Hydrogen is key to a major energy shift in our society. Many sectors of the economy and the power grid can decarbonize by switching to green hydrogen.
The market for hydrogen is expected to grow to $2.5 trillion by 2050, and many industries, such as air travel, see the writing on the wall. Airline manufacturers like Airbus, Embraer, and FlyZero are competing in investments and concepts, seeing hydrogen as the future despite some criticism that it is impractical.
What’s changing in green hydrogen?
Green hydrogen currently makes up only one percent of global hydrogen production. Government initiatives and a corporate change of heart will change this, ramping up the production of green hydrogen as a staple fuel source.
The main obstacle to green hydrogen production has been its high cost. New green hydrogen investments and projects rise every day establishing the necessary infrastructure and funding to make production cost-effective. The International Energy Agency (IEA) Hydrogen Project Database counts 320 new green hydrogen projects across the globe. The IEA also predicts that the cost of producing green hydrogen will drop by 30 percent by 2030.
Green hydrogen electrolyzers
A major step in this trend is the recently increased investment in electrolyzers, which produce green hydrogen via electrolysis exclusively powered by renewable energy.
Europe’s largest electrolyzer opened in July in Germany’s Rhineland, supported by Shell and the European Commission’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. This electrolyzer will use renewable power to produce up to 1,300 tons of green hydrogen a year. China’s state-owned oil and gas company, Sinopec, began construction on the world’s largest solar-powered green hydrogen plant. It intends to produce up to 500,000 tons of green hydrogen by 2025. Australia has also begun production, as other countries are expected to as many in the west seek to free themselves from dependence on Russian gas.
Companies and governments are gathering momentum to make green hydrogen the future power for our planes and who knows what else.