Energy Sources

Hydrogen's Potential as a Climate Solution Sparks Debate on Its Clean Production

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Hydrogen, commonly associated with water, is being considered as a crucial element in building a low-carbon future. President Joe Biden's administration is allocating $7 billion to establish seven hydrogen hubs in various regions, aiming to foster the production of clean hydrogen due to concerns about the current dirty processes involved in its production, primarily through extracting it from methane in natural gas, which emits greenhouse gases.

Despite hydrogen's traditional use in refining oil and making chemical fertilizers, experts believe it holds potential for energy storage, as a fuel for long-haul transport, and decarbonizing industries, provided the production process is environmentally friendly. The debate surrounding hydrogen's production methods revolves around whether to continue with blue hydrogen, made from natural gas using carbon-capture technology, or transition to green hydrogen, created through renewable energy-powered electrolysis, with supporters of each citing distinct advantages and drawbacks.

While the White House's investment focuses more on green hydrogen, there are critics, including some scientists and climate advocates, who question its true environmental benefits, raising concerns about potential methane emissions and stating that the current approaches may not be as clean as portrayed. Efforts to determine the eligibility of hydrogen for tax credits and push for low-emission targets in hydrogen hub projects are underway, with the hope that clarity on what constitutes "clean" hydrogen will emerge soon, potentially impacting the future of hydrogen production and its role in tackling climate change.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09