Publié le 17/09/2021
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Cédric PHILIBERT

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.