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What Is Green Hydrogen As Another Clean Energy Source?

There are several ways that we can use this Green Hydrogen in sustainable energy transition process, some of these are as follows:

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IIT Mandi

Every day there’s something new that we read about new technology for sustainable environment. We all have heard about “Renewable” or “Clean” Energy Sources. We refer it as “renewable” because, it is “Infinite” source, which doesn’t diminish and is sustainable. Well known examples are Solar and Wind. No matter how much Solar or Wind, one may use to produce the energy (power), it doesn’t get reduced as compared to other conventional sources like Coal, Oil or Gas. The other word referred as “Clean” energy source is because these sources don’t pollute environment in the process of producing energy. 

Recently a lot is being talked about “Green” Hydrogen as future Clean Energy Source. So, what is it? We all know Hydrogen or “H2” as an element if Water (H2O). Hydrogen is abundantly available element in the world and is currently used in sectors namely the chemical industry for manufacturing ammonia and fertilisers; the petrochemical industry to produce petroleum products and furthermore, it is starting to be used in the steel industry. So, what is the new Buzz Word of “Green” Hydrogen? Currently, hydrogen is primarily produced from natural gas and coal, and the process, hundreds of millions of CO2 is emitted in the environment throughout the world. Therefore, it is now being referred by some, as “Grey” Hydrogen. By adopting technologies to capture and remove CO2 from the process, it still pollutes environment, though to lesser extent, and hence may be referred to as “Blue” Hydrogen.

“Green” Hydrogen on the other hand is produced using process called water electrolysis. This process involves the decomposition of water (H2O) into the gases oxygen and hydrogen using a continuous electric current that is passed through water with electrodes. And when this electric current is sourced from the renewable energy, it becomes the most sustainable method for producing green hydrogen. This Hydrogen is then used in and as Fuel Cell, where we combine hydrogen with oxygen from the air to produce electricity and the only by-product produced is water – Wow!

There are several ways that we can use this Green Hydrogen in sustainable energy transition process, some of these are as follows:

  1. Solar and Wind Energy when produced in excess of demand, can be used to produce and store clean hydrogen and compressed in specific tanks. And later, when we need energy, this is channelled through a fuel cell, as explained above.
  2. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles is the future eMobility that would run on this clean energy by having a hydrogen tank that connects to the fuel cell, where the electricity that powers the engine is generated. Green hydrogen could well be key for mining vehicles, trains, aircrafts, lorries, buses and even maritime transport.  
  3. It would continue to be used in Chemical and Steel Industries but without emitting Carbon.
  4. It would replace the natural gas network and provide electricity and heat to households without producing pollutant emissions.

However, there are numerous challenges ahead in making it economically feasible for its commercial usage. But same was the case 10 to 15 years ago with Solar and Wind. Worldwide, it is being envisaged as a major source of clean energy transition source by 2030.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Piyush Goyal .

The author is Former Head Corporate Services, Tata Power and Strategic advisor

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