting only water vapor as a byproduct.
The Energy Density Is Higher than in Fossil Fuels
Hydrogen has a high energy density and can generate a lot of power. Because it is three times more potent than most fossil-based fuel sources (20 MJ/kg for hydrogen vs. 44 MJ/kg for gasoline), it requires less hydrogen to perform the same activities. This power makes hydrogen a viable fuel for spacecraft, aircraft, boats, vehicles, and fuel cells.
Renewable Energy and Green Hydrogen Synergize Well
Green hydrogen and renewable energy have a symbiotic relationship. One of the main limiting factors of renewable energy sources is a lack of infrastructure. However, the drive to produce hydrogen could stimulate demand and, therefore, remuneration to companies that invest in renewable power infrastructure.
This economic effect is why, even without incentives like tax breaks, researchers anticipate that the price of producing green hydrogen will fall from roughly $5 per kilogram today to $1 per kilogram in the future. That would put it on par with hydrogen from fossil fuels, which energy companies can produce for less than $1 per kilogram.
The government is also attempting to facilitate the green hydrogen-renewable energy connection. The US Department of Energy's Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office is investigating scenarios that indicate a five-fold increase in hydrogen production from present levels. As offshore wind and other renewables increase in popularity, so will the opportunity to make and store green hydrogen.
Green Hydrogen Will Create Jobs
The movement toward green hydrogen will create hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of jobs by 2050. According to research conducted in the Netherlands, a nation aggressively attempting to shift away from fossil fuels, green hydrogen might save and generate up to 100,000 jobs per year by 2050.
Approximately two-thirds of them would be in heavy industries and infrastructure. They would generally have been phased out along with fossil fuels, but hydrogen can use the same or similar pipeline mechanics. The advent of hydrogen itself will result in about one-third of the number in new employment.
- Stay Clean – Hydrogen is almost unique as a fuel because it emits only water vapor. If it's unavailable or out of your price range, consider a typical EV. They are especially great if your domestic power source is renewable.
- Think Big – Some large retailers like Walmart have doubled down on their commitment to hydrogen. If you think it's the way to go, support companies who help stimulate demand for the technology.
- Alternative Heat – Until green hydrogen is widely available, your best bet for green domestic heating may be a heat pump. They are efficient and pair well with renewable home energy sources like solar.