The key player in the race for decarbonization

Witten by Asier Aramburu, Climate Change RENEN Manager.

In order to effectively advance in reducing the emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHG), the way in which energy is produced and consumed in the world must undergo radical changes. Currently, three quarters of GHG emissions correspond to the energy sector, mainly due to the use of fossil fuels. Although various competitive technologies based on renewable energies have been developed, there are sectors in which their capacity to mitigate GHG is very limited. This fact makes it necessary to develop complementary solutions to decarbonise sectors and applications in which electricity is not cost-efficient, accessible or feasible.

One of the most promising alternatives is based on the large-scale production and use of hydrogen, a gas known and used since the beginning of the industrial era. However, the massive use of this molecule has not been viable until now, thanks to the green hydrogen, the one that is produced through the electrolysis of water. This process is based on the separation of the water molecule into hydrogen and oxygen through the application of electricity from renewable sources. For this reason, production costs are highly dependent on the price of energy. Thus, the massification of renewable energies has allowed the commercial exploitation of this technology to become viable.

On the other hand, it has multiple applications, from domestic natural gas networks to fuel replacement for buses, trucks or ships. Its main advantage: when it burns, it only leaves water steam as a residue. The mechanism is simple: hydrogen reacts with air, generating energy and releasing water.

Attracted by its multiple benefits, an increasing number of countries are betting on its development. Germany is one of the main leaders as it has already committed to invest US $ 10.6 billion to create a local production of green hydrogen. Spain has also joined this race through a National Strategy that seeks to build 4 GW of green hydrogen capacity by 2030.

These efforts will be also supported by the European Post-COVID-19 Recovery Fund that focuses on clean investments, including green hydrogen. This plan is transferred to Spain by using more than 1,500 million euros until 2023 to boost renewable hydrogen.

In Latin America, Chile is leading this development and has just published its National Green Hydrogen Strategy which aims to achieve 5 GW capacity by 2025 (built or developing) and 200 kton/year of production and an installed capacity of 25 GW by 2030.

ALLCOT also wants to lead this sector, so it is actively supporting companies that are developing pilot projects for the production and use of green hydrogen. Due to their innovative nature, these projects require alternative income sources to be able to reach the financial sector. ALLCOT can go hand in hand with these companies so that they can generate carbon credits from GHG emission reductions. Thus, it can be an essential support to enable green hydrogen projects that can then be scalable and replicable.

Thanks to these first projects, progress will be made to get economies of scale that allow reducing costs, encouraging the creation of innovative industrial value chains, promoting technological knowledge and generating sustainable jobs, contributing with all of these to the reactivation of a green high added value economy.

Hydrogen can be a key player in the complete decarbonization of the economy. Its application in sectors where electrification is not cost efficient makes it an extremely competitive technology that has already been included in many NDCs[1]. ALLCOT, as a veteran company in developing climate change mitigation projects, is committed to develop this technology so that its full potential is reached, and progress is made in the fight against climate change and in the achievement of the Development Goals Sustainable (ODS).

[1]Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are a series of measures and actions which countries that are party to the Paris Agreement plan to take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

David Poveda