The societal shift in de-carbonising the energy system should give the integration of green hydrogen into renewable production a prime position on the agenda. Wind and solar are ideal technologies to produce a renewable hydrogen, with a greenhouse gas emission of virtually zero during its production.
In addition to playing a role in de-carbonization, onsite hydrogen production could also offer a solution to an overloaded grid and provide an alternative or supplemental route to market.
The applications for green hydrogen in industry (de-carbonising industrial processes) and powering heavy goods vehicles, along with its long storage life, make it an ideal pairing for wind and solar generation. In order to future-proof projects, wind and solar developers need to be making provision for potential hydrogen production, storage and export as part of their site assemblies, as co-location may well prove to be a key consideration to ensure the future viability of projects.
The success of all renewable energy production and carbon reduction has always depended on policy, and green hydrogen in the UK has a long way to go.
The EU Commission has already taken the lead this week by launching a €1billion innovation fund:
“The EU will invest €1 billion in promising, market-ready projects such as clean hydrogen or other low-carbon solutions for energy-intensive industries like steel, cement and chemicals. We will also support energy storage, grid solutions, and carbon capture and storage. These large-scale investments will help restart the EU economy and create a green recovery that leads us to climate neutrality in 2050.” Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_1250
The eligibility of UK based projects for this fund will however depend on the post-Brexit relations.
Germany is also leading the way:
“hydrogen production through electrolysis requires dedicated policy support to bridge the cost gap vis-a-vis fossil gas”, says Matthias Deutsch from German think tank Agora Energiewende. Experts are converging on the idea of Carbon Contracts for Difference, which would guarantee investors in green hydrogen projects a price for CO2 emissions above the EU carbon market price. Germany intends to pilot this for steel and chemicals production." https://www.power-technology.com/features/hydrogen-is-the-next-renewables-story/
If the UK government's green recovery plan is to be realized, it needs to put green hydrogen at the heart of its agenda.
“Conversion to hydrogen is a kind of hedging for a renewables investor,” says head of new business at Mitsubishi Power Europe Emmanouil Kakaras. “We are creating a new commodity,” asserts Jorgo Chatzimarkakis of Hydrogen Europe, the European industry association for hydrogen. “It is not a fossil fuel but tradable globally like oil and gas. We want Europe to be the central marketplace for this new commodity.” “Energy efficiency, renewables and direct electrification are the bulk solutions,” says Dries Acke, head of energy at the European Climate Foundation think tank. “Hydrogen is essential to get to net zero in certain sectors like industry, but we are talking about the last 20% of emission reductions.”