It’s time we moved beyond hydrogen’s color palette


Green hydrogen is the talk of the town these days, but how useful are all those colors of hydrogen that get referenced as a shorthand? It seems to me that we are better off adopting a different approach to more clearly understand the benefits and impacts that attach to hydrogen production.

Hydrogen colors like green, blue, gray, black, and brown are used, of course, broadly to communicate how clean or otherwise is the hydrogen being produced. It is also just a means of catching the method of production – if you can remember all those options!

Because, as more hydrogen production processes have been developed, or improved upon, the array of different descriptive colors is now quite unwieldy.

Here’s an alternative. Wouldn’t it be better if we adopted a worldwide, standardized carbon intensity scale or scoring system that could be applied to any hydrogen production and then its usage? After all, this is something that is already used in other contexts to compare the carbon intensity of various fuels.

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