Hydrogen is an abundant, zero-carbon emitting gas that can displace fossil fuels as a feedstock or fuel source. It’s important because it can decarbonise a variety of emission sources, especially in heavy industry and heavy transport which account for around 40 per cent of total carbon emissions.1
And yet, hydrogen is just around ~60 Mt or less than 5 per cent of total global annual energy consumption and is consumed primarily by the oil and gas sector.2 A rapid expansion of the hydrogen economy will be required to achieve the figures forecasted by the Hydrogen Council, where it could constitute up to 18 per cent of total global energy consumption in a low carbon economy. This would indicate a 10-fold increase in production from current levels.3 This report by the Energy Transitions Commission outlines the requirements necessary to deliver hydrogen’s large scale expansion and examines its potential end-use cases in heavy industry and heavy transport, where it has the potential to constitute up to ~30 per cent of their total energy consumption.
1 Energy Transitions Commission: ‘Electricity, hydrogen and hydrogen based fuels in zero carbon economy – consultation paper’ (2019)
2 IEA 2019
3 Energy Transitions Commission: ‘Electricity, hydrogen and hydrogen based fuels in zero carbon economy – consultation paper’ (2019)