What's New :

Weekly Current Affairs: April week-1 - Hydrogen can cut global greenhouse gas emissions: Study

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    9th Apr, 2020

Widespread adoption of clean hydrogen can cut global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 34 percent in fossil fuel-dependent sectors by 2050 — and at a manageable cost — according to a new study by research firm BloombergNEF (BNEF).

Context

Widespread adoption of clean hydrogen can cut global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 34 percent in fossil fuel-dependent sectors by 2050 — and at a manageable cost — according to a new study by research firm BloombergNEF (BNEF).

About

  • Hydrogen is an element; it exists naturally as a molecule. Each hydrogen molecule is made up of two hydrogen atoms.
  • Hydrogen is one of the chemical elementsthat exist in nature. An element has one type of atom, and it cannot be broken down into other substances.
  • Hydrogen exists naturally as a molecule, consisting of two hydrogen atoms. The chemical formula of hydrogen is H?.
  • In petrol and diesel cars, the burning of fuel produces carbon dioxide and water. Extra carbon dioxide in the air promotes global warming.
  • In hydrogen cars hydrogen reacts with oxygen in a fuel cell, making electricity to run the car. The only waste product of this process is water vapour.

Key-highlights of the Study:

  • The findings were published in a report titled ‘Hydrogen Economy Outlook’.
  • The report suggested that renewable hydrogen could be produced for $0.8 to 1.6/kg in most parts of the world before 2050.
  • This is equivalent to gas priced at $6-12/MMBtu, making it competitive with current natural gas prices in Brazil, China, India, Germany and Scandinavia on an energy-equivalent basis.
  • If the cost of storage and pipeline infrastructure is included, the delivered cost of renewable hydrogen in China, India and Western Europe could fall to around $2/kg ($15/MMBtu) in 2030 and $1/kg ($7.4/MMBtu) in 2050.
  • The carbon price of $50/tCO2 would be enough to switch from coal to clean hydrogen in steel-making industry by 2050; $60/tCO2 to use hydrogen for heat in cement production; $78/tCO2 for making chemicals such as ammonia; and $145/tCO2 to power ships with clean fuel — if hydrogen costs reach $1/kg.
  • Hydrogen has the potential to power a clean economy. In the years ahead, it will be possible to produce it at low cost using wind and solar power, to store it underground for months, and then pipe it on demand to power everything from ships to steel mills.
  • Heavy trucks could also be cheaper to run on hydrogen than diesel by 2031.
  • Renewable hydrogen can be made by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity generated by wind or solar power.
  • The cost of the electrolyser technology to do this has fallen by 40 per cent in the last five years, and can continue to slide if deployment increases.
  • It added that clean hydrogen can also be made using fossil fuels if carbon is captured and stored, but that is likely to be more expensive.

How Hydrogen can actually clean the environment?

  • Hydrogen is a clean-burning molecule that can be used as a substitute for coal, oil and gas in a large variety of applications.
  • But for its use to have net environmental benefits, it must be produced from clean sources, rather than from unabated fossil fuel processes – the usual method at present.
  • Hydrogen could absolutely become the clean-burning, zero-carbon molecule to replace fossil fuels in hard-to-abate sectors of the economy.
  • It has the potential to erase one-third of today’s global emissions from fossil fuels and industry if it is deployed for steelmaking, while also providing dispatchable energy, producing ammonia, and powering trucks.

Conclusion:

At present, right now, a hydrogen economy is still uncertain — there are not enough policies to support investment and scale up the industry. For hydrogen to gain use, policy is critical. The clean hydrogen industry is small and costs are high. There is a big potential for costs to fall, but the use of hydrogen needs to be scaled up and a network of supply infrastructure created. This needs policy coordination across government, frameworks for private investment and roll-out of around $150 billion of subsidies over the next decade.

X
Enquire Now