Hydrogen Potential Accounts for 20% of World Carbon Reduction by 2050

BONN, Germany — The gradual utilization of Hydrogen as electrical power, transportation, and heating source would provide for a sizeable 20 percent reduction of carbon emissions by the next 33 years, bringing global warming limit goals into reach, according to a report by the Hydrogen Council early this week.

The Hydrogen Council, in progress as of January this year, was set up to uplift hydrogen as a power source, with the help of Air Liquide and Toyota, and other automaker giants as Audi, BMW, Daimler, Honda, and Hyundai, as well as major energy corporations such as Royal Dutch Shell and French Total.

“The approximate contribution would be a fifth of the abatement necessary to keep global warming under two degrees Celsius,” a reference from the council was quoted in the midst of a U.N. climate conference in Bonn.

A 20 percent downscale is equivalent to 6 billion tons of carbon emissions by the year 2050, therefore achieving a two degrees energy-related carbon emission reduction,  as it was agreed in Paris in 2015.

Such cornerstone signifies a carbon emission cut of 60 percent while providing a clean energy source for electrical power, storage, transportation, and heating, the Hydrogen Council stated.

As per the report, one in every twelve cars sold in California, Germany, and Japan are anticipated to be on the road by 2030, moreover, in thirty-three years hydrogen could be fueling several million cars, trucks, and buses, as well as passenger and freight ships, airplanes, and roughly twenty percent of non-electrified train tracks.

Financial and related institutions will need to make investments of the order of $280 billion by 2030 to bring this major change into effect, broken down as follows: $110 billion for hydrogen production, $80 billion for storage, transport and distribution, and $70 billion for product manufacturing.

The technology to move hydrogen-fueled vehicles involves a fuel cell that combines hydrogen and oxygen, a clean process,  to produce electricity to power an electric motor and water as a by-product.  However, hydrogen production itself comes from fossil fuels which generate carbon emissions.

Also, the hydrogen-fueled cars current share of the vehicle fleet is very small, with high price tags and a limited number of fuel stations as major deterrents, implying that the growth of this industry could come over a longer period of time, versus the battery power electric vehicles (EVs), in spite of the former having the decided support of miner Anglo American and Toyota automaker.

These technologies also have their performance differences, with EVs better suited for city driving and hydrogen-fueled cars for highways and long roads, as indicated by Woong-chul Yang, vice chairman of automotive research and development at Hyundai.

China is aiming at producing one million hydrogen-fueled cars by 2030, whereas Britain has put in place a 23 million pound fund to speed up hydrogen vehicle manufacturing.

Pierre Etienne Franc, vice president of the hydrogen initiative at Air Liquide was quoted as saying: “Most probably we will have a Chinese member in the next six months,” a reflection that a number of Chinese firms will be joining the Hydrogen Council.

Once these changes come into play, and with the right policies implemented, the needed investment would then come forward, fueling a hydrogen market estimated at more than $2.5 trillion a year.

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