Whitney Russell
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Hydrogen Should be an Affordable Energy Option in 10 Years

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Clean air
Hydrogen fuel cell technology might be going mainstream in the next decade
Photo: NGerda

With all of the buzz about electric cars, it’s easy to lose sight of another alternative fuel for vehicles: hydrogen. It turns out that hydrogen could be a cost-competitive fuel option for cars in the near future.

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Cheaper (and greener) production methods for hydrogen

According to a new analysis from IHS Markit, a more eco-friendly way to produce hydrogen (by “splitting” water) will be as cost-competitive with the current way of producing it (by using natural gas as a feedstock). The industry refers to this type of hydrogen as “green hydrogen.”

Since 2015, the cost for producing green hydrogen has gone down by 50 percent, according to Simon Blakey, IHS Markit Senior Advisor, Global Gas. By 2025, he predicts that this cost will drop another 30 percent. Two reasons for this are an increased scale and more standardized production methods.

More funding is another factor that should help hydrogen become an affordable energy alternative in the near future. The majority of “power-to-x” projects are hydrogen. Just last year, investment in these projects totaled $30 million. IHS Markit expects it to total $700 million in the next three years.

Hydrogen will play a key role in reducing global emissions

“Electrification alone cannot deliver the level of emissions reduction that many countries aspire to,” said Catherine Robinson, IHS Markit Executive Director, European Power, Hydrogen and Renewable Gas.

If these predictions are accurate, we should start seeing more widespread adoption of hydrogen fuel in the next decade. That’s especially true in Europe, as more countries take aggressive steps to meet the emission reduction targets that the European Union established two years ago.

Hopefully, U.S. energy companies and investors follow Europe’s lead in developing greener hydrogen production methods. This technology would definitely complement our country’s current electric vehicle charging infrastructure in supporting more eco-friendly transportation and lowering emissions nationwide.

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