Commentary: Why is hydrogen becoming such an attractive source of clean energy?

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In a tweet on January 9, 2021, Young congratulated Kwasi Kwarteng on his appointment as UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Young added, “As Chairman of the Hydrogen APPG, I can say with confidence that Kwasi is a great friend of hydrogen and our green energy program.”

It seems that Kwasi Kwarteng, the government minister responsible for business and energy, is facing a lot of encouragement.

(How will importing electricity from Malaysia contribute to Singapore’s quest for cleaner energy? Read up on The Climate Conversations.)

HYDROGEN HAS A ROLE IN REACHING NET ZERO

Even a hydrogen skeptic like myself realizes that it will play a role in achieving net zero. Hydrogen is a very useful element for a range of chemicals that benefit society, and neither is ammonia, which is used to produce fertilizers and help feed the planet.

Our first hydrogen action should therefore be to decarbonize the current production of hydrogen emitting CO2.

Hydrogen can also find applications in heavy transportation, aviation, shipping, and high temperature industrial processes. Let’s determine where hydrogen should be used based on “people, profit and planet” evidence, not hype.

READ: Commentary: This low-carbon future for Singapore isn’t that far-fetched

The UK government will be releasing its hydrogen strategy soon and I hope the politicians involved have enough knowledge to balance the weak hydrogen evidence position advocated by organizations with something to gain.

I hope they also realize that what is good for big business may not be in the best interests of the consumer.

Tom Baxter is Honorary Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of Aberdeen. This comment first appeared on The Conversation.


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