Why is hydrogen so good for the planet?
TO TACKLE climate change, society needs to cut its reliance on fossil fuels – and seek alternative, affordable and sustainable forms of energy.
Hydrogen is a strong candidate.
It has the potential to play a hugely significant role in helping us along the road to a net zero economy because its only emission, when burned or used in a fuel cell, is water.
Hydrogen can also be used to store renewable energy, which means it could be created from green energy when the wind is blowing, stored and then used as energy when the wind stops.
It has been described as the ‘Heineken’ of fuels because of all the parts it can reach – industry, transport and the home, which are the three biggest CO2 polluters.
Industry has been safely using hydrogen for many decades, but now it could be used more widely by other sectors.
HGVs, which are currently responsible for about 70% of all emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, could easily run on hydrogen fuel cells. So too could trains, buses and construction vehicles, which could, and are, already making the switch.
And in the home, hydrogen could be added to natural gas to reduce emissions by up to 20%. Longer term, using 100% hydrogen will require the use of new boilers, but that is a cost-efficient solution compared to the alternative of heat pumps.
Radical changes are needed if we are to decarbonise energy across the world.
The question is how. The answer is hydrogen.