Renewable energy, electric vehicles and green hydrogen all offer ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Recent years have seen rising interest in how these technologies impact the demand and mining of critical materials. Lithium mining for electric batteries, in particular, has been scrutinised by environmental groups. Yet less discussed is green hydrogen which requires scarce materials, writes Rebecca Bertram.
There is a fairly broad consensus in the climate movement that hydrogen has to play an important role within the international energy transition (especially for the decarbonisation of energy-/feedstock-intensive industry sectors). And while there’s an understanding that only hydrogen produced 100% from renewables will match the requirements of being “clean” and therefore “climate-friendly”, few speak of possible shadow sides of this green dream (especially with regard to the Global North-South dependency resulting from green hydrogen production). In a two parts blog series, Andy Gheorghiu touches upon some of the aspects that promoters of green hydrogen should not forget.
The global energy system is undergoing a major transformation. Fossil fuel prices are soaring, and extreme weather and war are causing massive blackouts and energy shortages. A clean-energy transition is no longer just an option, but an absolute requirement for survival. As countries shift away from dirty fuels, governments and corporations are increasingly looking toward hydrogen as part of the solution. Robert Howarth has the details. This Piece was originally published on NikkeyAsia.
South Korea is jeopardizing its ability to meet its 2030 methane reduction target under the Global Methane Pledge due to the country’s plans to massively expand fossil-based hydrogen, according to a recent study by Seoul-based Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC) led by legal, economic, financial, and environmental experts with experience in energy and climate policy. Jinny Kim explains.
Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine means Europe has to look elsewhere to secure its energy supplies. Green hydrogen could be an important new fuel, and here Latin America has the potential to become the next energy partner to Europe. The ongoing trade talks for a EU-Mercosur free trade agreement can provide a space for such negotiations. Rebecca Bertram has the details.
South Korea’s carbon neutrality policy is advancing. In COP26, President Moon revealed South Korea’s goal for the 2030 nationally determined contribution (NDC). He pledged that South Korea will cut carbon emissions more than 40% of 2018 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Yi hyun Kang explains South Korea’s climate rethink.
Touted as a vital decarbonization tool, hydrogen’s eventual climate benefit hangs upon how it’s produced. When from fossil gas, it’s potentially as bad as coal. But when generated by renewables, it may live up to the hype. Flush with billions in European Union funds, Romania looks to become a hydrogen hub: producing H2 for local industry, home heating, new rail and mass transit projects and shipping on the Danube. And despite being Europe’s second biggest fossil gas producer, Bucharest assures its hydrogen revolution will be green. Lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum continues his on-going Romanian review.