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Green Hydrogen: Can It Save the Environment?

Green Hydrogen Responds To the Urgent Need For Decarbonisation Around the World

Trees and water

If the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated anything, it is how vulnerable human beings are to the world we inhabit. Photo: Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: Hidrógeno verde: ¿la salvación del medio ambiente?

One of the main reasons for the environmental crises we are currently experiencing is the use of conventional energy, also known as non-renewable energy. Today these types of energy are still the most used in markets and industries throughout the globe despite the obvious impact they have on the environment and therefore on civil society. But little by little, renewable energies are ending the economy's dependence on carbon and fossil fuels.

If the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated anything, it is how vulnerable human beings are to the world we inhabit. International organizations, concerned about the short-term future that awaits us if we continue to destroy our planet, have set their sights on a more sustainable world economy that may mean the persistence of the human race.

What Is Green Hydrogen and Why Is It Becoming Popular?

The circular or sustainable economy seeks to reactivate the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic and make countries grow economically without affecting the environment and consequently the most vulnerable populations. Thus, green hydrogen could mean a perfect solution for the world's governments and industries. 

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Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element in the universe, but on earth it is very difficult to find it in its natural state. To make use of its energy it is necessary to use other raw materials consuming other types of energy. Until very recently, hydrocarbons were used to make hydrogen energy, which meant that it was conventional and non-renewable energy. 

However, now hydrogen can be produced by a process called electrolysis. This process splits water into oxygen and hydrogen and produces what is known as green hydrogen or e-hydrogene. The problem? Its production is much more expensive compared to conventional hydrogen. However,  this cost is much lower in the long term than the use of non-renewable energy.

Different industries and governments see in it an alternative to decarbonize most of the sectors that generate greenhouse gases and pollute. For example, oil companies such as Shell, RP and, recently, Fortescue have created green hydrogen production projects to start their transition to renewable energy.

Why Should Non-Renewable Energies Disappear?

The equation is simple: conventional or non-renewable energies, as the name suggests, are energies that cannot be renewed and are therefore limited. As they are consumed, they are depleted and it becomes more difficult and expensive to access them. This, of course, has an influence on the economy, because the less there are, the more expensive they become. In addition, its extraction has an abysmal impact on the environment, causing loss of biodiversity, pollution, and greenhouse gases.

It must be taken into account that this type of energy has been used for decades and many of the current technologies are based on them, so making the transition to renewable energies would imply that new ways of accessing them are considered. However, in the long term, the consequences of the use of non-renewable energy will be much more costly for humans than the transition to renewable energy.

Clean, Renewable Energies That Preserve the Planet Earth and the Human Race

Renewable energies are all those that are obtained from natural and inexhaustible sources, such as the sun (solar energy) or the wind (wind energy). These do not produce polluting emissions and are varied. Likewise, these do not generate waste and are designed to be dismantled easily, so they are safer for human health. Renewable energies reduce extraction costs and have proven to be of great benefit to the regions where they are used.