Recently, the International Hydrogen Energy Council and McKinsey & Company released the "Net Zero Hydrogen Report" (hereinafter referred to as the "Report"). The report states that hydrogen plays a central role in achieving net-zero emissions, limiting global warming to 1.5°C, and reducing cumulative carbon dioxide emissions by 80 billion tons by 2050, accounting for 20% of the total emissions reductions required.
The "Report" analysis believes that by 2050, China will become the world's largest hydrogen market, followed by Europe and North America, which together account for about 60% of global hydrogen demand.
The report proposes a realistic path to net-zero emissions by 2050 and examines the role that clean hydrogen can play in the energy transition between now and 2050. It not only lays out the potential long-term role of hydrogen, but also describes the steps needed to be taken over the next 10 years to help achieve the 2050 net-zero goal.
On the application side, hydrogen is used in industry (such as steel and chemical raw materials), long-distance transportation (such as heavy trucks, coaches and train fuel), international shipping (such as marine and aviation fuel), heating (such as high-grade Decarbonization of industrial thermal energy) and power generation (such as dispatchable and backup power) is critical.
Over the 10 years between now and 2030, accelerating the scale-up of hydrogen is key to ultimately achieving the 2050 net-zero target. To this end, the world needs to deploy 75 million tons of clean hydrogen by 2030. Its supply could replace 25 million tons of grey hydrogen for ammonia, methanol and chemical refining, 50 billion liters of diesel for ground transportation and 60 million tons of coal for steel production.
At the same time, scale is key to reducing the cost of hydrogen. To meet these demands at optimal cost, 200-250 GW of electrolyzers, 300-400 GW of renewable energy capacity, and 45-55 million tons of low-carbon hydrogen production facilities will need to be deployed.
The "Report" points out that achieving these goals requires the joint efforts of governments and businesses, such as strong policies (promulgation of relevant laws and appropriate carbon pricing), the construction of large-scale infrastructure, and minimizing the risk of initial investment. By 2030, the use of clean hydrogen is expected to save about 730 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.
In addition, while hydrogen investment is currently strong, it is still far from the net-zero target. In order to achieve the goal, the "Report" pointed out that by 2030, the investment needs to be expanded to 700 billion US dollars, of which 300 billion US dollars are used for hydrogen supply, 200 billion US dollars are used for infrastructure construction, and 200 billion US dollars are used for the application side. As a result, the current investment gap is as high as $540 billion.
In the past year, with the application of hydrogen in various fields and the rapid growth of hydrogen-related projects, more and more countries and regions have gradually recognized the importance and contribution of hydrogen to decarbonization. However, what is being done is still far from enough, and if global warming is to be limited to 1.5-1.8°C by 2050, the deployment of hydrogen projects will need to be accelerated by a factor of five to achieve the goal.
To this end, the "Report" calls for measures and actions from three aspects to realize hydrogen's emission reduction potential: stimulating the application demand of hydrogen in various fields, developing infrastructure to ensure the end use of hydrogen, and accelerating the large-scale deployment of hydrogen to enable It is cost competitive.
Article source: Chinese Science Journal
Author: Li Huiyu
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