TechInAfrica – Let’s take a dip of silence and imagine, what would you think of things that you thought was precious and hardly obtainable, become the go-to-buy retraceable a few years from? That’s what hydrogen is all about on the prediction line, as suggested by BloombergNEF in a report.
The element is known to be the lightest amongst the 118-listed periodic table, with low boiling point (reaching minus, to be exact) and one of its many uses is as an acting intermediate in plastics and pharmaceuticals production, and in oil-refining process, it removes sulfur from the fuels.
All this time, the production of hydrogen has always been utilizing fossil fuels and the whole process is quite pricey when seen in a larger scale. Not only that fossil fuels are not environmental-friendly, but the hydrogen itself also isn’t growing short of problems. Its carbon-free energy source tagline had meet limitation and challenges on its production, in terms of its costly investment and the pollution it brings, adding hydrogen’s properties to the concern too, as it’s a volatile and highly inflammable element.
A large production of hydrogen will certainly help de-carbonize a wide range of sectors, from transports to steel-manufacturing, since it otherwise would be a difficult task to remove the emissions. Following that is the possibility to store and ship the product, or instead, being used as an electricity generator.
And in the next decade, a dramatic decrease in hydrogen production cost might just happen. The drop will create a competitive situation for other supplies extracted from the former source, fossil fuels. The hydrogen, by relying on renewable resources, will set itself to a fall as low as US $1.40/kg in 2030. Compare this to today’s range, which is set around $2.50 to $6.80. Even better, there’s a nice chance that it will fall even lower to just $0.80 by 2050, and it’s about same as $6 per million British thermal units of the natural gas price.
But what could have driven this notable price drop? According to BNEF, the growing use of alkaline electrolyzers are expected to be the main driving factor in the production process, and Chinese manufacturers have demonstrated such effect on their technology production.
On an era where 96% of fossil fuels are still considered the main source of global hydrogen production, the rest 4% comes from water electrolysis. Though it’s still a shy figure compared to the former, the transition to the clean energy spectrum would not be a far fetch scenario with the renewable resources-dependent hydrogen after all, and moreover, enhancing the transition.
BNEF’s head of Special Projects, Kobad Bhavnagri said in the report, “Once the industry scales up, renewable hydrogen could be produced from wind or solar power for the same price as natural gas in most of Europe and Asia,” and continued his point in that the production costs would make green gas affordable, placing prospects for a real clean economy in their vision.