Hydrogen is essential to get us to our goal of “net zero” emissions. And the hydrogen strategy published recently by the UK government brings us that much closer to using the resource to achieve that target. Renewable electricity will be a big part of our net zero world, as solar and wind power generation ramps up. The total share of our energy consumption that will come from renewable power in a fully decarbonised system will be well above 50 per cent. But there are some sectors of our economies which will be technically challenging or extremely expensive to fully electrify. Electricity cannot be used for industrial processes and it is expensive to use to generate the high heat that is often needed for production of materials like glass and ceramics, for instance. Batteries are heavy in proportion to the amount of energy they can store, which makes it hard to imagine direct electrification of long-range ships, aircraft and trucks. And winter heating requires storing energy for months at a time and on a grand scale – a challenge for which electricity doesn’t have a solution. Batteries were never designed to hold energy for long periods of time.
Independent 19th Sept 2021 read more »