After the Hydrogen Bubble Bursts: The Factors Shaping and Possibly Unfolding International Hydrogen Value Chains Briefings de l'Ifri, September 17, 2021
The laws of physics and the geographic realities will prevail over the myths of hydrogen (H2): it will essentially be delivering carbon-neutral feedstocks to the chemical and steelmaking industries, carbon-neutral fuels to shipping and aviation, and eventually ensuring security in fully decarbonized power grids.
• Blue or turquoise H2 produced from natural gas in either electrified steam methane reformer or plasma methane crackers may have a transitory role to play, sparing scarce renewable electricity before sufficient electricity-generating capacities get deployed globally to replace fossil-based electricity and direct fossil fuel use in buildings, industries, and transports.
• Blue and turquoise H2 would best be produced next to the point of use. Green H2-based feedstocks and fuels would be produced at lower costs in countries with bountiful renewable resources and exported to regions with high energy demand density.
• Rather than deploying domestic green H2 production forcefully, European governments should help more renewables-blessed countries engage in the supply of green H2-based feedstocks and fuels. H2 production in European countries may grow much less than often claimed, or even shrink, as it gets decarbonized globally.
• The deployment of renewables and the electrification of almost everything remain the highest priorities.