Despite increasing interest, green hydrogen production is hampered by high costs and a lack of adequate policy and financial backing.
Recent projects, such as the green hydrogen corridor between Spain and the Netherlands, demonstrate the global push for hydrogen dominance.
The IEA report emphasizes the urgent need for government support and R&D investments to reduce costs and drive the hydrogen market.
There is currently not enough funding and support for hydrogen projects to roll it out on the scale they require to achieve the net-zero scenario by 2050, according to several energy experts.
The widespread rollout of clean hydrogen projects has been restricted due to the high costs involved with producing the clean energy source, which is much more expensive to make than dirtier forms of hydrogen derived from fossil fuels.
In addition, while companies worldwide are showing increasing interest in green hydrogen, many are failing to get the government backing required to commence operations.
Green hydrogen is being viewed as increasingly critical to the global green transition as it is a versatile energy carrier that can be used in a range of applications from heating to transportation fuel.
It provides an alternative to natural gas and fossil fuel-derived fuels and can also be used to power cars and other forms of transport instead of electric batteries.The fuel is produced by using renewable energy sources to power electrolysis.
There has been increasing interest in green hydrogen in recent years, with various regions of the world competing to gain sectoral dominance – from the Middle East to Europe.
Last year, the Spanish energy firm Compañía Española de Petróleos (Cepsa) partnered with the Port of Rotterdam to establish “the first green hydrogen corridor between southern and northern Europe”.
The aim is to develop a green hydrogen supply chain between two of Europe’s main ports – the Port of Algeciras in southern Spain and the Dutch Port of Rotterdam.
Meanwhile, several energy companies are investing in developing green hydrogen projects in some of the world’s emerging economies to drive down costs.
However, this month, a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggested that rising costs and lagging policy support from governments are limiting clean hydrogen’s potential.
There have been several announcements about the launch of green hydrogen projects around the globe over the last couple of years, but the report found that many are being significantly delayed due to a lack of policy government support.
The Executive Director of the IEA, Fatih Birol, said the world had seen “incredible momentum” behind low-emission hydrogen projects in recent years “but a challenging economic environment will now test the resolve of hydrogen developers and policymakers to follow through on planned projects”.
Hydrogen produced in a low-carbon process continues to account for less than 1 percent of the world’s total hydrogen production. This is perhaps surprising given the momentum in green hydrogen projects in recent years and the media attention given to the energy source.
In addition, green hydrogen has been identified by the IEA and several other energy organisations as one of the most promising fuels for reducing emissions in hard-to-decarbonise industries, such as steel and chemicals.
The report found that the annual production of low-carbon hydrogen, including that derived from using captured CO2 if all projects are realised could total 38 million tonnes by 2030.
The pipeline includes 27 million tonnes from electrolysis and 10 million tonnes from carbon capture. However, this seems increasingly unlikely as a final investment decision has been made for just 4 percent of the projects.
Projects have been further jeopardised by high energy prices, rising inflation and global supply chain disruptions owing to both the Covid pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
By: Felicity Bradstock
Bradstock writes for oilprice.com
Rivers Communities Lament Neglect By NNPC, Others
The indigenes of Umuapu, Ihie, Obitti, Awarra, Ochia, Assa and Obile communities of Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, have appealed to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, the govenrment and Oil Companies operating at their area to quickly reconstruct the Oil Access Road that links these communities and others.
They said the prompt reconstruction of the road would ease traffic tension, reduce road accident to the minimal, encourage commercial activities as well as strengthen social comfort and security at the region.
The appeal followed a peaceful protest staged by the women of the area on the Oil Access Road, recently.
The protesters, who wore black clothes, carried placards which had different inscriptions, chanted songs as they demonstrated.
Speaking through one of their leaders, Nwada Ruth Amadi, the women urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC), the present administration of Sen. Hope Uzodimma, and other Oil Companies operating in their region to quickly reconstruct the link road in order to reduce suffering, agony, avert danger and spur the locals to enhance productivity and comfort.
Amadi expressed regret that the road has been in a deplorable condition over the years with NNPC, Government and Oil Companies such as Waltersmith Petroleum, Seplat Petroleum, Sterling Global Petroleum among others, doing nothing to reconstruct the link road.
According to them, lives have been lost, just as many sustained severe degrees of injuries due to the bad state of the said road, insisting that authorities concerned liaise with the people including leadership of the church and the civil society for a way forward.
Amadi said “we regret the negligence and maltreatment we get from NNPC/Government and Oil Companies milling oil in our land.
“Despite the huge revenue being generated and carted away by these oil companies whose vehicles cause huge damage on the road, those concerned keep dead mute towards the reconstruction of the road, leaving us and other ordinary road users to suffer adversely.
