Potential of Hydrogen could help cut CO2 transport emissions

Potential of Hydrogen could help cut CO2 transport emissions

Global leaders descended on Bonn, Germany for COP 23, which saw the Hydrogen Council launch their global vision of the role which hydrogen can play in reducing transport emissions, developed with support from McKinsey.

As well as a being a key fuel of the energy transition this study shows that hydrogen has the potential to develop around $2.5 trillion of business, along with creating more than 30 million jobs by 2050.

In the report, the Hydrogen Council present the first comprehensive vision of the long-term potential of hydrogen and a roadmap for deployment. This ambitious approach would deliver deep carbonization of transport, industry, buildings and also enable a renewable energy production and distribution system.

Hydrogen Council vision: The hydrogen economy in 2050

Hydrogen is a central pillar of the energy transformation required to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius. To achieve the two-degree scenario, the world will need to make dramatic
changes year after year and decrease energy-related CO2 emissions by 60% until 2050 – even as the population grows by more than 2 billion people and billions of citizens in emerging markets
join the global middle class. Hydrogen can play seven major roles in this transformation:

  • Enabling large-scale renewable energy integration and power generation
  • Distributing energy across sectors and regions
  • Acting as a buffer to increase energy system resilience
  • Decarbonizing transportation
  • Decarbonizing industrial energy use
  • Helping to decarbonize building heat and power
  • Providing clean feedstock for industry.

On the demand side, the Hydrogen Council sees the potential for hydrogen to power about 10 to 15 million cars and 500,000 trucks by 2030, with many uses in other sectors as well, such as industry processes and feedstocks, building heating and power, power generation and storage.

“The world in the 21st century must transition to widespread low carbon energy use,” said Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation and co-chair of the Hydrogen Council.

“Hydrogen is an indispensable resource to achieve this transition because it can be used to store and transport wind, solar and other renewable electricity to power transportation and many other things. The Hydrogen Council has identified seven roles for hydrogen, which is why we are encouraging governments and investors to give it a prominent role in their energy plans. The sooner we get the hydrogen economy going, the better, and we are all committed to making this a reality.”

Achieving such scale would require substantial investments; approximately $20 to 25 billion annually for a total of about $280 billion until 2030. Within the right regulatory framework – including long-term, stable coordination and incentive policies – the report considers that attracting these investments to scale the technology is feasible. The world already invests more than $1.7 trillion in energy each year, including $650 billion in oil and gas, $300 billion in renewable electricity, and more than $300 billion in the automotive industry.

The world already invests more than $1.7 trillion in energy each year, including $650 billion in oil and gas, $300 billion in renewable electricity, and more than $300 billion in the automotive industry.

The launch of the new roadmap came during the Sustainability Innovation Forum in the presence of 18 senior members of the Hydrogen Council.

To learn more about the future of Hydrogen read the full roadmap here.