Saturday, February 29, 2020

This Supermajor [Royal Dutch Shell] Is Diving Into The Green Hydrogen Game — Haley Zaremba

Hydrogen is often hailed as a silver bullet solution to emissions-free fuel since it burns clean, leaving nothing but water vapor, but the reality of using and producing green hydrogen is much more complicated. Hydrogen is already used as a power source in a lot of modern industries, including ammonia production, in refineries and as a feedstock for chemicals. The vast majority of the hydrogen in use, however, is not green hydrogen, but instead is what is known as “gray hydrogen.” While the hydrogen itself burns clean, the means of producing that hydrogen is actually fossil-fuels intensive (most often using coal or natural gas) and therefore does nothing in the way of decarbonizing the industries in which it is used.
While gray hydrogen is currently the industry standard, however, green hydrogen is already in production as well--albeit at a much higher cost. But, as Oilprice reported earlier this month, all that is about to change. The green hydrogen revolution is upon us. While system costs of green hydrogen are standing in the way of scaling up production today, that won’t last long, according to Recharge News. “Everybody is predicting that the cost curve will come down, just as it has with solar and wind power,” they report. “Though, to get the price point right, you have to reach economies of scale. Then it’s just a matter of when, and industry is primed to take the next step.”
And now, less than a month after that report, oil supermajor Royal Dutch Shell has announced a new large-scale project to create green hydrogen using offshore wind farms in the Dutch North Sea instead of the traditional fossil fuels....
Important. Lots of hype around hydrogen as a transportable fuel, but it usually ignores the production costs in carbon units. Until recently the ratio between clean energy output and carbon input has not been encouraging.


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