Hydrogen energy is like electricity that can be produced from another substance. Hydrogen can be produced separately from a variety of sources including
- Fossil fuels
And Hydrogen can be used as a source of energy or fuel. Hydrogen has the highest energy content of any common fuel by weight (about 3 times more than gasoline), but it has the lowest energy content by volume (about 4 times less than gasoline).
Hydrogen energy is also a zero-carbon fuel burned with oxygen; provided that it is created in a process that does not involve carbon. It can be used in fuel cells or internal combustion engines. Regarding hydrogen vehicles, hydrogen energy has begun to be used in commercial fuel cell vehicles such as passenger cars and has been used in fuel cell buses for many years.
Hydrogen energy is also used as a fuel for spacecraft propulsion.
- Mr Yoshinori Kanehana, Chairman of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Kawasaki), becomes a new co-chair of the Hydrogen Council
- The Hydrogen Council is ready to move from the demonstration to the commercial stage of global hydrogen deployment
- Green hydrogen costs are expected to keep dropping leading up to 2050
What is Green Hydrogen Energy
Increased levels of greenhouse gasses (GHG) in the atmosphere have contributed to an increase in global temperatures, causing disruptions to the natural ecosystems. Extreme weather events such as severe droughts, storms and tornadoes are occurring more frequently at an increased severity level, making climate change a global emergency.
Many countries are now striving for the use of Hydrogen energy for a net-zero policy for climate change, which refers to a state of equilibrium where its removal from the atmosphere offsets the GHG released into the atmosphere. Once CO2 emissions reach zero, human-induced global warming can be stopped.
Hydrogen Energy Uses
The aim is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, and this can be achieved if GHG emissions reach net-zero by 2050. Currently, 134 countries, representing 68% of the world economy, have committed to carbon neutrality through national pledges.
Bhutan and Suriname have already attained negative carbon status, Finland is targeting 2035 and Austria, Iceland, Germany, and Sweden are targeting 2045 or earlier. According to European Commission data, Japan aims to become carbon-neutral by 2050 and is the world’s sixth-biggest carbon emitter.
The Japanese government has raised its medium-term renewables objective after critics slammed the previous target as insufficient to assist it in succeeding. By 2030, Japan wants 36-38 per cent of its power to come from renewable resources like solar and wind, up from the previous aim of 22-24 per cent.
Solar energy is the most frequent type of Hydrogen energy in Japan as new solar fields were constructed after the 2011 tsunami disaster, overtaking hydroelectric. Wind and biomass power generation are also rising, and Japan is investing in green hydrogen research, which can be made using sustainable energy.
National Hydrogen Energy Mission
Some of Japan’s nuclear power stations have been permanently closed, and others have taken a long time to restart as legal disputes rage between local governments and groups of residents and activists.
According to experts, Japan’s government aims for nuclear to provide 20-22% of electricity generation by 2030, but achieving this goal appears unlikely.
The restart of nuclear plants nevertheless holds out the opportunity for a nuclear power revival to reduce reliance on foreign energy sources, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida describing the return of nuclear reactors as ‘important’.
“[Japan] must develop different decarbonisation scenarios to prepare for the possibility that certain low-carbon technologies, such as nuclear, do not expand as quickly as hoped”,
The International Energy Agency said last year.
A carbon tax is the most direct method to encourage polluters to cut back on their carbon emissions. Many governments have been pushing for a global shift toward carbon pricing systems. Because nations are working to combat climate change, a carbon tax is expected to pressure firms to minimise their use of fossil fuels not to have to pay taxes and convert to renewable energy.
The success of a carbon tax will depend on its rate, which must be high enough to motivate businesses and the length of time given for industries to adapt to the tax. And finally, the availability of green technology for companies to use will also be crucial.
The search for green energies such as hydrogen energy could account for up to 12% of global energy use by 2050. China consumes and produces more hydrogen energy than any other nation, with its current annual usage of 24 million tonnes already exceeding that of any country.
Hydrogen Energy Density
A recent Saxo Markets Daily Digest report confirmed that China announced plans to triple worldwide hydrogen production by 2025 to meet its emissions targets. It could mean that traders can anticipate increased investment in hydrogen industries.
Investors wanting in on this theme should consider the ETFs Hydrogen ETF. This HGEN ETF invests in 30 leading global hydrogen companies. With the potential for near-zero greenhouse gas emissions, hydrogen energy can be created from various domestic resources.
