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Green Hydrogen and its role in future energy production

View profile for Helen Hendry
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Hydrogen is considered to be part of the future energy mix. However, there needs to be more clarity on the different types of hydrogen, whether that be green, low or ultra-low carbon hydrogen. 

What is Green Hydrogen?
Green Hydrogen is made from water with renewable energy sources. Green Hydrogen is produced using electrolysis of water and requires 100% renewable energy with close to zero greenhouse gases. Electrolysis involves splitting water into H₂ and Oxygen using electrical current.

It is predicted that over 700 jobs will be created UK wide in a world leading hydrogen industry, backed by £2 billion government funding over the next 15 years.

UK government has backed 11 projects to produce green hydrogen, the UK being at the forefront of this emerging industry.

Green Hydrogen and energy production
Green hydrogen is seen as a promising energy carrier, as it does not emit any greenhouse gases. It has the potential for a variety of applications to include industrial processes, energy storage and transportation.

It is set to play a pivotal role in the UK’s transition to a sustainable low carbon energy system.

The advantages of Green Hydrogen as an energy source

  • Free renewable energy source;
  • Energy storage.  For example, during periods of high wind generation, excess electricity can be used for electrolysis to produce hydrogen;
  • Versatility – various sectors will be able to utilise green hydrogen including transportation, industry and power generation;
  • It is important in helping and hard to electrify sectors, for example in heavy industry and in certain transportation modes;
  • It has the ability to mitigate climate change;
  • It has economic opportunities, for example in the creation of hundreds of jobs;
  • Providing energy independence and energy security; and
  • Integration with current infrastructure – the ability to be able to use Green Hydrogen with the infrastructure that is already in place.

What are the barriers to Green Hydrogen adoption?
The adoption of green hydrogen faces some barriers before it is widely adopted including:

  • high production costs and requirements of further technological advancement, to make the process more efficient and therefore increasing its cost effectiveness.
  • Infrastructure, development and research
  • the absence of a robust quality framework, which adds to further costs associated with the production of Green Hydrogen.

The future of Green Hydrogen as an energy source
As the renewable energy sector advances and the economic scale are realised and technological improvements take place, it is believed the cost of Green Hydrogen will significantly decrease making it more competitive. It is hoped that supported government policy, increasing private sector investment will play an important role in accelerating the adoption of Green Hydrogen as it moves to become a competitive and a sustainable energy force. It will be interesting to see how the development of Green Hydrogen advances in this emerging industry in the coming decades.

The Roythornes Natural Resources team can assist and support our clients needs across all parts of the energy sector, including Green Hydrogen projects.