Green hydrogen, all about the fuel revolutionizing the clean energy sector

Sushree Behera

The globe is transitioning away from conventional fossil fuels and towards cleaner, renewable sources of energy. This shift has led to an increasing focus on green hydrogen, a clean-burning fuel with numerous potential applications. 

So what is it, and how is it changing the game? In this blog post, we explore the advantages and disadvantages of green hydrogen, explain how it is produced, and discuss its impact on the future of energy. 

What is green hydrogen

A green hydrogen is a form of clean-burning fuel that is created through an electrolysis process in which water molecules are split into oxygen and hydrogen gas to generate electricity without creating any harmful emissions. Traditional hydrogen fuel production generates carbon dioxide and other pollutants as by-products, but green hydrogen does not. 

By electrolyzing water with sustainable energy sources like solar or wind power, green hydrogen can be produced. The process starts with the electrolyzer, which splits the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.

The Hydrogen is then collected in a storage tank and purified by a compressor or other purification system before it can be used as fuel.

Read also: Natural hydrogen extraction from the soil may be a key element of the energy transition

The uses of green hydrogen  

Here are seven amazing uses of green hydrogen. 

1. Decarbonization of industrial processes  

Green hydrogen can be used to power industrial processes, such as steel and cement production, which are some of the largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions. These industries can significantly reduce their carbon footprint by replacing fossil fuels.

2. Fuel for transportation 

Green hydrogen is a clean-burning fuel that can be used to power vehicles, both for personal transportation and in fleets. This could significantly reduce emissions from the transport sector and improve air quality. 

3. Energy storage and balancing of the electricity grid 

Hydrogen can be used as a form of energy storage, allowing renewable energy to be stored when it is not needed and then released when demand is higher. Due to its fast production in response to fluctuations in supply and demand, it can also be utilised to maintain the stability of the electrical grid. . 

4. Power generation through fuel cells 

Fuel cells powered by green hydrogen can be used to generate electricity. This is a clean and efficient way of producing energy, with no emissions generated at the point of use. 

5. Production of ammonia and fertilizers 

Ammonia can be created using green hydrogen and then used as fertiliser for plants. This could help reduce emissions associated with the production and use of fertilizers and improve yields. 

6. Replacement of fossil fuels 

Hydrogen can be used as a replacement for fossil fuels in various applications, such as power generation and heating. This would reduce emissions associated with burning these fuels while providing the same service level. 

7. Injection into natural gas pipelines to reduce emissions 

Hydrogen can be injected into the current natural gas pipes to partially replace the fossil fuel and cut emissions from both the fuel’s use and transportation. This could help to reduce emissions associated with the transport of natural gas. 

Advantages

Below listed are the advantages of switching to green hydrogen.

1. Reduced carbon emissions 

Powered electricity produces green hydrogen, significantly reducing carbon emissions compared to the traditional one. We can use it as an alternative transportation fuel to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

2. Increased energy security  

As it can be generated and stored locally, it gives countries an increased level of energy security compared to other sources of energy. It is not subject to the price fluctuations of natural gas or oil, providing a stable and reliable source of energy. 

3. Versatility in use across different sectors 

Almost any sector that requires large amounts of energy, such as transportation, industry, and power generation can use it. Cars, ships, airplanes, and residential applications such as heating and cooking can all use biodiesel fuel. It also has potential for use in these areas.

4. Improved air quality 

Green hydrogen does not release any pollutants or greenhouse gases directly into the atmosphere when burnt. Moreover, producing it from renewable energy sources eliminates the pollution produced by traditional production processes. This helps to improve air quality in the environment, reducing respiratory and other diseases caused by air pollution.

5. Lower dependency on fossil fuels 

As green hydrogen is produced from renewable sources, it reduces our reliance on fossil fuels. Moreover, it has a much lower carbon footprint than natural gas or oil, making it an attractive alternative for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. 

6. Scalability 

Green hydrogen is much more scalable than traditional production methods. Many different sectors can demand large volumes of it without requiring expensive infrastructure or long-term investments, making it easy to produce.

7. Potential for cost competitiveness in the long run 

With advances in technology and increased production, thi substance has the potential to become cost-competitive with traditional sources of energy over time. This could result in lower electricity prices and other benefits for consumers.

Disadvantages   

Below listed are the disadvantages of green hydrogen.

1. Limited infrastructure for production, transportation, and storage 

Lack of access to renewable energy sources and inadequate infrastructure for transporting and storing green hydrogen limit its production to certain parts of the world. Thus, the production costs associated with it are quite high.

2. High energy consumption  

The process of producing green hydrogen consumes large amounts of electricity, which make it cost-prohibitive in many cases.

3. Complex distribution and utilization in existing energy systems  

We must handle green hydrogen carefully due to its flammability, and transporting and utilizing it within existing energy systems can be difficult.

The future of green hydrogen 

The future of green hydrogen looks promising as more countries are investing heavily in technology. Countries like Germany, Canada, and the US are investing heavily in research, production, and storage infrastructure. 

Advancements continue to make hydrogen a viable alternative to traditional fuels. Potentially substituting natural gas or other combustible fuels, it has the potential to revolutionize the energy industry.

With its wide range of advantages and few drawbacks, it promises a greener future for energy production and consumption. Technology is still in its early stages, but with further advancements, lower costs, and wider adoption, it could become a major player in global energy markets in years to come.

Read also: From carbon capture, to nuclear, to hydrogen: 10 ways to net zero emissions

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