Markets - 17/June/2019

The business case for hydrogen remains elusive

Questions around definitions, targets and the funding of green hydrogen in Europe still need answering

Costs for hydrogen produced from renewable energy through electrolysis are coming down and the technology is increasingly heralded as a clean energy carrier for the future, but there are hurdles to overcome before a clear business case for green hydrogen can be made


Cost: Experts forecast that by 2030 the falling cost of both renewable energy and electrolysis technology could make production of green hydrogen as cheap as chemically synthesising grey hydrogen from fossil fuel gas

Needs: For hydrogen made from renewable energy to be competitive with alternatives the technology requires an abundant supply of cheap green energy, a high carbon price on fossil fuels and supportive regulation

Key quote: “Hydrogen can be a winner in the energy transition if industry works with us, if we are smart enough to set the right framework and we move hydrogen out of the niche market where it is stuck today into a broader mainstream.”


Hydrogen is not the future, it is the now, insists Thierry Lepercq from Solairestream, a French company. “We are at the tipping point,” he says. Once green hydrogen can be produced at $1.5 a kilogram, it becomes a competitive option as an energy carrier if fossil fuels, from which hydrogen is traditionally derived, are loaded with a “reasonable carbon price”. Lepercq was speaking at a workshop organised by SolarPowerEurope in Brussels at the end of May 2019. ...

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