Hydrogen: How to make it, move it and use it

President Biden wants to expand it. Oil and gas companies think they can sell it. And many climate experts believe it may be the key to greening heavy industry.

Hydrogen.

Earlier this week, the International Energy Agency reported that the world will need to install three hydrogen-fueled factories and 2 gigawatts of hydrogen electrolyzers every month after 2030 to have a shot at net-zero emissions by 2050 (Energywire, May 18).

Hydrogen, in other words, has huge potential for decarbonizing the economy. It can also be used as a transportation fuel and potentially as backup for renewables on the electric grid.

The world has seen this type of hydrogen hype before. And yet much of the technology is still not commercially competitive. Most energy modelers think green hydrogen — the kind that’s made with renewable power — will begin playing a larger role after 2030.

So is the promise of hydrogen different this time? Will it lead to revolutionary changes in the energy sector? And can it be the climate solution people are hoping for?

To answer those questions, E&E News spoke with Dave Edwards, U.S. director for hydrogen energy at Air Liquide. The French industrial giant sells gas to industrial customers like chemical plants and oil refineries.

The company last year installed a 20-megawatt electrolyzer in Bécancour, Quebec. That made it the world’s largest green hydrogen facility at the time. Edwards spoke to E&E News about the Bécancour project, the future of green hydrogen and the challenges facing the technology.

Read more here.