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  • Ramzi Allen Alafandi

A Step Forward for Eco-Friendly Hydrogen

Hydrogen has the potential to play a pivotal role in the development of net-zero emission economies and the worldwide shift to sustainable energy. Its production from clean power allows a reduction in emissions in industries where previous methods have failed. A limited number of industrial uses exist for it presently, and the costs associated with producing and using it cleanly make it more expensive than other fossil fuel options, however, clean hydrogen is gaining support from the public and business sectors. Numerous governments have formed national hydrogen agendas; thus, the situation is quickly evolving. An environmentally friendly hydrogen economy is feasible with continued technological advancements and price cuts.

Hydrogen has the potential to play a pivotal role in addressing serious energy issues. Evidence from the growth of the renewable energy sector and the electric car market in recent years demonstrates that innovative policy and technology can create robust clean energy markets throughout the world.

Hydrogen is quickly becoming one of the most promising solutions for storing renewable energy, and hydrogen-based fuels provide the promise of transmitting this energy across great distances, from places with an abundance of energy resources to those with a severe deficiency. Power is turned into hydrogen gas using hydrogen energy storage, which is another type of chemical energy storage. The gas can then be used as fuel in an internal combustion engine or fuel cell to recover the stored energy. The electrolysis of water is a simple process that may be carried out with reasonably high efficiency assuming inexpensive power is available, allowing for the production of hydrogen from energy. To produce hydrogen from renewable and nuclear sources without emitting carbon dioxide, electrolysis is a viable approach. Electrolysis is a method of separating hydrogen and oxygen from water using an electric current. An electrolyzer is the device where this transformation takes place. Electrolyzers come in a wide variety of sizes, from little appliances designed for dispersed hydrogen production to massive, centralized plants that might be directly linked to renewable or other non-greenhouse gas-emitting types of energy generation.

The next step is to put the hydrogen somewhere safe; huge quantities may be buried in caves, while lesser quantities could be kept in steel containers. Piston engines, gas turbines, and hydrogen fuel cells may all use hydrogen as fuel, with the latter providing the highest efficiency. As the gas is the foundation of the hydrogen economy, which sees it replacing fossil fuel in many combustion applications, hydrogen energy storage is of interest. A hydrogen economy is one in which hydrogen is used as a commercial fuel to provide a sizable portion of a country's energy needs.

Clean hydrogen is a critical component of the coming energy revolution. To decarbonize sectors that are difficult to electrify — like heavy industry, shipping, and aviation — we must first accelerate the deployment of renewable electricity to decarbonize existing power systems, then accelerate electrification of the energy sector to leverage low-cost renewable electricity. As a tool to decarbonize heavy industries, long-haul freight, shipping, and aviation, green hydrogen was highlighted in several emission reduction promises at the United Nations Climate Conference, COP26. Hydrogen has been recognized by both governments and industry as a crucial component of a zero-sum economy. Mining, energy, car, equipment manufacturing, and banking industries, among others, have made commitments across all three areas of demand, supply, financial or technical support.

The United Nations' Green Hydrogen Catapult, which aims to reduce the price of green hydrogen, has increased its target for green electrolysers from 25 gigawatts in 2018 to 45 gigawatts by 2027. Energy security for all European residents has been prioritized, thus the European Commission has published a package of legislative measures to decarbonize the EU gas market by encouraging the use of renewable and low-carbon gases like hydrogen. With regulation and directive measures, the Commission paves the way for a transition away from natural gas and toward renewable and low-carbon gases which in turn increase the gas system's resilience. The establishment of a hydrogen market, a favorable business climate, and the construction of a specialized infrastructure, including those needed to facilitate commerce with other nations, are all essential objectives.

Japan recently announced it will invest $3.4 billion from its green innovation fund to accelerate research, development, and promotion of hydrogen use over the next ten years; the United Arab Emirates is also raising ambitions, with the country's new hydrogen strategy aiming to hold a fourth of the global low-carbon hydrogen market by 2030.

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