Hydrogen energy makes electricity in a fuel cell, releasing only steam and warm air when generated. In both the stationary and transportation energy sectors, it holds promise for growth.
Benefits of Hydrogen Energy
Green hydrogen is an environmentally friendly approach to generating electricity. The European Clean Hydrogen Alliance was formed to help investors and large-scale deployment of green hydrogen initiatives as the EU aims to become the industry leader in this field.
By 2047, India may reach energy independence thanks to pure hydrogen production using wind and solar power. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that pure hydrogen could help India achieve a massive leap towards energy independence by 2047.
In 2017, Japan became the first nation to publish a national hydrogen strategy as part of its goal to become the world’s first ‘hydrogen society’, in which all sectors use hydrogen. South Korea’s hydrogen roadmap recognises clean hydrogen as a critical driver of economic growth and job creation.
The aim is for South Korea to become a global leader in producing and utilising FCEVs and large-scale stationary fuel cells for hydrogen power generation. The United States is the world’s second-largest producer and consumer of hydrogen, accounting for 13% of global demand.
The Energy Observer
The world’s first hydrogen-powered boat arrived in Singapore recently for a 10-day visit. The laboratory ship left Saint-Malo in 2017 and has toured the globe without leaving a carbon footprint while researching renewable energy on board and advocating for its use throughout its journey, using only solar, wind, and water power.
The Energy Observer will also engage with key stakeholders such as the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) during its stopover in Singapore to advocate for the use of hydrogen fuel on ships. Alternative energy solutions to reduce Singapore’s carbon footprint have become a national priority, and the decarbonisation of shipping is an essential part of this effort.
The Maritime Singapore Decarbonisation Blueprint 2050 was launched in 2016. Plans for creating a decarbonisation centre in Singapore and Tuas Port to be served by a fleet of entirely electric, automated, guided trucks around 2040 are underway.
As a result, the hydrogen future is bright. Hydrogen has enormous potential to be utilised as a carbon-free energy source in air and water purification, transportation, power generation and other industries. By 2025, China will account for more than half of all global market capacity in electricity production.
Given the potential of hydrogen derived from green energy, several businesses have entered the market. Many energy and industrial firms are in the early phases of investing in hydrogen energy as an alternative to fossil fuel, and a handful of organisations are already establishing themselves as industry leaders.
Hydrogen Energy Companies
Here are five top hydrogen firms to keep an eye on as the sector develops:
Air Products is one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of industrial gases. It’s a worldwide leader in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) manufacturing technology and equipment. It’s also a significant supplier of merchant hydrogen and a prominent figure in developing hydrogen fuel infrastructure.
The world’s first hydrogen-powered golf cart was designed and built by PowerPlant. It is the inventor of the commercially viable hydrogen fuel cell industry. It has established a global market for hydrogen fuel cells (with electric powertrain technologies to power vehicles and fleets).
The California-based Bloom Energy aims to provide clean, constant, and inexpensive energy. The Bloom Energy Server is an on-site electricity production system created by the firm. In 2021, it unveiled the Bloom Electrolyzer, which used the same solid oxide technology as its existing Bloom Energy Server to produce clean hydrogen 15% to 45% more efficiently.
A zero-emission proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell produced by Ballard Power Systems runs on hydrogen. It allows the electrification of buses, commercial trucks, trains, riverboats, passenger cars, and forklifts. The firm is also researching new ways to use hydrogen energy.
FuelCell Energy is a leading innovator in fuel cell technology for hydrogen production. Its SureSource products enable customers to generate ultra-clean power on-site. It can assist large institutions like wastewater treatment plants, factories, and universities meet their energy needs while also being good stewards of the environment.
The promise of hydrogen energy is enormous. The emissions-free fuel might help decarbonise heavy industry, replace natural gas, and store renewable energy, leading to a net-zero planet. With promising new tech to reduce the weight and production costs of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles developed in the US by Hyzon Motors, the production and distribution of commercial vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells can be accelerated.
However, while hydrogen is an exciting prospect, it is still in its early stages. The energy sector will need to scale and decrease costs to compete with fossil fuels and other new technologies like battery storage. As a result, investors may wish to keep an eye on the space as they try to predict which firms have the best potential for long-term success.
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