Photo by Rafael Classen rcphotostock.com: https://www.pexels.com/photo/hydrogen-molecules-against-blue-background-10670941/

Why blue hydrogen is not the solution to reducing emissions

IEFFA said investment should be focused more on other technologies such as solar and wind.

Blue hydrogen is touted to help resolve the climate crisis, particularly in the US as the technology garnered support from the fossil fuel industry and the government. However, the International for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) claimed that it is “neither clean nor low-carbon.”

Blue hydrogen is produced using methane or coal, but it is believed to be low-carbon, as the emissions will be backed by carbon capture and storage.

IEEFA said the US government downplayed the impact of blue hydrogen production on global warming, noting that it assumed that only 1% of the methane used would be emitted into the atmosphere.

ALSO READ: Japan could face difficulties in reaching hydrogen goals: report

The assumption is less than the peer-reviewed scientific analyses, it said.

The US government also focused on the 100-year global warming potential (GWP) of methane, significantly understating “methane’s environmental impact on global warming, since its 20-year GWP is more than 80 times that of carbon dioxide while its 100-year GWP is much lower.”

It added that the government is also reliant on the assumption that hydrogen production projects could capture almost all of the carbon dioxide created.

“If the U.S. Department of Energy used more realistic numbers in its analyses, it would be clear blue hydrogen is an extremely dirty alternative,” said David Schlissel, IEEFA director of resource planning analysis and co-author of the report.

“The reality is, blue hydrogen is not clean or low-carbon. Pursuing this technology is wasting precious time and diverting attention from investing in more effective measures to combat global warming like wind and solar resources, battery storage and energy efficiency,” he added.

Anika Juhn, IEEFA analyst and co-author, said funding blue hydrogen projects will worsen global warming as it encourages building projects that will emit large amounts of greenhouse gases.

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