The energy transition really needs a big boost. Hydrogen can make an important contribution to this. Collaboration is essential in order to be able to use hydrogen successfully, for example, to contribute to CO2 reduction in industry, e-fuels for aircraft and use in the built environment.
What is hydrogen?
Hydrogen is the most common element in our universe. Under normal circumstances it is gaseous and we speak of hydrogen gas (H2). Hydrogen is also the lightest gas we know, but under high pressure it does have a high energy density of 120 megajoules (MJ) per kg. That is almost three times as much as natural gas (45 MJ per kg). Pressurising (compressing) hydrogen gas, however, also requires the necessary energy (about 10%).
What role does hydrogen play in the energy transition?
In our current energy mix, approximately 20% is supplied in the form of electricity and 80% in the form of natural gas or liquid fossil fuel (petrol, diesel). Our climate targets are going to change this situation considerably in the near future. The share of electricity generated by wind and solar power will increase sharply. For a number of applications such as heavy transport, high-temperature processes in industry and aviation, a good electrical solution is still lacking and there is still a need for a sustainable gas. Hydrogen can play a useful role here. In addition, hydrogen is important in the form of large-scale storage for those moments when it is windless and cloudy.
What are we going to use hydrogen for?
Hydrogen is particularly important for the process industry. It is now mainly used for the production of fertiliser but in the future it can also be used for high-temperature processes such as steel production for which natural gas or coal is now used. In addition, hydrogen will play a role in mobility, for example for intercity buses that have to cover longer distances and where electric driving is not a solution.
If you want to know more detailed information about hydrogen, such as the difference between blue, green and turquoise hydrogen, and which countries work with hydrogen, look here.