Hydrogen: the key to a zero-carbon energy system

Excerpt from mottmac.com

It’s 2050 and the world has risen magnificently to the challenge of halting climate change. Globally, an affordable and workable zero-carbon energy system has been created, with hydrogen providing the backbone.

Hydrogen is an essential counterpart to renewable generation, providing a means of storing energy to overcome intermittency and balance supply with demand. It is also supremely versatile, meeting electricity supply, transportation, industrial and domestic needs.

Developing a hydrogen-based energy system will not be easy, however. Several technical, policy and investment steps are still needed to evolve the hydrogen industry, alongside continued rapid expansion of renewables.

This is the first of three articles looking at the issues that must be addressed.

Hurdling barriers to renewable generation

The debate over manmade global warming has been won almost everywhere. The 2015 Paris Agreement was signed by 195 nations – very nearly every country in the world. When it comes to action to implement the Paris Agreement, European nations are most advanced. Many are working out the best way of transitioning to a zero-carbon energy system by 2050. However, the falling cost of renewables, and solar photovoltaics especially, has seen a surge in zero carbon electricity generation.

In 2018, nearly two thirds of all new power generation capacity added worldwide was from renewables; at the end of the year total renewable energy generation capacity reached 2351GW, around a third of total installed electricity capacity.*