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What is Green Hydrogen and its Importance- Know about the emerging clean energy source here

Tulika Tandon

One of the major goals today is decarbonising the planet and the countries around the world have set the target as 2050. One of the major actions to be taken in this regard would be to decarbonize the production of hydrogen as it is responsible for more than 2 per cent of global carbon emissions. Here is when green hydrogen comes into the picture. 

What is Green Hydrogen?

The technology for green hydrogen is based on the generation of hydrogen through electrolysis. It is a universal, light and highly reactive fuel. Using this method, electrical current is used to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in the water. In case the electricity is produced through renewable sources of energy, the hydrogen would be green hydrogen. 

What does IEA say?

IEA informs that through the method of obtaining green hydrogen countries would save 830 million tonnes of Carbon dioxide that is emitted annually by using fossil fuels. It also mentions that replacing all grey hydrogen would require 3,000 TWh/year from new renewables which is almost congruent to the demand from entire Europe.

However, there are some questions about the viability of green hydrogen because of its high production cost; reasonable doubts that will disappear as the decarbonisation of the earth progresses and, consequently, the generation of renewable energy becomes cheaper.

 Why Hydrogen can be used for clean energy?

Hydrogen is the most abundant element on earth. Also, the global demand for hydrogen as a fuel has become thrice of what it was in 1975. It is also the only source of energy that only emits water vapour and leaves no residue in the air.

Hydrogen has been used to fuel cars, airships and spaceships since the beginning of the 19th century. 

Green Hydrogen: Advantages

  1. Hydrogen is a 100 % sustainable source: Green hydrogen does not emit polluting gases in its combustion or production processes.
  2. Green Hydrogen is a gas and thus would be easily stored. It can be subsequently used for other purposes just following its production.
  3. It can be easily transformed into electricity or synthetic gas which can then be used for domestic, commercial, industrial purposes.
  4. Green hydrogen can be mixed with the natural gas, up to a maximum of 20 %. It can also be transported through the same pipes and in the same infrastructure.  

Green Hydrogen: Disadvantages

  1. Renewable sources, which would be used to generate green hydrogen through electrolysis, are extremely expensive currently taking the cost of the whole production to sky heights. 
  2. The production of green hydrogen requires more energy than other fuels.
  3. Green hydrogen is an extremely volatile and flammable element.  It needs extensive safety measures to prevent leakage and explosions.

Green Hydrogen- Importance

Hydrogen is being used across the United States, Russia, China, France and Germany. Countries like Japan desire to become a hydrogen economy in future.

Green hydrogen can in future be used for

  1. Electricity and drinking water generation, energy storage, transportation etc. 
  2. Green hydrogen can be used to provide water to the crew members in space stations.
  3. Energy storage- Compressed hydrogen tanks can store the energy longer and are easier to handle than lithium-ion batteries as they are lighter.
  4. Transport and mobility- Hydrogen can be used in heavy transport, aviation and maritime transport.

Way forward:

Several green hydrogen projects are already underway in Hycarus and Cryoplane, promoted by the European Union. Iberdrola launched the largest plant producing green hydrogen for the industry in Europe. Many such projects need to be launched and implemented. Expectedly, with the cost of the renewable energy sources reducing, Green Hydrogen does seem like the best sustainable energy source. 

Know about Hassyan Clean Energy Plant here

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