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Why It’s Time to Start Caring Much More About Clean Hydrogen

By April 18, 2022April 28th, 2022No Comments

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Why It’s Time to Start Caring Much More About Clean Hydrogen

Apr 18, 2022 • The New York Times

The consulting firm McKinsey estimates that the value of investment in clean hydrogen projects by 2030 will exceed half a trillion dollars

There are vast pools of available private capital willing to back risky novel technologies — a sharp contrast with the 1970s, when shifts in technology were slower because access to capital was controlled by a few large financial institutions and multinational energy companies and allocated mainly to established enterprises.

In almost every aspect of the industrial economy — from making steel and cement to new aircraft to better systems for heating homes and making electricity — the emission reduction plans in Europe are opening markets to new technology while convincing big existing businesses, like oil and gas companies, that they must innovate or get out of the way. Where investors put their money today hinges not just on technological promise, but also on whether radical new ideas will be allowed to flourish and compete.

Central to the European plan for cutting dependence on natural gas is investment in hydrogen and other alternatives to conventional gas — something that companies are lining up to do with their own capital. Privately backed projects are exploring how to link hydrogen production to renewable electric power generators — a key innovation because hydrogen is easier to store than electricity and could help make electric grids reliable even when they depend on large amounts of intermittent wind and solar.

Leaders in sectors such as steel, refining and chemicals all see hydrogen investments as part of their plans to remain viable in a world that slashes emissions.Even in aircraft and heavy trucks, hydrogen may prove the best way to cut emissions.

The consulting firm McKinsey estimates that the value of investment in clean hydrogen projects by 2030 will exceed half a trillion dollars, based on the announcements made — with Europe in the lead. For comparison, the total value of all fossil fuels sold globally in 2021 was about $5 trillion.

Read full article on The New York Times (subscription required)