IRENA Report Casts Renewable Energy Perspective on Hydrogen
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The report examines the potential of hydrogen fuel for hard-to-decarbonize, energy-intensive industries such as trucks, aviation, shipping and heating.

Hydrogen’s decarbonization impact depends on how it is produced.

Hydrogen represents a “complementary solution that is especially relevant for countries with ambitious climate objectives”.

25 September 2019: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published a report exploring the potential on green hydrogen. The report notes that hydrogen represents a “complementary solution that is especially relevant for countries with ambitious climate objectives.”

The report titled, ‘Hydrogen: A Renewable Energy Perspective,’ examines the potential of hydrogen fuel for hard-to-decarbonize, energy-intensive industries such as trucks, aviation, shipping and heating. In this context, IRENA’s press release on the report highlights its support for the work of the ‘Getting to Zero Coalition’ to achieve carbon emissions cuts in the global shipping sector by 2030.

According to the publication, current and future sourcing options for hydrogen are: “gray” (fossil fuel-based); “blue” (fossil fuel-based production with carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS)); and “green” (renewables-based). Hydrogen’s decarbonization impact depends on how it is produced. For example, as blue hydrogen is not inherently carbon free, its production requires monitoring and verification and certification to account for non-captured emissions and retention of stored carbon dioxide (CO2).

The report finds that there are important synergies between hydrogen and renewable energy and that synergies may exist between green and blue hydrogen deployment such as in economies of scale in hydrogen use or hydrogen logistics. It also finds that the cost of hydrogen supply from renewables has come down in recent years and continues to fall.

The publication acknowledges that a hydrogen-based energy transition will not happen overnight, and hydrogen use will target specific applications. It concludes that trade of energy-intensive commodities produced with hydrogen, including “e-fuels” may offer an opportunity to accelerate the uptake or renewables and bring wider economic benefits.

The report was launched at a side event, hosted by the World Economic Forum (WEF), in conjunction with the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit. [Publication: Hydrogen: A Renewable Energy Perspective] [Publication Landing Page] [IRENA Press Release]


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