Renewable energy is a giant industry and will only grow larger each year. We’ve seen the rise of solar, wind, and geothermal energy as valuable alternatives to fossil fuels and recent news about hydrogen energy has renewed our optimism. Hydrogen energy is versatile and widely available. Considering its practicality, we will likely see the industry lean in favor of hydrogen energy.
Shifting towards sustainable energy is necessary to conform to public health and environmental guidelines. While hydrogen can potentially make this goal a possibility, it can only do so with the right guidance and policies. With these in place, the industry will be on its way towards full sustainability.
Hydrogen energy will make a huge impact
When the world locked down at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it showed us that a drastic decrease in atmospheric pollution is possible. Although this phenomenon is only temporary, our capacity to make immediate improvements must be taken into account. This is where hydrogen energy enters the stage.
Right now, hydrogen energy is not as widely used compared to other resources. The good news is, the United States is shifting towards clean energy. The Biden administration has set a goal of 100% renewable energy in the power sector by 2035. As the U.S. works towards this goal, hydrogen energy will likely play a bigger role.
Hydrogen energy use is growing at a 9.2% annual rate and this trend is projected to continue until 2025. With hydrogen fuel cells’ multiple applications, especially in the transportation industry, this development will make a huge impact.
Hydrogen energy will be revolutionary
Hydrogen fuel cells’ main advantage is their versatility. They can be created from other energy sources like fossil fuels, other renewables, and even water. Right now, the industry uses natural gas as the primary resource for extracting and using hydrogen. The hope is to one day use pure water as the primary resource for extraction resulting in zero carbon emissions with water and heat being the only byproducts.
When this process is taken on a larger scale, hydrogen energy will be revolutionary. Having a renewable energy resource with zero carbon emissions will change the way we live, especially with the limitations of our current energy grids. Imagine having a wide-scale application of hydrogen fuel cell technology during the Texas snowstorm. A more robust power grid could have made a big difference.
While we are decades away from a full hydrogen power grid, we can expect rapid developments in smaller-scale industries in the near future. With transportation and manufacturing leading the way. Hydrogen-based vehicles are already in development.
Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai are just some of the manufacturers that have already started the production of hydrogen-powered vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cell cars are projected to have better mileage than electric vehicles. They won’t need to carry a battery. Instead, they will use chemical reactions for power, making them more efficient and easier to work with. However, the challenge lies in providing hydrogen fueling stations across the country.
State laws are also contributing to the mass adoption of hydrogen power, albeit indirectly. In California, legislation is in place to phase out new gas-powered cars by 2035. Car companies will be forced to focus on alternative-powered vehicles, which will likely include hydrogen cars.
Soon, we will see companies use hydrogen to power their buildings and other operations. To comply with renewable energy laws, a combination of hydrogen and other alternative energy will emerge. With its versatility and reliability, hydrogen might come out on top.
However, changes will not happen overnight and in order for hydrogen power to become fully integrated, the price needs to come down. On the bright side, we’ve seen prices of other alternative resources like solar and wind energy fall over time. It’s likely that hydrogen will follow this trend.