27th October 2022
According to Delvens, by 2050, there could be a total demand for green hydrogen of around 540 Mt, which would replace about 10.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent (or 38% of pre-pandemic global oil production) across a variety of industries, including heating, transportation, power generation, chemicals, and primary steel manufacturing. This is a component of a larger process of decarbonization that has accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, which has decreased the demand for hydrocarbons.
Delvens forecasts that by that time, the green hydrogen export business will be worth roughly USD 310 billion annually. Europe and East Asia will have the highest demand for green hydrogen due to their high fuel import costs as well as their heavy energy usage in the transportation, industrial, and heating sectors.
Other nations, though, are aware of the chance and have started to take action to take advantage of it. To promote their domestic green hydrogen industries, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, and the United States have all created national policies and made investments in programs. The GCC nations must move immediately if they hope to catch up.
High-yield renewable resources: A consistent year-round source of affordable, sustainable energy is necessary for the creation of green hydrogen. Some of the highest sun exposures are found in the GCC.
Large areas of barren, flat land: To partially meet the worldwide need for green hydrogen in 2050, nations will need to develop large-scale renewable energy generation. We predict that 4,700 gigawatts of additional capacity will be required, which is almost five times the current installed capacity globally.
Water: According to Delvens calculations, 5.6 trillion liters of deionized water will be needed in 2050 to supply the demand for green hydrogen. The GCC nations have easy access to seawater for this.
Low domestic consumption: Brazil, China, India, and the United States all fit the bill for producing green hydrogen on a huge scale and at a reasonable price. The majority of their production will be consumed domestically, limiting their ability to export. For their internal energy needs, electricity and gas are more affordable than hydrogen, thus Argentina, Australia, Canada, and Saudi Arabia may export the majority of the green hydrogen they produce.
Delvens estimates that the investments required to meet green hydrogen export demand in 2050 are around $2.1 trillion. Of this total, $1 trillion is needed to build the dedicated renewable energy capacity, $900 billion to set up the hydrogen conversion and export facilities, and $200 billion to develop the water electrolysis facilities
Less than 1% of the hydrogen produced in the United States is currently green hydrogen, which is also much more expensive than hydrogen produced from fossil fuels.
Hydrogen was given major priority when the Department of Energy (DOE) established the Energy Earthshots program in June 2021. By 2031, the Hydrogen Shot aims to cut the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to just $1 per kilogram (kg). Currently, the price of hydrogen when produced from natural gas is around $1.50/kg, but it costs over $5/kg when electrolyzing water with electricity to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen.
Hydrogen will be needed to decarbonize heavy industry and transportation sectors like steelmaking, metals production, maritime shipping, heavy-duty vehicles, and, in the long run, aircraft. Clean hydrogen can be used to reduce between four and six percent of U.S. emissions alone from these regions.
The United States remains significantly reliant on fossil fuels for its energy needs. The Biden-Harris administration has set a long-term goal of achieving net-zero emissions for the entire economy by 2050 and a short-term target of a 50–52% decrease in emissions by 2030. By 2035, the administration hopes to have an entirely carbon-free electric grid.
More than 400 projects are now being funded by the DOE Hydrogen Project for more than 200 businesses, universities, and 15 national labs. These financial awards have an annual budget between $100 million and $400 million.
The objective of DOE is to speed up research and development, cut costs, and establish hydrogen hubs and long-term demonstrations.
As opposed to electrolysis, the current method of producing hydrogen from methane is responsible for about 2% of all emissions in the United States.
By 2020's midpoint, RMI aims to achieve $2/kg of green hydrogen, and by 2030, $1/kg. At the $1/kg level, green hydrogen competes with or outperforms grey hydrogen. The $2/kg threshold is viewed as an inflection point at which numerous end applications become economically viable.
What factors should be taken into account when developing hydrogen infrastructure?
What can the United States learn from what other nations are doing to deploy green hydrogen?
What has the greatest potential for releasing green hydrogen?
What potential do the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act's funding and program provisions have?
Do we need to take into account any applications that are being used elsewhere?