“Today, hydrogen is anything but clean. That 98% produced today is an industrial feedstock. Just 2% is produced from electrolysis,” said Enel Green Power’s head of business development, Carlo Zorzoli.
“Hydrogen today is not a solution to decarbonisation: hydrogen is a part of the problem. So the very first thing to do is convert grey hydrogen to green,” Zorzoli added, speaking at the Enlit Europe webcast, as quoted by Power Engineering.
Enel Green Power has ambitious plans for green hydrogen: the company recently sealed a deal with Italian energy company Saras for the construction of a 20-MW electrolyzer that will be powered by renewable energy to produce green hydrogen.
“We are constantly seeking partnerships to identify the best applications for this technology, particularly in industrial sectors that cannot be electrified and with emissions that are harder to reduce, including the chemical industry sector," said the chief executive of Enel Green Power, Salvatore Bernabei.
On its website, Enel Green Power explains that most hydrogen produced today is produced through natural gas reformation or coal gasification—both processes that involve greenhouse gas emissions that, according to Zorzoli are “comparable to that of Indonesia and the UK combined.”
The company notes the alternative that is blue hydrogen, which is grey hydrogen but with carbon capture and storage. The cost, Enel Green Power says, is prohibitive, and there will always be fugitive emissions.
When it comes to cost, however, green hydrogen is not exactly cheap. Right now, according to a study commissioned by International Council on Clean Transportation, the price per kilo of hydrogen produced at a grid-connected hydrolyzer is currently $8.81. This will fall to $5.77 per kilo by 2050.
But the price per kilo of blue hydrogen, produced through carbon capture and storage, is currently $2.36 (2 euro), according to the EU’s hydrogen strategy. Also, according to this strategy, the price of green hydrogen varies between $2.95 and $6.49 per kilo (2.5-5.5 euro).
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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