“Hence, we deemed it right to stage a peaceful protest on the spoilt road, to appeal to authorities concerned to immediately reconstruct the road to save us from suffering, pains and imminent danger. We expect these authorities to be proactive, not reactive.
“We cannot continue to fold our hands and suffer. The NNPC, government and the Oil Companies have never hugely done things that benefit the entire Ohaji enclave. Rather they allow some leaders of the area to mislead them”.
Hydrogen Set To Compete With Fossil Fuels
University of Houston energy researchers suggest hydrogen fuel can potentially be a cost-competitive and environmentally friendly alternative to gasoline and diesel, and that supplying hydrogen for transportation in the greater Houston area can be profitable today.
The research team is offering a white paper titled, “Competitive Pricing of Hydrogen as an Economic Alternative to Gasoline and Diesel for the Houston Transportation Sector”, where they examine the promise for the potential of hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector.
The white paper offers that traditional liquid transportation fuels like gasoline and diesel are preferred because of their higher energy density.
Unlike vehicles using gasoline, which releases carbon dioxide, and diesel, which contributes ground, level ozone, fuel cell electric vehicles refuel with hydrogen in five minutes and produce zero emissions.
The paper then pitches “According to the Texas Department of Transportation, Houston had approximately 5.5 million registered vehicles in the fiscal year 2022. Imagine if all these vehicles were using hydrogen for fuel”.
Houston, home to many hydrogen plants for industrial use, offers several advantages, according to the researchers.
The study explains, “It (Houston) has more than sufficient water and commercial filtering systems to support hydrogen generation. Add to that the existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure, which makes hydrogen production and supply more cost effective and makes Houston ideal for transitioning from traditional vehicles to hydrogen-powered ones”.
The study compares three hydrogen generation processes: steam methane reforming (SMR), SMR with carbon capture (SMRCC), and electrolysis using grid electricity and water.
“The researchers used the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)’s H2A tools to provide cost estimates for these pathways, and the Hydrogen Delivery Scenario Analysis Model (HDSAM) developed by Argonne National Laboratory to generate the delivery model and costs.
Additionally, it compares the cost of grid hydrogen with SMRCC hydrogen, showing that without tax credit incentive SMRCC hydrogen can be supplied at a lower cost of $6.10 per kg hydrogen at the pump, which makes it competitive.
Professor Christine Ehlig-Economides said, “This research underscores the transformative potential of hydrogen in the transportation sector. Our findings indicate that hydrogen can be a cost-competitive and environmentally responsible choice for consumers, businesses, and policymakers in the greater Houston area”.
Your humble writer is full of suspicion. As regular readers know, hydrogen is gaseous at any sensible consumer operating temperature and pressure. Its the smallest atom and slithers through most everything.
Its not something one would want stored in an attached garage. The fuel cell tech isn’t quite there yet. And the study relies on power numbers for steam that likely come from natural gas. Just where the electrical watts needed from the grid would come from is anybody’s guess.
For all the contestable points the work does suggest that hydrogen fuel cells have economic potential. Maybe someday there will be a few models of hydrogen fueled automobiles to choose from.
But right now, the market forcing of electric battery energized cars isn’t building any confidence. Add to that the government wants to force heat pumps and electric appliances as the only choices. This after wind and solar aren’t looking like economically healthy ideas after all.
The reality forecast suggests a disaster. Government plus rule and regulation force? What will a community tolerate when forced to choose between air conditioning and charging the car tonight?
Hydrogen might be the energy / fuel nirvana someday. But know one knows how that system is going to look today. All this political pressure is looking to blow the system up.
By: Brian Westenhaus
Westenhaus writes for oilprice.com.
Seplat Plc Plans $250m Investment In Sapele Gas Plant
The Director, New Energy, Seplat Plc, Effiong Okon, has unveiled the company’s plan to construct a new $250m gas plant in Sapele, Delta State.
Okon made the disclosure during the Nigeria Oil and Gas Outlook event with the theme “Investing in Nigeria’s Energy Future”, in Lagos.
Okon, who noted that the company was committed to its vision of contributing to the energy landscape, said investing in the Sapele gas plant would further prove Seplat’s commitment.
Speaking during a panel discussion on “Secured Energy Transition Towards Gas”, Effiong explained that with the investment, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) would be made more available in the market.
He said, “we are also starting a brand-new plant in Sapele, the Sapele gas plant, another $250 million investment that will deliver a lot of LPGs to the market”.
Giving insights into the company’s timeline, Effiong announced that Seplat’s Joint Venture gas processing facility in Imo State is set to be completed by December, with plans for commissioning in January 2024.
Okon, while addressing the broader investment climate, emphasized the pivotal role of the private sector in driving investments in the oil and gas sector.
He further stated that the government’s support through policies and ensuring a secure environment was crucial for fostering sustainable growth and development in the industry.
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