Sunday, June 28, 2020

Asia: "Hydrogen: A game-changer for Asean"

A deep dive from the Bangkok Post, June 25:
For the past two decades, hydrogen has rarely been mentioned by proponents of renewable energy although it is frequently used in the ammonia production, petrochemical and oil refining industries.
However, recently the adoption of hydrogen usage has been accelerating in all sectors as it is versatile and can be produced from many energy sources. Hydrogen fuels thus present an untapped potential as a clean form of energy if the world embraces its adoption and usage.

Currently, the annual production of hydrogen is about 120 million tonnes globally, of which two-thirds is pure hydrogen and one-third is mixed with other gases. Hydrogen is a clean energy source which can be produced from either fossil fuels or renewables.

As of today, about 95% of hydrogen is produced from coal and gas -- known as "grey hydrogen", and only small amounts are produced with Carbon Capture, Sequestration and Storage (CCS) -- known as "blue hydrogen". Less than 5% of total hydrogen production is produced from renewables -- "green hydrogen".

Reducing global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) is high on the agenda under the Paris Agreement (COP21) and under the upcoming COP26 which will require leaders to pursue alternative fuel pathways.

Although the share of hydrogen fuel remains small in global energy consumption, it represents a positive growth potential as world leaders start to see the great benefits to abate climate change. Hydrogen fuel has already enjoyed political support in many advanced countries including Germany, the Netherlands and many OECD countries.

The potential use of hydrogen in transportation, power generation and industries has been shown by projects around the world. Hydrogen has attracted the leaders' attention as an option to increase the share of renewables in electrical grids amid the falling cost of electricity from winds and solar.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) predicted the cost of electrolysers, the devices used to produce hydrogen from water, will halve from US$840 (25,905 baht) today to $420 (12,952 baht) by 2040. If coupled with the falling cost of renewables in general, the prospect of renewable hydrogen production could be the cheapest energy option in the foreseeable future.

Eria's research in hydrogen energy over the past two years has identified the significant potential to meet supply and demand needs in East Asia. By 2040, the cost of hydrogen will decrease by more than 50% if it is adopted across all sectors.

At this price, hydrogen is competitive with the price of gasoline. The current cost of supplying the renewable is about three to five times higher than gas, mainly due to the limited investment in hydrogen supply chains and the lack of a wider adoption strategy.

Further, the wide adoption of hydrogen will need time to ensure cost competitiveness as well as its safety in its use in all sectors, especially in automobiles. The large-scale hydrogen-based energy transition from the "grey" and "blue" towards "green" hydrogen will happen concurrently with a global shift to renewables. Green hydrogen can address current system integration challenges that have prohibited a higher share of wind and solar....

And related from Hellenic Shipping News, June 16: 
ITOCHU group and Vopak Singapore to sign Memorandum of Understanding to study ammonia marine fuel supply chain in Singapore