December 08, 2018

Hydrogen can play a significant role in decarbonizing world energy supply to mitigate climate change, according to a new research paper by DNV GL, the technical advisor to the oil and gas industry.
Hydrogen as an energy carrier’ predicts demand for hydrogen for heating residential and commercial space, heat for industry, and transport to reach between 39 and 161 million tonnes of hydrogen per annum (Mtpa) in 2050, under various modelled scenarios. Currently, only about 1,000 tonnes of hydrogen production is for energy each year, mostly for hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles.
DNV GL’s research paper analyses prospects for two types of low-carbon hydrogen production. Blue hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels (by either steam methane reforming or coal gasification) with carbon capture and storage to reduce the carbon footprint. It will be used largely to heat buildings and for industrial processes. Green hydrogen is made using an electricity mix with low greenhouse gas emissions to power electrolysis of water. It will principally be used for mobility.
The research paper also expects hydrogen-fuelled heating to be established by 2050 among decarbonization measures in industries such as cement and aluminium. It sees no substantial hydrogen use for industrial process heating by 2030. The research points to more refuelling infrastructure and cheaper green hydrogen boosting uptake of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles.
It estimates that more than 80% of hydrogen demand for mobility in 2050 will be for buses, trucks and other heavy vehicles.
“Natural gas currently provides a high proportion of the energy for such heating in these countries, and their existing gas infrastructure can be adapted to hydrogen distribution and storage. Importantly, they also have large-scale carbon capture and storage operations, or are beyond early stages of developing these,” explained the paper’s lead author, Dr Jørg Aarnes, senior principal engineer, DNV GL – Group Technology & Research. (Source: DNV.GL)