You are currently viewing Green Hydrogen is horrible for transportation but amazing for backup energy storage in 2030!

Green Hydrogen is horrible for transportation but amazing for backup energy storage in 2030!

If Green Hydrogen would be used as backup energy storage, social acceptance/ public support for the development of green hydrogen technologies/ economy would increase.

The economics of Green Hydrogen is rapidly changing as developments keep occurring, however, one can look at some of the latest data to have an idea of where mankind currently stands with Green Hydrogen. To get a better idea of the economics of green hydrogen, one must have a look at the current production cost for Green Hydrogen and then comparing it with other entities.
As you can see here below, Green Hydrogen is not that cheap. And the production cost varies per method.


Comparison of different Hydrogen Production methods Luvioni

(Comparison of different Hydrogen Production methods{Calise et al., 2019})

Green Hydrogen production can even become cheaper than fossil fuel produced Hydrogen in the future. Please have look at the graph below to see the timeline of Green hydrogen production costs in comparison to grey and blue hydrogen. By 2030, green hydrogen is forecasted to be on the same level (cost-wise) to grey and blue hydrogen, while as early as 2050, Green hydrogen is forecasted to be around 1% cheaper than grey and blue hydrogen.


green hydrogen cost decline in the future Luvioni

(Green Hydrogen Future Competitive Pricing {Anouti, Elborai, Kombargi and Hage, 2020})

Having green hydrogen being cheaper than traditional energy carriers that use fossil fuels, it can pave the way for green hydrogen technology. Just think about it, why would companies pay more for, for example, a diesel-run back-up-generator when a hydrogen backup generator would be cheaper. It would also look better for example, when sustainable companies use a more sustainable approach and even better when this approach is cheaper.
Countries may see this as an obvious opportunity and possibility to create a green hydrogen economy. When you combine these economical forecasts with countries that can take advantage of these future developments and is in an optimal position to adopt it to realise a green hydrogen economy.
It can be argued that green hydrogen is necessary to achieve the Dutch governmental goals of reducing the worlds’ greenhouse gas emissions by 49% by 2030, compared to 1990 and a 95% reduction before the end of 2050. 

The world has an optimal position of having hydrogen everywhere.  The world currently already has a large-scale green electricity production, with most wind farms, has a vast knowledge with infrastructure, has experience with importing green electricity and has a vast network of gas infrastructure, which can be repurposed for the transport of green hydrogen. 

Businesses/industries will be the largest consumers of green hydrogen, the total market of green hydrogen is currently estimated at 2,100,000 tons of hydrogen in some countries, of which 270,000 tons will be produced in the Northern Netherlands annually as they are currently the hydrogen hub of the world. This produced hydrogen could be used predominantly for the production of green ammonia and green methanol. 

Green Hydrogen compared to a fully electric battery vehicle

Hydrogen compared to electric drive Luvioni

(Hydrogen compared to electric drive, {battery or fuel cell, that is the question, 2020})

One of the most efficient and sustainable ways to generate green hydrogen power is through electrolysis. It is a convenient method to store the fluctuating energy supplies from renewable energy sources. The underlying reason for the advancements in electrolysis and fuel cell performances is the development of functional nanomaterial technologies.

Samuelsen, Shaffer, Grigg, Lane, and Reed (2020) have researched the functionality of a hydrogen refuelling station network in California. It has concluded that technical problems are mainly related to the compressor and dispenser. However, the number of technical issues is shrinking. Furthermore, the fuelling rate of the stations is 0.9 kg/min. This is generally high, but it fails to meet the 2020 Department of Energy (DOE) target of 1.5 kg/min fuelling rate. Barely 1% of the refuelling events done meets this goal currently.

The efficiency of a Hydrogen car compared to an electric car, the electric car is about 45% more efficient. The electric vehicle, when implemented into the car industry, has to go through fewer steps than a Hydrogen and it can be argued that Hydrogen can lose its efficiency in any industry and any application making it less superior to a high capacity electric battery.

The efficiency when compared to gasoline or diesel is another story. The efficiency of a hydrogen engine exceeds that of a gasoline or diesel engine. According to research regarding liquid organic hydrogen carriers by Singh, Singh, and Gautam (2020), methanol could be a valid option for the hydrogen economy. The reason for this is that the element has the highest hydrogen energy storage. Moreover, methanol shows that it is capable to adhere to all three fields of application, mobile, energy transport, and energy storage applications. Additionally, it is capable of replacing current crude energy sources, for methanol-based hydrogen energy can be used with the current infrastructure. Hence, only small modifications to the current infrastructure are applied.

Green Hydrogen Production methods Luvioni

Green Hydrogen vs Oil Reserves

Besides the legal restrictions, vehicle manufactures have much interest in hydrogen energy. The reason for this is that humanity is depleting the Earth’s fossil fuels. The global oil reserve will deplete in approximately 30 years. Gas reserves will be drained in 50 years and the coal reserve of the world will be depleted in 90 years (Kuo, 2019). Currently, vehicle manufacturers have much power as they produce vehicles with fuel systems as they see fit. However, when the time comes, the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources must have occurred and the vehicle manufacturers are aware of this. Hydrogen vehicles are already in development, but the issue of efficiency remains. It is proven that electric vehicles are superior compared to hydrogen cars in terms of efficiency. Electric vehicles have an efficiency rate of 95%, whereas hydrogen cars are 38% efficient (Baxter, 2020). Nevertheless, hydrogen would be a competitive fuel base for heavy-duty vehicles, such as trucks and buses. The reason for this is the rapid refuelling time of hydrogen in comparison to the electric vehicle. Moreover, a truck has more space for a large hydrogen system than a regular car. Additionally, the high energy density of hydrogen is suitable for heavy-goods transport vehicles (Howden, n.d.).

When implementing the main strategy, green hydrogen companies should emphasize the importance of using green hydrogen as backup energy storage. This is due to green hydrogen having the most potential for this usage in the short-term and long-term traject. Green hydrogen as backup energy storage will catch on to be more popular as it is the most logical usage for it technically and financially/economically. When businesses can rely on green hydrogen on a large scale, this will trickle down to other businesses and even individuals in the world.

If you liked this blog post you might also like this one talking about solar energy.

Leave a Reply