Not many people are familiar with hydrogen production and storage, but this process might be significant in the decarbonization of the economy. While it is still early, a report by Goldman Sachs said that this industry can decarbonize up to 15% of global emissions and contribute a trillion dollars to the global economy by 2050.
What It Is
Hydrogen, the smallest element, is used by the industrial sector to refine oil and synthetic fertilizer. Theoretically, it can be used for cooking, heating, and powering vehicles and fuel cells with minimal equipment changes. Natural gas is primarily methane, which combines with oxygen and emits carbon dioxide upon burning. Hydrogen does not have carbon in it, which makes it a clean source of fuel.
Fossil Gas Alternative
Its development as a fossil gas alternative could help make a cleaner future attainable. The Department of Energy is funding HyBlend to research mixing hydrogen gas into energy streams using natural gas. It might even ultimately replace them in the future. This project aims to introduce clean hydrogen into homes while ensuring no cost, safety, or experience change.
The Main Challenge
The main limitation to hydrogen use is the cost since hydrogen is expensive in the American market. The goal of the hydrogen industry is to bring it down to $1 per kilogram by 2030. Even then, this would make it twice as expensive as natural gas. On the bright side, this price point would make it the cheapest option in Asia and Europe.