Net zero targets cannot be achieved without green hydrogen, according to a report.
In late December, the Edison Group published a paper, The Hydrogen Economy – Decarbonising the Final 20%, in which it set out how while renewable power and battery storage will address sections of the transport and power sectors, gaps remain where hydrogen can fill in. This would be in hard to reach sectors, such as steelmaking, residential and commercial heating, long-distance road freight, shipping and aviation, where hydrogen’s high energy to mass ratio and low losses during transportation and storage make it an ideal fit.
As it stands, neither renewable hydrogen nor fossil-based hydrogen with carbon capture are cost competitive with solely fossil-based hydrogen. Costs for renewable hydrogen are falling, though, with investment in hydrogen technology and capacity accelerating over the last year. Electrolyser costs have fallen 60% over the last 10 years and the report forecast that, in regions with cheap renewable electricity, electrolysers will be competitive with fossil-based hydrogen by 2030, with the cost of fuel cells also anticipated to fall.
However, these reductions will only be realised if governments provide investment in infrastructure, R&D as well as an enabling regulatory framework to explicitly encourage hydrogen adoption and deliver the scale required to drive down costs.