Hydrogen is undoubtedly becoming the big agenda ticket within any Energy Transition. It is the promise of being a central pillar for many parts of the world to achieve their decarbonization targets to get as close as they can to zero carbon by mid-century.
Hydrogen seems to hold, it seems, such a promise, but it is nearly all to do. There is so much to validate, prove, and certainly scale. We have some exciting pilots, even some emerging commercial-scale projects.
Still, these pilots or pockets of limited commercialization are not connected up or integrated into a Hydrogen Economy. So far we are not able to scale sufficiently to generate that same unstoppable momentum that Wind and Solar as sustainable renewables are achieving, in dislodging fossil fuels.
Today we do not yet have a Hydrogen infrastructure, market and price competitiveness, or overarching policies to build into a movement that shifts the energy needle.
At their own admission, it has been three years since they (IEA) released its last Energy Technology Perspective (ETP) report. Although they argue they have been reflecting on the critical technology challenges, it is way overdue.
IEA will further follow up later this year with a flagship ETP 2020 publication later in the year to keep a tighter and more consistent focus on the role and need of innovation to accelerate clean energy transitions.
There is a real urgency that we transform our energy systems.
Where can innovation help within the Energy Transition to rapidly advance it?
The opening answer is everywhere within the energy system. Technological and systemic innovation is incredibly important to the end-user sectors of transport, industry, and buildings, as well as replacing and upgrading much of the overall system design and operation to generate increased electrification.
We need to digitalize our grid services, provide new concepts for the grid and local storage, provide improved smart charging for electric vehicles, add different ways of building into the energy system the idea of mini-grids.
Each day there seems some level of innovation development, but my aim here is not to list these or where they need to go in future but to take a broader view of where and how innovation can help in general terms within the energy transition. We all need a sense of bearing or a compass that shows us the way. Our job is is “spark” and ignite innovation within the Energy Transition. To give innovation more resources and support. Continue reading “The Spark of Innovation will deliver the Energy Transition”
In recent months I have become totally “wrapped up” in the energy transition occurring across the world. The whole transformation we are undertaking is not just for our energy sake; it is for more for our climate sake and having a sustainable future.
Energy is one of the critical drivers of our well-being, providing one of the essentials to survive and thrive. We need water, food, air, shelter, and sleep, and our source of energy underpins all of these as the energy transition in its solutions are aimed at cleaning up our climate and environment before it is too late and give us more energy to power the next growth cycle.
The Hydrogen transition story is still in its early days of becoming a sustainable part of the solutions we need to decarbonize the planet.
Although the use of Hydrogen has been around for years, it is the potential to replace other energy sources at an industrial scale that is exciting. The execution of Hydrogen solutions is a real imperative for this decade to validate and demonstrate.
We need Hydrogen solutions across so many industrial applications as well as a significant contributor to reducing heat in buildings or powering up our vehicles.
What I can see in the Hydrogen story is all technically feasible, but I am having several concerns on the pathway to delivery.
I get conflicting messages and feel some underlying tensions are occurring between those fighting to keep grey or brown Hydrogen, blue Hydrogen, and debating when they can go to green Hydrogen. It needs resolving and arguably phasing correctly. This is a “brewing battle” that will not be resolved in the confines of the Hydrogen Council, or, will it as they position themselves as the Hydrogen Ecosystem orchestrator?
Here in this post, I want to ‘walk’ through the shades of Hydrogen and their differences, moving to the solutions being offered to expand our use of hydrogen.
Then I want to offer a second post following, on discussions around Electrolysers and Carbon Capture, and the need to utilize or store as “hot” issues to be resolved. The present decade has been termed “the Hydrogen Decade,” but the road to travel is both bumpy, uncomfortable, and demanding to navigate.
I continue my Hydrogen journey. Recently I have leaned heavily on six great sources of Hydrogen knowledge to relate to the complexities with the Hydrogen story, as part of the Energy Transition we are all undertaking.
Absorbing reports from the IEA, IRENA, Bloomberg NEF, the Hydrogen Council DNV GL, and finally, Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy has helped me understand and relate to all the complexities within what Hydrogen offers in solutions. There have been countless others contributing their reports, views, or articles that I have read, tried to absorb, and relate too.
I set out to get a better picture of Hydrogens’ potential through some thoughts I offered in a recent post of applying a three-horizon lens to the understanding of any energy transition, and the one for Hydrogen has still to be finalized. Here in this post, I continue to frame the complexities within the challenges.
Something that will take thirty to forty years to turn from being ambitious and full of intent into realization is hard to relate too. Hydrogen is one of those promised solutions that can potentially allow us to achieve our “net-zero” carbon ambitions that have been “set in stone” (The Paris Agreement) dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, signed in 2016 that we need to achieve by 2050.
Hydrogen is becoming a central pillar for many countries across the world to help achieve their targets to this net-zero by mid-century. Hydrogen holds, it seems, such a promise, but it is nearly all to do. There is so much to validate, prove, and certainly scale to make a real impact on changing the sources of our energy.
The more you investigate Hydrogen, the more you realize the complexity of making it a viable energy source of sufficient scale. One that will really deliver the suggested results that Hydrogen could meet 24% of the worlds final energy demands by 2050. Today it provides around 1%. To change our energy systems reliant on Oil, Gas, Coal, and make these renewables based on Solar, Wind, and Water separation is at a level of magnitude is hard to imagine.
I strongly relate to Smart Cities or Smart Infrastructure as the grouping area dealing with the business dealing with the Edge for final energy transmission or the final beneficiary, the Consumer but I do relate to Urban Development as a “greater” catch-all for thinking a little wider on the potential to engage far more.
There is so much potential in technology currently being invested in our cities and their infrastructures. There are many estimates of this investment, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, they estimated that cities around the world would need to double current infrastructure investments from $10 to $20 trillion annually, to build the necessary physical infrastructure to support growing populations and needs.