The effectiveness of green hydrogen

Hydrogen: green "silver bullet" or a bunch of hype?

Green hydrogen Energy transition

Green hydrogen has been hailed as a "freedom fuel" for the energy transition and a "silver bullet" for decarbonisation. To meet the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this energy resource has emerged as a promising source of clean energy, adaptable to all types of transport and storable for long periods of time. But to what extent is hydrogen really the solution to our environmental problems?

Green hydrogen

Discussion on the usefulness of green hydrogen to achieve decarbonisation held in March 2022 by Intelligence Squared. Audio in English.

The future of green hydrogen

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Journalist Khamal Ahmed moderates this meeting between three leading energy experts: Barry Carruthers, director of hydrogen at ScottishPower, the UK subsidiary of Iberdrola; Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent for The Guardian; and Professor Nigel Brandon, chair of Sustainable Development in Energy at Imperial College London.

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There is a global commitment within the climate agenda established in the Paris Agreement that states the need to prevent temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next decade to avoid irreversible damage. At this point, green hydrogen is presented as a key tool on the road to decarbonisation.

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Sceptics point out that it would require huge investment to ensure that the hydrogen we use is truly green. And they warn that a focus on this element could divert attention from other important issues in the energy transition, including the electrification of our homes, transport or industry. Against this backdrop, the experts pose a key challenge: how to reduce the perception that it is a hoax? 

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Truly carbon-free hydrogen can only be produced with renewable electricity, and at the moment green hydrogen represents only a small fraction of total hydrogen production, as it is an element that is not found naturally on earth, but in the sun, in water or in some natural gases.

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 It has become essential that the focus broadens and begins to consider the possibilities in areas beyond the transport industry, where green hydrogen tends to have the greatest development.

Source: Intelligence Squared