October 24, 2021

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The IEA says you need to go faster to cut costs

Low carbon hydrogen is benefiting from the unprecedented impetus of states and companies, but more efforts are needed to reduce its costs and allow the development of this energy capable of green industry and heavy transport, and faster, the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Monday.

Governments need to act fast and decisively”, Summarizes this special report. In 2019, only France, Japan and South Korea had a hydrogen project. Two years later, 17 states have released a strategy, with more than 20 working on it. Pilot projects are underway to produce steel (or chemicals) with this energy (rather than coal).

The lie begins

In the past, low carbon hydrogen has led to false startups. This time we see great progress, Underscores the director of AIE Fatih Birol. “If the world is to maintain its chances of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, governments must act quickly to reduce barriers to its growth.“Hydrogen, used for a long time in the production of refineries or fertilizers, is now produced almost entirely from fossil fuels: it emits nearly 900 million tons of CO2 in conjunction with the United Kingdom and Indonesia.

Decarbonized, it can be used for green fields without replacement (heavy goods vehicles, aviation, steel, etc.). “The main obstacle isDue to the high demand for carbon-free electricity, its production cost remains the same, the IEA notes. While waiting for technological advances and the competitiveness of economies, measures and funding will be needed to offset the price difference with hydrogen of fossil origin (depending on the price of gas, it can cost from two to four dollars). Seven times less than those made with renewables).

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For this, carbon pricing, allocation, public orders are all tools. The IEA points out that there are no measures in place to support the demand for this carbon-free hydrogen. Without it, the agency notes, it would be difficult to create a storage and distribution infrastructure that would require greater international cooperation. Countries with a strategy have planned $ 37 billion in investments and the private sector has announced an additional $ 300 billion. But the company estimates that by 2030 it will have reached $ 1.2 trillion by the middle of the century.

The capacity of electrolysis to extract hydrogen from water by electricity has doubled in the last 5 years and nearly 400 projects are under development. This will enable the production of 8 million tons of hydrogen by 2030, which is far from the IEA’s 80 million forecast for carbon neutrality.