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Green hydrogen remains Holy Grail of renewable energy

December 31, 2020


Hydrogen has been advertised as a fuel that will take us into the low emission future by replacing hydrocarbons such as oil and natural gas.

There are several advantages to using hydrogen, chief of which is that the only emission from burning hydrogen is water.

Hydrogen can also conceivably be dispensed at pumps like petrol, which would allow hydrogen vehicles to be refuelled as quickly as their fossil fuel-powered counterparts.

This is distinct advantage over electric vehicles, which require long recharge times. Even fast charging requires between 20 to 30 minutes before reaching a partial charge sufficient for most requirements.

It is also more suitable for long-distance transport and aircraft.

However, there are also a number of challenges.

Toyota is planning to introduce its new Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car as a fleet vehicle in Australia, a move that is likely influenced by the lack of hydrogen refuelling stations in the country.

Probably a good thing that it is expected to be good for nearly 650km between top ups.

Despite this, the new vehicle is likely to provide some impetus for more refuelling stations to be built, which will in turn increase the future attractiveness of the vehicle.

Investment has also been increasing, a trend that is likely to continue in 2021.

This is crucial given that the current investment and production are not forecast to keep up with demand according to renewable energy think tank the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. 

[Bevis Yeo]

More: Will we start seeing the hydrogen future in 2021?

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