Transitioning to a greener future means abandoning fossil fuels and embracing renewables. However, in certain circumstances, this just isn’t feasible in the necessary timeframe. Luckily, hydrogen energy could help fill in the gap and help the decarbonization process.
Here are 8 advantages and disadvantages of Hydrogen energy to consider.
What is Hydrogen Energy?
Hydrogen energy is the process of using hydrogen or components/substances that contain hydrogen to generate energy. This process does not generate carbon or other greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, it only produces water.
It is most commonly used to produce hydrogen-fuel cells, which will revolutionize the transportation industry.
Advantages of Hydrogen Energy
1. Travel Long Distances, With No Emissions
As the world moves away from fossil fuel engines, long-distance trips will become problematic. For the trucking industry, hydrogen-fuel cells can be replaced when necessary instead of needing to recharge like electric vehicles.
Just last year, a new super car could get 1,000 miles on one tank of hydrogen.
2. It’s Renewable
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe accounting for 75% of all materials. And we can easily generate hydrogen using water electrolysis, which is the process of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.
While this process requires electricity, you can generate it using renewable sources like wind.
3. Drinking Water is the Only By-Product
We all know that fossil fuels release carbon emissions, along with other toxic substances into our atmosphere. And one of the main reasons hydrogen is being considered is that it doesn’t do any of this.
Instead, the only by-product of hydrogen energy is water. And you can even drink the water, although you should still process it first.
Disadvantages of Hydrogen Energy
1. Hydrogen is Extremely Flamable
It’s no secret that hydrogen gas is extremely flammable. Keeping large amounts of it stored at any location is a serious risk to anyone close by in the event something goes wrong. It could potentially make accidents more dangerous than ever.
That said, this concern is the worst-case scenario.
2. It’s Difficult to Store
Hydrogen has the simplest atomic structure in the universe and also the lightest. This might sound like a good thing, but it makes it extremely difficult to store and transport in large quantities. The gas actually has to be compressed into a liquid for storage purposes.
This requires a lot of pressure, which is not only difficult to achieve, but expensive.
3. It’s Expensive
Not only is storing it expensive, but the actual production of hydrogen is costly. Unlike other renewable sources, hydrogen requires electricity to produce, and while this can come from a renewable source, it is costly to set up.
Not to mention changing the entire world’s infrastructure to support hydrogen refueling stations.
It Could Be the Next Big Energy Player
While the concept of hydrogen energy has been around for years, other renewable sources of energy like solar and wind have really become the focus for most companies.
That said, when it comes to transportation and heating, hydrogen might be the next big star. It’s clean, renewable, and offers countless benefits over what is current fossil fuel sources.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.