Can hydrogen energy a sustainable economy?

We all are looking for alternative energy sources for our future world. Looking for the answers a question popped up in BloombergNEF researcher’s minds, can hydrogen energy a sustainable economy?

In 2018, Japan reported that they were busy developing a hydrogen business. Although proposals to render this a legacy of the Tokyo Olympics – even like the Bullet Train became a huge legacy of the 1964 Olympics – would have to wait a little longer, the policy followed by a nation associated with creativity is likely to succeed.

Highlighting the meaning in this path of travel and its capacity as a global low carbon approach, the latest study: Hydrogen Economy Forecast by BloombergNEF (BNEF) points out a vision in which its universal implementation will contribute to a 34% reduction in emissions by 2050.

“Hydrogen can become a fuel that powers a sustainable economy,” said Kobad Bhavnagri, head of industrial decarbonization at BNEF and lead author of the study.

In order to work, the report notes that hydrogen fuel will be harnessed using renewable energy sources. So with the expense of this cycle starting to decline, the day when the fuel edges of the game will be shifted more and near.

“In the years ahead, it can be generated at low cost utilizing wind and solar power, processed underground for months, and then piped on-demand to power anything from ships to steel mills,” Kobad said.

Renewable hydrogen is generated as water is separated into hydrogen and oxygen, and electricity is created by renewable sources. Since 2015, there has been a 40% decline in the oxygen generator (electrolyzer) technology that does this. To leverage, Kobad is asking for a massive rise in spending. Doing this, he claims, would reduce pollution in sectors highly reliant on fossil fuels, like steel and shipping.

“Hydrogen is promising and strong since it can be used for so many things. Renewable technology has opened the way for carbon-free power. Yet to reach the net-zero pollution goals, we need to move beyond energy to provide carbon-free products. That’s the function of hydrogen.

This includes government-wide policy alignment, private sector mechanisms, and the roll-out of about ₹113494 crores in subsidies during the next decade. That might seem overwhelming, but it is not, in reality, such a massive challenge – policymakers around the world invest more than twice as much per year on subsidies for fossil fuel use.

Here is a summary of the study’s key findings

Hydrogen is a clean-burning gas that may be a zero-carbon replacement for fossil fuels in hard-to-deplete parts of the economy. The cost of generating hydrogen from renewables is likely to decrease, but demand needs to be generated to bring down prices, and a broad variety of supply infrastructure needs to be installed. This is not going to happen without ambitious budget goals and subsidies.

These are the main messages from BNEF’s Hydrogen Economy Forecast, which offers a national, unbiased review and forecast for the hydrogen economy.

 

Clean hydrogen refers to both renewable and low-carbon hydrogen (from fossil-fuels with CCS). Abatement cost with hydrogen at $1/kg (7.5/MMBtu). Currency is US dollars.
Source: BloombergNEF

Achieving climate goals is likely to take a clean molecule

Responding to climate goals is going to need a sustainable molecule Green energy will help minimize pollution from road travel, low-temperature manufacturing operations, and heating buildings. However, fossil fuels have a major advantage in applications that need high energy intensity, manufacturing processes that depend on carbon as a reactor, or where demand is seasonal. It is possible that a clean molecule would be required to completely decarbonize the world economy, and hydrogen is well placed to play this function. It is scalable, elastic, storable, transportable, safe, and can be generated with low to zero emissions.

BloombergNEF
Source: BloombergNEF

Renewable hydrogen is still costly, but prices are dropping

In 2018, more than 99 percent of hydrogen was generated using fossil fuels, but hydrogen can also be created in a sustainable manner utilizing renewable energy to filter water through an electrolyzer. With the cost of wind and solar already dropping, the issue is if the cost of power and clean hydrogen will be reached. Although they are often costly in Western markets, there are promising indications. The cost of alkaline electrolyzers manufactured in North America and Europe decreased by 40 percent between 2014 and 2019, and Chinese devices are now up to 80 percent cheaper than those produced in the West.

If the development of electrolyzers will improve and prices continue to decline, our estimates indicate that sustainable hydrogen will be manufactured for ₹53 to ₹122/kg in most areas of the world before 2050.
This is equal to gas sold at ₹454-₹908/MMBtu, rendering it economical with existing costs for natural gas in Brazil, China, India, Germany, and Scandinavia on an energy-equivalent basis, and cheaper than generating hydrogen from natural gas or coal through carbon capture and storage.

Renewable hydrogen costs based on large projects with optimistic projections for capex. Natural gas prices range from $1.1-10.3/MMBtu, coal from $30-116/t.
Source: BloombergNEF. Note renewable hydrogen costs based on large projects with optimistic projections for CAPEX. Natural gas prices range from $1.1-10.3/MMBtu, coal from $30-116/t.

Hydrogen transport and storage requires significant investment in infrastructure

Hydrogen transport and storage require major energy expenditure High-density hydrogen allows it much easier to store than fossil fuels. Unless hydrogen were to substitute natural gas in the global economy today, 3-4 times more storage capacity will have to be installed, for ₹3,65,05,005 crores by 2050, to have the same degree of energy efficiency.

Storing hydrogen in vast amounts would be one of the most important problems confronting the potential hydrogen economy. Low cost, large solutions such as salt caverns are geographically constrained, and the expense of utilizing alternate liquid storage methods is also higher than the cost of generating hydrogen.

