In areas rich in wind or light resources, renewable energy is used to decompose water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen in the electrolyzer, and then "green hydrogen (that is, hydrogen made from renewable energy)" is like Oil is transported to every corner of the world through pipelines or special ships, which will be very common in the future. Green hydrogen will also become the world's third largest energy source after oil and natural gas.
Green hydrogen "hot spot" area
The Australian desert is one of the areas with the best light conditions in the world. Among them, it is suitable for the development of photovoltaic and solar thermal power stations. The area has an area of 500,000 square kilometers, equivalent to the size of the entire Spain. If fully utilized, its annual power generation can reach 5 times the global electricity demand. However, electricity cannot be transmitted globally, so energy transportation can only be achieved through hydrogen production.
Chile’s Atacama Desert is Another area in the world that is very suitable for the use of photovoltaic power generation for hydrogen production. Its light conditions are very good. At the same time, the average annual temperature is only 17.3°C. The efficiency of photovoltaic modules at this temperature is much higher than when the ambient temperature is 40 to 50°C. Just as Saudi Arabia is the kingdom of oil and Russia is the kingdom of natural gas, Chile will become the world's most important hydrogen energy supplier in the future.
China’s Tibet region also has very good conditions, with sparsely populated land and abundant scenery resources. It is also one of the “hot spots” of green hydrogen.
According to the latest publication of the International Energy Agency "The "Future of Hydrogen" report, the use of renewable energy to produce hydrogen, the cost is only one-third of the fossil energy commonly used in Japan.
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The world’s first liquid hydrogen carrier built by Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries will be used in Tokyo Olympics in 2020.Built before the Games. The storage technology is similar to liquefied natural gas (LNG), but LNG must be stored at a temperature of -162°C, while liquid hydrogen must be kept below -253°C. The volume of liquid hydrogen of the same quality is only 1/800 of hydrogen, which can be transported in large quantities.
Hydrogen is also It can be transported by long-distance pipelines. The existing natural gas pipeline network in Europe is very developed, and it can also be used as a channel for hydrogen transportation.
The UK is expected to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, so the demand for hydrogen is increasing, even like Shell, Total, Equinor Of large fossil fuel producers also help promote the promotion and use of hydrogen through the Industrial Development Group of the Hydrogen Committee.
Green hydrogen made from renewable energy is the only way for Europe to achieve zero emissions in winter with low wind speed and little sunshine. There is no substitute. Its characteristics of power generation, heat generation, transportability, and carbon neutrality have established its important position in the energy transition.
Controversy 1: What proportion of renewable energy is used to produce hydrogen?
Some people think that excess wind or solar energy can be used to produce hydrogen. For example, Europe is generally windy and sunny in summer, and the excess can beThe raw energy is stored through hydrogen production and used in winter. However, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, secretary general of Hydrogen Europe, believes that to truly "decarbonize", the amount of hydrogen produced by excess renewable energy alone is far from insufficient.
" Decarbonizing the entire European steel industry requires 1.5 times the energy output of Germany; and decarbonizing the chemical industry requires three times the energy output of Germany."
According to the European Commission’s goal, to In 2050, hydrogen and derived synthetic fuels will account for 23% of Europe’s total energy mix—-Approximately 900GW of electrolyzers or large amounts of carbon capture and storage (CCS) are required.
Controversy two: Is "blue hydrogen" feasible?
Currently, more than 95% of industrial hydrogen used in oil refining, amino fertilizer production, plastics and pharmaceutical industries is made from methane, which emits about 830 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, which is larger than that of the United Kingdom and Indonesia The sum of carbon emissions.
Fossil fuel companies like Equinor believe that continuing to produce hydrogen from methane while capturing and burying carbon dioxide (so-called "carbon capture") is much cheaper than producing hydrogen from clean energy.
Chatzimarkakis believes that in the technological development stage, the so-called "blue hydrogen" produced by this transitional technology is acceptable, but it should eventually develop into The real "green hydrogen".
The Magnum project in the Netherlands is a typical "blue hydrogen" project. It is operated by Equinor, Vattenfall's subsidiary Nuon, and Dutch gas distributor Gasunie. The project aims to transform Eemshaven Natural gas generators were converted to hydrogen generators as early as 2023. Hydrogen will be produced from Norwegian natural gas, and the resulting carbon emissions will be captured and buried in abandoned oil fields.
Chatzimarkakis believes that the Netherlands chose to use hydrogen to replace natural gas because it hopes to abandon fossil energy in the future, and because of the production of carbon dioxide, It is contradictory. Therefore, in the long run, hydrogen production from renewable energy is the way out. This practice of carbon capture and storage will eventually be abandoned.
Tags: hydrogen production
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