Greening the national power supply with solar panels and wind turbines may be relatively easy compared with transforming our heating systems. Hydrogen can deliver both power and heat and that's what makes it a hot topic right now. In this article, we discuss different types of hydrogen and the growth prospects of each of them.
Demand: a promising alternative to fossil fuels in all aspects of energy use
Our energy transition scenarios show that fossil fuel use is the main cause of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contributes to global warming. We must drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels if we are to reach the Paris Agreement Climate Goals of keeping global warming to well below 2°C and to pursue the even more ambitious goals of limiting the temperature increase to 1.5°C.
Hydrogen based solutions provide huge potential in helping reduce fossil fuel demand in all the major areas of energy use: heating, transportation, electricity and feedstock. It can, for example, be burned to generate the heat necessary to produce cement and steel or for the heating of buildings. In transportation, trucks, aeroplanes and ships could be powered through hydrogen-fuelled engines. And power plants can be designed to run on hydrogen instead of gas. Hydrogen can also be used as a feedstock, in the production, for example, of fertilisers.
Both governments and companies have set ambitious carbon reduction targets which have made hydrogen and its environmental benefits, a very hot topic.