Lower density often causes hydrogen difficult to move by road or truck. However, hydrogen moves almost three times faster than methane across pipes, rendering this a cost-effective choice for large-scale transport. But for hydrogen to become as widespread as natural gas, a major, organized pipeline improvement, and development plan will be required because hydrogen is sometimes inconsistent with current pipelines and networks.

Carbon pricing

To order to cope with inexpensive fossil fuels to hard-to-reduce markets, also at ₹75/kg, carbon costs and similar steps are more certainly also important for hydrogen to merit emission cuts. This is because hydrogen has to be made, while natural gas, coal, and oil only need to be extracted, so it is therefore always a more expensive source of energy. The lower energy density of hydrogen often allows processing more expensive. But with the strategy in effect up to 34% of fossil fuel and business greenhouse gas pollution will be offset utilizing hydrogen – 20% for less than 7572₹/t CO2.

Sectoral emissions based on 2018 figures, abatement costs for renewable hydrogen delivered at $1/kg to large users, $4/kg to road vehicles. Aluminum emissions for alumina production and aluminum recycling only. Cement emissions for process heat only. Refinery emissions from hydrogen production only. Road transport and heating demand emissions are for the segment that is unlikely to be met by electrification only, assumed to be 50% of space and water heating, 25% of lightduty vehicles, 50% of medium-duty trucks, 30% of buses and 75% of heavy-duty trucks.
Source: BloombergNEF. Note, sectoral emissions based on 2018 figures, abatement costs for renewable hydrogen delivered at $1/kg to large users, $4/kg to road vehicles. Aluminum emissions for alumina production and aluminum recycling only. Cement emissions for process heat only. Refinery emissions from hydrogen production only. Road transport and heating demand emissions are for the segment that is unlikely to be met by electrification only, assumed to be 50% of space and water heating, 25% of light-duty vehicles, 50% of medium-duty trucks, 30% of buses and 75% of heavy-duty trucks.

For the intense sector, hydrogen is a fruitful road to rising pollution

The most significant cases of hydrogen usage are the applications that allow the physical and chemical features of molecular fuels to function. For all of these cases, hydrogen may make it feasible with relatively low carbon rates to switch away from fossil fuels. For instance, the carbon price will be adequate, at ₹75/kg, to turn to renewable steel production hydrogen (Figure 8), to ₹4543/t CO2 for the use of renewable heat hydrogen in cement manufacturing, to ₹5906/t CO2 for ammonia synthesis and to ₹6815/t CO2 for the manufacture of aluminum and glass.

Up to 24% of global energy demands may be fulfilled by 2050 by Hydrogen

With favorable but fractional policies in effect, we predict that hydrogen (MMT) will use 187 million tons (187 million tons), enough by 2050, in a world where global warming is restricted to 1.5 degrees, to reach 7 percent of final energy requirements. When a comprehensive and full strategy is in place, 696MMT of hydrogen can be required in a 1.5 degrees scenario to cover 24 percent of final capacity. More than ₹7570500 crores will be needed to invest in development, storage, and transport facilities. Annual hydrogen prices were ₹5299000 crores and billions of dollars were invested in supplies for final usage.

If the economic market utilizes hydrogen in these unexpected electrifiers, production may go up to 1370 million tons by 2050.

Nevertheless, it will be difficult to generate hydrogen at the necessary rate

Further renewable energy is required to satisfy 24 percent of hydrogen demand in the 1.5-degree scenario. This scenario needs approximately 31,320TWh of electricity to power electrolyzers – more than the existing generation from all sources worldwide. In addition to this, renewables are expected to expand exponentially if the goals for deep reductions are achieved.

The total production of renewable energy without hydropower is projected to rise to 60,000TWh, compared with the current amount of less than 3,000TWh.

China, several countries in Europe, Japan, Korea, and South-East Asia do not have enough land to generate the requisite renewable power.  This will necessitate exchange in hydrogen. While it is more costly, the processing of hydrogen from CCS fossil fuels might still have a significant role to play, especially in countries such as China and Germany that may be low of ground, but which are well supplied with gas and coal.

Source: BloombergNEF,
Source: BloombergNEF, Baruch-Mordo et. al, 2019. Note: Green = Country has sufficient estimated solar and wind resources and Red = Country has insufficient resources to generate 50% of electricity and 100% of hydrogen by 2050. The methodology used to estimate potential renewable generation is conservative and may underrepresent achievable generation in specific locations. In some countries, the estimate for potential generation is below current levels. These countries are not given a sufficiency rating.

There are no indicators of escalation, but investors should be cautious of seven indications

Hydrogen has undergone a marketing period before, and the agenda to promote innovation and develop a renewable hydrogen market is now inadequate. But decarbonization could shift with an increasing number of countries. Investors will look at the following main incidents to assess whether a hydrogen economy arises:

  1. Legislative Net-Null Emissions Objectives.
  2. The rates of hydrogen and regulatory obstacles are harmonized and removed.
  3. Frameworks for sourcing are laid out.
  4. Specifications shall be put down for the minimum levels of heavy transport emissions.
  5. For emission-low goods, policy and markets shall be specified.
  6. Policies and opportunities for global decarbonization being introduced.
  7. Equipment ready for hydrogen is popular.

Leave a Reply