Hydrogen is one of the key solutions that will allow us to achieve the ambitious climate goals set for 2030. Which perspective do the parties in the H-vision alliance have on hydrogen-based solutions for the industrial sector? And what do they expect in terms of their development, planning and introduction? Their vision in a nutshell…
The Paris Climate Agreement
The Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2016. Its objective? To limit global warming to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius, with 1.5 degrees as a target value. The Netherlands has translated this goal into a 49% reduction in its nationwide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Initially, the European Union formulated a minimum target of 40% lower carbon emissions by 2030, but it is now moving towards a 55% reduction compared to 1990. While ambitious, we need to achieve this target to protect the world against the consequences of climate change.
Important role for hydrogen
Hydrogen will play an important role in the creation of a future climate-neutral energy economy. A number of parties are working to establish zero-carbon hydrogen – also referred to as green hydrogen – as a basic energy carrier by 2050.
We can’t afford to wait
We expect it will take several decades until we can transition to full-scale industrial use of carbon-free hydrogen. At the same time, we need to keep pushing ahead. The international community has made a crucial climate agreement that are intended to put a timely halt to global warming, and the ‘carbon budget’ of our planet’s atmosphere is limited.
Substantial carbon savings with blue hydrogen
One solution that enables us to achieve a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 is the adoption of low-carbon hydrogen – also known as blue hydrogen.
High temperature applications
Low-carbon hydrogen is an exceptionally effective fuel for generating the high temperatures required for the industrial manufacturing of products. This energy carrier also forms a solid foundation for the reliable and flexible supply of power in an energy system. In concrete terms, this means that both heat and power capacities are highly adjustable.
Which ambition has H-vision set for itself?
'To jointly deliver a major contribution to our national climate goals, by substantially reducing the carbon emissions of the industrial sector – that’s our ambition!'
Few suitable alternatives
When it comes to industrial processes, there are few suitable alternatives to this type of hydrogen. On its own, electrification won’t be able to deliver the required high temperatures, and there is not enough capacity in terms of wind and solar power to satisfy demand. Moreover, electric power offers limited options when it comes to regulating capacity.
Developing blue and green in tandem
Both types of hydrogen – blue and green – will be developed and used side by side on our road towards a new, sustainable energy system. Because of higher purity – close to 100% – it seems wiser to initially use zero-carbon hydrogen as a feedstock for the chemical sector, for transport applications and for the production of clean fuels (desulphurisation).
Blue hydrogen crucial to attainment of climate goals
Burning zero-carbon hydrogen to generate heat and power should only be considered if it becomes available in large quantities, with a surplus as a result. The ambitious climate goals set for 2030 appear impossible to achieve without utilising low-carbon hydrogen as an industrial fuel.