What makes the use of hydrogen disruptive?

O que torna a utilização do hidrogênio disruptiva?

Hydrogen becomes a disruptive source due to the advantages and opportunities it brings to the energy market.

In recent years, the use of hydrogen as an energy source has become an agenda. After all, it is considered the fuel of the future, as it is a clean and renewable option.

Although still in development, it is believed that green hydrogen could one day replace fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas. By 2050, it could account for 12% of global energy consumption and more than 30% of the hydrogen consumed in the world at that time will be traded between countries.

Hydrogen has been used for energy purposes for some time, but the most used model is still not 100% clean. The so-called gray hydrogen depends on burning fossil fuels to be obtained. Thus, the most desired option, called green hydrogen, must have its production from clean sources, such as hydroelectric, wind or solar energy.

Why is the use of hydrogen considered disruptive?

Hydrogen is one of the most abundant chemical elements on earth and is present in many places. However, to use it, it is necessary to extract it from nature and carry out a series of processes so that it can be used as an energy source.

Electrolysis, which is one of the processes used to produce fuel, separates the hydrogen and oxygen in the water molecule with the help of an electric current. In this case, the current energy must come from clean sources for the resulting energy to be considered 100% clean.
The use of hydrogen as an energy source has several advantages. First, it is renewable. Furthermore, green hydrogen is a clean source. That is, when burned, it does not release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), replacing gray hydrogen with green would prevent the emission of 830 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Another positive point is that this source is versatile, and can be transformed into electricity or synthetic fuels that serve industries and the transport sector, which is so difficult to decarbonize. Hydrogen can also be stored for long periods, an advantage over clean but intermittent options.

The big obstacle for the source to take off is the high cost of production. About 70% of green hydrogen costs are linked to electricity. Therefore, the challenge is the cost of equipment, which needs to be reduced. Several countries have sought cheaper processes than electrolysis to be able to separate molecules. If the cost is reduced by 50%, the World Hydrogen Council guarantees that it will be the fuel of the future. That’s why the solution is so disruptive.

Green hydrogen and Brazil

Until 2021, the country still had no relevance in the production of green hydrogen. However, with the first energy HUB in the Pecém complex, the country entered the map.

With the growing development of wind and solar energy in the country, Brazil has great opportunities in the new sector of green hydrogen. More than 90% of the companies that make up the Global Hydrogen Council and 60% of the supporting members have subsidiaries in the country. This shows how the country is quoted to stand out in this type of production.

Among the favorable conditions for Brazil, making green hydrogen competitive, are all the incentives and policies in the renewable energy sector and also in the biofuel sector. Therefore, the country is listed as one of the main nations to expand this production, as well as hydrogen is considered disruptive for everything it can promote in terms of development and sustainability.

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