Alexey Gromov, Principal Director on Energy Studies at the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to Oil&Capital on the prospects for introducing hydrogen technologies.
Hydrogen energy, along with such a concept as renewable energy sources (RES), is already recognized as a panacea in the struggle for climate neutrality, which is constantly reminded by European politicians. Economists have almost finished developing the parameters of the hydrogen market. At the same time, few people listen to the timid voice of engineers who remind of the unsolved main technological problems of using H2 (hydrogen). However, who is interested in these boring details about the complexities of storage, transportation and use of gas, which overshadow the very idea of decarbonization?
It is obvious that the leadership of the Russian Federation is serious about the prospect of introducing hydrogen technologies. In December 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to develop domestic buses and locomotives on hydrogen fuel by 2023.
The concern about the hydrogen agenda is understandable: the "green course" of the European Union, and now also the United States (the country's new president Joseph Biden is an active adherent of the "green course") and numerous forecasts of growing this energy sector make all players in the energy market "keep their finger on the pulse."
Aleksey Gromov, Principal Energy Director of the Institute for Energy and Finance, recalled, that hydrogen has become one of the constituent elements of the EU's strategic development in terms of the accelerated transition to low-carbon energy. “In July 2020, the European hydrogen strategy was published, before that, the German strategy was published, and we understand that hydrogen today is the mainstream at the level of energy policy, and not a tribute to technological fashion,” the expert said.
He also pointed out that in terms of turning the international energy agenda towards low-carbon technologies, which was especially observed in 2020, the global oil and gas companies are forced to seek a niche for themselves to gradually transform their business, including in the field of hydrogen production.
“At the same time, from an economic point of view, the production of “green” hydrogen on the scale declared by Europe is an expensive pleasure: “So far, it turns out that the production of “green” hydrogen will be 3-4 times more expensive than the traditional method in which CO2 is released. It is possible to reduce the cost of “green” hydrogen precisely by combining the technological efforts of several market players and by means of economies of scale. This is a fundamental challenge for the implementation of the European hydrogen strategy. For this, companies of the Shell level are organizing joint initiatives in this area,”Gromov said.
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