The ongoing transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy has raised the level of interest and investment in zero-emission hydrogen.
While much of the focus on transitioning to hydrogen has been centred around the transportation sector, according to the team at independent research and advisory firm Lux Research, the roadmap for achieving a hydrogen economy runs through the industrial sector.
In a recent report, the Lux Research team tackles the state of innovation and investment in hydrogen.
The report lays out key technologies and processes shaping alternative energy applications in the transportation and power generation industries before delving into specific approaches for decarbonizing the industrial sector using renewable hydrogen.
“To date, the majority of innovation in fuel cells, the ‘engine’ in a hydrogen economy, has largely been driven by automakers and OEMs,” said Runeel Daliah, Analyst on the Energy team at Lux Research and author of the report.
“However, it must be remembered that hydrogen is, first and foremost, an essential feedstock for the refining and chemicals industry. Therefore, it stands to reason that the industrial sector, not the transportation sector, should be the bedrock for hydrogen technology innovation.”
In industry, Lux said it finds that hydrogen innovation lies at the point of production in the form of water electrolysis. With the rise of renewable energy sources, these techniques can decouple hydrogen generation and CO2 emissions to provide the chemical sector with a zero-carbon hydrogen feedstock.
Interest and investment in such industrial applications continues to grow with numerous projects launched, primarily in Europe, using water electrolysis.
While it makes the case for why “a hydrogen economy needs to make industrial use a priority”, the report also highlights some of the challenges hydrogen innovation faces and implementation details for addressing the challenges and details on projects that are already underway.
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