Blog from Jane Marsh: Will Clean Hydrogen Be Cost-Competitive by 2030?

As the eco-conscious movement expands, environmental scientists must access sustainable growth in the renewable energy industry. President Biden acknowledged the necessity for expansion and developed the Build Back Better plan. His plan allocates trillions of dollars to clean energy development and employment.

A significant portion of research and production occurs in the solar power sector because of media influences. Displaced attention leaves other clean energy sources, like hydrogen, in the dark. Fortunately, recent government influences promote industry-wide development, decreasing adverse environmental impacts.

The Colors of Hydrogen

Hydrogen is an extensively discussed fuel source for its zero-emission combustion properties. Nearly 95% of our global source derives from grey hydrogen. Fossil fuels, like coal and natural gas, power its production.

Steam reforming separates carbon from hydrogen, generating 9.3 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions. The process attains no sustainability measures, such as carbon capturing. Instead, excess emissions pollute the atmosphere, causing the enhanced greenhouse effect.

Green hydrogen offers a sustainable solution to high emission power sources. It derives from renewable energy rather than fossil fuels. Unlike grey hydrogen, it has a significantly smaller carbon footprint.

When obtained from solar or wind power, hydrogen becomes a renewable energy source. Unfortunately, green hydrogen only comprises 1% of the global hydrogen supply.

If we expand the renewable energy industry, we can increase the hydrogen supply sustainability. Enhancing development may promote technological advancements, conserving environmental resources. The limiting factor interfering with the green hydrogen industry’s growth is its cost.

Renewable Energy Advancements

Because green hydrogen is more expensive than grey hydrogen, adopting national carbon neutrality is challenging. Fortunately, Environmental engineers and scientists are developing new technology, lower the price of clean energy. Electrolyzer advancements are significantly reducing all hydrogen prices.

Since 2010, electrolyzer prices have dropped 60% and will continue to decrease. When evaluating the cost-competitiveness of green hydrogen against fossil fuel energy, we must examine all possible cost reduction elements. Renewable power prices may additionally reduce, aiding in clean hydrogen’s cost-effectiveness.

Since its initial development, solar power prices have significantly dropped. Solar generated electricity costs three cents per kilowatt-hour, and fossil fuel-derived electricity reaches up to 17 cents per kilowatt-hour. As renewable energy prices decrease, the cost of green hydrogen will follow.

Projected technological advancements will decrease green hydrogen prices below two dollars by the next decade. Cost-competitive alterations can reduce the global footprint, increase climate change prevention and increase financial savings.

Green Hydrogen Applications

Green hydrogen’s high costs decrease its residential and commercial use. Fortunately, as its cost-competitiveness increases, society can experience its environmental and financial benefits. Everywhere, individuals use renewable energy technology to shrink their carbon footprint and utility bills.

Heating comprises a significant portion of a structure’s energy costs. Some residents harness solar energy, fueling their water heater and eliminating a part of their utility bills. As green hydrogen prices drop, individuals may additionally reduce home energy costs, powering their properties with renewable energy.

Advancements may also increase the number of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the roads. The electric cars generate zero tailpipe emissions, and the alternative fuel vehicle tax credit increases their cost-effectiveness. We may also utilize the technology to develop a carbon-neutral public transportation industry.

Renewable Energy Government Assistance

Since President Biden entered office, he changed the renewable energy tax incentives. Biden utilized the Build Back Better funding to extend various credits, promoting purchases and technological development. Though hydrogen has no specific incentives, the fuel cell sector does.

Hydrogen fuel cell energy purchases provide a 26% credit until 2023. Increasing the affordability of hydrogen-driven systems supports the industry’s growth. As more individuals invest in the renewable energy source, its price will drop.

Influencing Clean Hydrogen Growth

In American, we can vote with our dollars. Each citizen holds influential power over the market. You can promote green hydrogens expansion and price deduction by investing in its technology and production companies.

Increasing the demand for renewable energy will fund technological advancements and cost-competitive alterations. With eco-consumer aid, the green hydrogen industry can replace a portion of fossil fuels by 2030.

 

About the author: Jane works as an environmental and energy writer. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co.

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