The bravest recovery strategies will invest robustly in new yet-to-take-off clean energy technologies. If you are going to have to spend hundreds of billions to revive your economy isn’t it better to replace the old with the new rather than prop up what you’ll have to abandon soon anyway? In anticipation of that happening, new technologies are lining up. Here, Cédric Philibert at the IFRI Centre for Energy & Climate summarises their detailed report that makes the case for clean hydrogen. Though production costs are declining, large scale demand will still be needed to make it cost effective. That means policies that guarantee customers, supported by transport and distribution infrastructure, and more clean electricity capacity to fuel the hydrogen production. Immediate large-scale customers (for hydrogen as a feedstock raw material) can be fuel refineries and (via ammonia and methanol) agriculture, mining and industry, cutting their carbon inputs. As economies of scale are in sight, use as a fuel for long-haul trucks, shipping and aviation would be next. Plugging into the power sector, via sector coupling with the gas infrastructure, can be a target for 2035. Philibert explains that support for hydrogen clusters, evidence-based roadmaps and demonstration projects will be needed to build knowledge in Europe and realise clean hydrogen’s full potential. There is now a wide understanding that larger use of clean hydrogen in future can be an important means to achieve decarbonisation of the European economy. A robust, cost-effective European hydrogen strategy could become a pillar of an EU economic recovery plan which should, in line with the Green Deal, accelerate the decarbonisation of European economies.
Energy Post 6th May 2020 read more »