Although “blue” hydrogen is cheaper today than “green” hydrogen the situation should reverse by 2030. Blue hydrogen is made from natural gas backed up by carbon capture and storage (a technology which struggles to be economically viable). Green hydrogen is made from water using renewable energy. “BloombergNEF expects renewable hydrogen to be cheaper by 2030 in all modelled countries, even those with cheap gas (such as the U.S.) and those with pricy renewable power (such as Japan and South Korea).”
Oil and gas companies are keen to make a profit and also to appear environmentally friendly. They are moving into the blue hydrogen space but run the risk of stranded assets if they don’t move quickly. BNEF is upping the stakes by setting 2030 as the cut off. Can they build a facility and make it pay within 8 years? The smart thing to do, in my opinion, would be to make it easy to convert plants from blue to green as technology (especially electrolyser costs) becomes cheaper to deploy.
“Even ‘grey’ hydrogen made using fossil fuels without CCS could cost more than green hydrogen by 2030 in 16 of the 28 countries BNEF modelled. This will unleash a tectonic shift in the hydrogen market.”
A report from IRENA has identified Australia as being in the best position to capitalise on this shift due to abundant renewable energy resources. Twiggy Forrest is banking on it, with billions of dollars to invest.
Just this week, the world’s first tanker of liquefied grey hydrogen was shipped from Victoria to Japan. It was the worst kind of grey — the hydrogen was made from liquefied brown coal. Although the environmentally conscious (including me) had a collective groan as Angus Taylor wished the tanker well, we must realize that may be proof that we can ship hydrogen whatever its source. There is some good news here if the ship can complete its voyage.
There are many problems to solve as we move into a green economy, but as each one is solved, the future is looking more and more sustainable for the citizens of earth, and more and more profitable for the captains of industry.
Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.