The photo is sourced from dii-desertenergy.org
Several factors immediately hold in check widespread production of green hydrogen:
- • Its relatively high cost. While the unit cost of producing “grey” hydrogen from gas varies from $0.50 to $1.70 per kg, blue hydrogen with the added use of technologies of carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) is no more than $2 per kg. For green hydrogen, produced from electrolysis and renewable energy sources, the figure stands at $3 to $8 per kg.
- • Competition within the sector: at the moment, there are 16 projects world-wide to produce hydrogen from fossil fuels, along with the use of CCUS technologies. Total production stands at 700,000 tonnes. And at the very early stages, there are another 50 such projects resulting in production of low-carbon” hydrogen from fossil fuels. By 2030, it will reach 9 million tonnes, outstrpping production of “green” hydrogen.
- • Competition in the carmaking sphere. From 2017 up until mid-2021, the total world-wide figure of vehicles powered by fuel cells rose from 7,000 to more than 43,000. But that figure remains far behind that of the world-wide number of electric vehicles – 11 million.
- • “Displacement”. The changing focus of regulators. Between 2019 and 2021, the number of countries having published a strategy for hydrogen climbed from three to 17. But the attention of those behind the programmes is concentrated mainly on low-carbon means of hydrogen production. The IEA’s analysts, in contrast, say it is no less important to stimulate demand for hydrogen as it used for the moment, mainly in industry.
Despite all the limitations, the hydrogen sector over the next 10 years will make great strides, the IEA experts conclude. In their analysis, by 2030, the unit cost of green hydrogen in regions where renewable energy sources are readily available will decline to $1.30 per kg. And the number of cars operating on fuel elements world wide will climb to 6 million.
In Russia, hydrogen energy has caught the eye of both companies and regulators.
In August, the government approved the Concepts of Hydrogen Energy Development according to which, by 2024, hydrogen exports should reach 200,000 tonnes.
Just before that, within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2021), the steelmaker Severstal and the gas producer Novatek signed a memorandum for a pilot project on producing “blue” hydrogen (based on gas and including CCUS technologies). And in September, at the Eastern Economic Forum, Russian gas giant Gazprom and the Rosatom nuclear energy operator agreed to build a plant for producing blue hydrogen on the Pacific island of Sakhalin.