Gibson Law Group - Februray 2022

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Clean Hydrogen Explained

Is Clean Hydrogen the Energy of the Future? What You Need to Know

entirely and use less electricity overall. In the case of blue hydrogen, they also say that simply capturing the carbon is not enough to ward off climate change. Energy experts who otherwise support clean hydrogen also point out that it’s currently much more expensive than fossil fuel production. The U.S. has launched a plan to bring the cost of green hydrogen down significantly by 2030, but its use currently accounts for less than 1% of total annual hydrogen production worldwide. Before clean hydrogen can be a viable energy alternative, governments and industries need to deploy significant resources to develop infrastructure, expand production, and drive down costs. Whether clean hydrogen will be a major future energy source depends on how much the world is willing to invest in it.

hydrogen is produced with methane, but the carbon is captured instead of released into the environment. Detractors argue that blue hydrogen is not more environmentally friendly than other existing technologies and point to its high costs. Proponents, however, consider it a stepping stone to the cleanest form of hydrogen. Green hydrogen comes from electrolysis, a process that splits water into oxygen and hydrogen. For the hydrogen to be green, the electricity used to create it must come from renewable sources like wind, solar, or hydropower. The process almost completely eliminates emissions, and it’s the form of energy the EU is investing in the most. One day, it may even power cars. But clean hydrogen has its detractors. Some environmental activists argue that we need to move away from gas power

4 GIBSONLAWGROUP.COM Whether or not blue hydrogen is “clean” will depend on whom you ask. Blue Hydrogen is already used today as an energy source, and while the hydrogen itself is clean, the process used to make it is not. The energy industry describes hydrogen using a color-coded system — hydrogen created with steam methane is gray, and hydrogen produced with fossil fuels is brown. Neither is considered clean energy. The European Union has made substantial investments in clean hydrogen as a renewable energy source, hoping it can help reduce carbon emissions. With the infrastructure bill Congress passed in November, the U.S. is also looking to invest in new energy sources, including clean hydrogen. But what is clean hydrogen, and why has so much hope been placed on it?

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