Study: Global hydrogen use increasing far too slowly

The Norwegian quality assurance and risk management company DNV has presented a report on the use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of the global energy system. According to the report, the production and use of hydrogen is progressing far too slowly to meet the Paris climate targets: »Governments need to make urgent, significant policy interventions.«
The report »Hydrogen Forecast to 2050« predicts that hydrogen will contribute only 0.5 percent to the global energy mix in 2030 and about 5 percent in 2050. However, 15 percent would be necessary by 2050 to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.
Toward the middle of the century, »green« hydrogen is expected to account for 72 percent of the production volume. To supply the electrolysis capacity of around 3,100 gigawatts needed for this, the total capacity available today from solar and wind energy would have to be more than doubled. According to the report, as renewable energy plants are expanded, »blue« hydrogen from natural gas is likely to become less important.
To transport the hydrogen, DNV estimates that more than 50 percent of the world’s existing natural gas pipelines will be converted because it is 65 to 90 percent less expensive than building new ones. Hydrogen will be transported by pipelines »up to medium distances within and between countries, but not between continents«. Global hydrogen will prove rather unattractive due to »the high cost of liquefying hydrogen for ship transport and the low energy density of hydrogen«. The hydrogen derivative ammonia, on the other hand, will be traded globally because it is more stable and easier to transport by ship.
The study is available for free download on the DNV website.

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