Author: Ajay Singh
Energy Review, Vol 4. Issue 7. 2022
The upsurge of interest in hydrogen due to the 'climate emergency’ has galvanized efforts toward its mass adoption. However, this hype alone will not remove the long-standing hurdle of cost competitiveness. Collaboration among potential producers, consumers, financiers and regulators is needed to strategically channel investment into the right technologies and regions. The cleanest, most direct and fastest route to affordable hydrogen is to produce it from renewable power in major demand centers where such power is cheapest such as India, China and NW Europe - and to use it locally, eliminating expensive processing and transport. That will rapidly build economies of scale in electrolyzers, which can be extended subsequently to regions with currently more expensive renewable power - such as Japan. To decarbonize, hydrogen must become available at $1/kg - equivalent to the long-term price of natural gas and a quarter of that of gasoline. It would benefit none if hydrogen becomes merely a 'rich man’s fuel’ while the majority continues to burn oil.
(Mr. Ajay Singh is Managing Director of Global Energy Development Ltd and Managing Executive Officer of Mitsui OSK Lines, Tokyo)