Green hydrogen is made using electricity from renewable energy to electrolyze water, separating the hydrogen and oxygen atoms. It's a clean alternative to fossil fuels that, unlike traditional renewables like solar and wind energy, can be stored and used at any time of day, in any weather condition. It also may be the only way to bring greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector to the equivalent of zero, considering several countries' commitment to carbon neutrality over the next 20-40 years. As the impacts of climate change become more visible around the world, green hydrogen is a promising clean energy alternative, and the total hydrogen market is expected to be worth $2.5 trillion by 2050.
However, it is currently more expensive to make renewable hydrogen (RH2) gas than the wind or solar used to create it. It is estimated that in power generation for heavy industry, using green hydrogen could today increase costs 200-800 percent.
What are the hurdles to more broadly deploying green hydrogen? Is it facing a similar situation to that of wind and solar energy a decade ago? Can the world really depend on green hydrogen to drastically bring down its carbon emissions and address climate change?
The Center on Global Energy Policy and Columbia University's Santiago Global Center hosted a panel of experts for a discussion on these issues.
- Laurie Fitzmaurice, Executive Director, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA
- Juan Carlos Jobet, Minister of Energy, Chile
- Dr. Julio S. Friedmann, Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA
- Eric Guter, VP & GM – Americas Growth Platforms, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.