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Green hydrogen to account for 20% of European power demand by 2050: Statkraft

Hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources will account for 20% of Europe’s power consumption in 2050, and for 10% globally, a report published by Norwegian power company Statkraft on Thursday showed.

Green hydrogen is produced by splitting water molecules with a current of renewable electricity in electrolysers. The gas is touted as a clean replacement for fossil fuels in industries that are otherwise hard to decarbonise.

European power demand will rise to just over 5,000 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2050, with green hydrogen production accounting for around 1,000 TWh, up from current demand of around 30 TWh, Statkraft’s sixth annual Low Emissions Scenario report showed.

The company is one of Europe’s largest renewable energy producers and also operates several gas plants in Germany. It uses its analysis from the Low Emissions Scenario as the foundation for future investments.

Global power demand will likely more than double by 2050 to just over 60,000 TWh as electrification is seen as the main tool to reduce carbon dioxide emissions with renewable energy meeting about 80% of that demand, it found.

At present, green hydrogen production is more expensive than traditional production from fossil fuel sources, but Statkraft said that would change.

The company expected investment costs for electrolysers to fall by 60% by 2050, which coupled with storage could ensure a steady supply for industry.

“Seasonal storage can be beneficial in markets with significant power price differences between seasons, for example in Europe,” the report said.

It is published ahead of the U.N. Climate summit (COP 26) in Glasgow, Scotland, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, where representatives from nearly 200 countries will meet for talks to strengthen action to tackle global warming under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees as per the Paris Climate Accord will require more renewables and electrification at a faster pace than at present, Statkraft said.

Statkraft is involved in several green hydrogen projects, including projects to supply steel works and fertiliser production.

Cabinet nod sought for setting green hydrogen purchase obligation for refineries, fertiliser plants: RK Si

A proposal for setting targets for purchase of green hydrogen by refineries and fertiliser plants has been sent to the Cabinet for approval, Power and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh said on Wednesday. He also said the government is mulling a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme and viability gap funding for use of the clean fuel by heavy vehicles to promote green hydrogen.

‘Green hydrogen’ is produced using renewable energy.

“We have drawn up a Cabinet note (proposal) and sent it to the Cabinet for placing mandates for use of green hydrogen…. Those mandates’ total requirement (is) of up to 8.8 GW of electrolyser capacity,” Singh said.

He was delivering the keynote address at CEEW’s virtual event ‘A Multilateral Approach to Building a Global Hydrogen Economy’.

The minister said the government is considering green hydrogen purchase obligations for refineries and fertiliser plants, starting with 10 per cent which will be increased to 20-25 per cent.

“With time, by adding more and more volume, the price will reduce and the mandate will no longer be required,” he noted.

About promoting use of green hydrogen for long-haul vehicles, he said, “We are also proposing to come up with viability gap funding (VGF) for green hydrogen in heavy mobility and are also eyeing other sectors such as steel (for hydrogen purchase obligation).”

Singh said India is the world leader in energy transition and intends to continue leading the path.

India’s NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) target is to increase the share of non-fossil fuels to 40 per cent of the total electricity generation capacity by 2030. In fact, at the current rate, India might be able to achieve almost 50 per cent non-fossil fuel share by 2030, he added.

India has achieved a milestone of 100 GW of installed renewable energy capacity.

This not only marks an important milestone in the country’s journey towards its target of 450 GW by 2030, but also builds upon the confidence to achieve more and be among the leading countries embarking on a path towards energy transition globally, he stated.

“We would like to come out with a PLI for setting up electrolyser capacity. The electrolyser capacity which we need is in the region of 15 GW.

“We can start with 10 GW. Without that (scale or volume) we are not going anywhere because available electrolyser capacity in the world is very limited,” he pointed out

An electrolyser is a device which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen using electrical energy.

The minister was of the view that with economies of scale, the price of hydrogen will come down.

“When we started solar, it was too expensive. But we believed that by adding volumes, the prices would come down. Similarly, we are starting off with (large) scale for hydrogen,” he said.

Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of CEEW, said, “India is poised to play a vital role in the global hydrogen economy. Many countries in the tropics, including India, are favourable locations for lower-cost green hydrogen production.”

“The recently announced National Hydrogen Mission has also provided a timely boost. Scaling up green hydrogen could be a game-changer for India’s heavy industries, such as steel, ammonia and petrochemicals, in addition to long-distance freight transport and energy storage,” he added.

The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) is a leading not-for-profit policy research institution.

Invest $131 trillion in clean energy by 2050 to hit climate goals, agency says

Planned investment in clean energy must increase by 30% to a total of $131 trillion by 2050 to avert catastrophic climate change, with the need to massively scale up hydrogen production particularly acute, according to a study published on Tuesday.

In its annual flagship report, the International Renewable Energy Agency underscored the scale and pace of change needed to cap the rise in average global temperatures at 1.5 degrees Celsius, in line with the 2015 Paris climate accord.

“The gap between where we are and where we should be is not decreasing but widening,” said Francesco La Camera, director-general of the Abu Dhabi-based organisation, which has more than 160 member states. “We need a drastic acceleration of energy transitions to make a meaningful turnaround.”

The agency’s “1.5C pathway” set out in the report found that fossil fuel consumption would have to fall by more than 75% by 2050, with oil and coal shrinking more quickly.

Use of natural gas would have to peak in 2025, although it would be the dominant fossil fuel by mid-century.

Renewable power capacity will have to expand more than ten-fold by mid-century, accompanied by a 30-fold increase in the electrification of transport, the report found.

It also foresaw a dramatic increase in the production and use of “green hydrogen” – a zero-carbon fuel made by electrolysis, using power from wind and solar, that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen.

By 2050, 30% of electricity use will be dedicated to producing green hydrogen and hydrogen and its derivatives, such as e-ammonia and e-methanol, the report said.

To produce this, global electrolyser capacity will need to expand to almost 5,000 Gigawatts from 0.3 GW today.

The report said governments could still harness post-pandemic recovery packages, which have so far mostly favoured fossil fuels, to accelerate the transition.