Hydrogen – Powering a Net Zero Future
Hydrogen is building momentum as a key energy carrier in the global effort to reach net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. In 2019, it rose to the top of the discussions between global leaders at the G20 summit in Japan. This event was supported by a comprehensive report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that declared “unprecedented momentum” as hydrogen was “increasingly a staple of mainstream energy conversations in almost all regions”. In total, there were over 50 policies globally supporting investment in hydrogen by mid-2019. These included initiatives under way in 11 countries from the G20 and the EU, plus the U.S. state of California.
The momentum that built up in 2019 has continued into 2020, with January alone seeing German chancellor Angela Merkel highlighting the importance of hydrogen for decarbonizing her country’s steel sector and the U.K. starting its first trial of injecting hydrogen into its gas grid for domestic heating.
It is clear that – at policymaker level at least – it is well understood that hydrogen as a clean fuel can play two key roles in the global drive to reach net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050:
- Enabling greater use of renewable electricity
- Decarbonizing CO2-intensive sectors
What is needed now is the evidence that the demand for hydrogen will grow. This will be required by both policymakers and by those companies considering investing in hydrogen production capacity – which will need to be between seven and 11 times greater by 2050 if it is to play these two major roles in cutting CO2 emissions. Governments and corporations need to know that the technologies exist, or are at advanced stages of development, and that the demand is there – in other words there are industries prepared to make the switch to hydrogen as a cleaner fuel. This eBook sets out some of the applications that can help hydrogen fulfill its two key decarbonization roles. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, through its work with the Japanese space program, has a long history of working with hydrogen. Its group companies are now working to develop the technologies and processes that will enable hydrogen’s transition from powering rockets to being the clean fuel that will drive a net-zero future.