Summary: Claims that hydrogen could be used to heat homes and reduce CO2 emissions have been called into question. A new study has concluded that hydrogen is less cost-effective and efficient than alternatives like heat pumps. The study was published in the journal Joule by the energy think tank the Regulatory Assistance Project. Hydrogen is appealing because it can be produced from water and doesn’t emit CO2 when burned. Most of the world’s hydrogen is now built using fossil fuels (known as “grey hydrogen”). The UK government is encouraging households to switch from fossil fuel-burning boilers to heat pumps.
Hydrogen is appealing because it can be produced from water, a nearly infinite resource, and doesn’t emit CO2 when burned. However, there are significant issues with how hydrogen is produced, making it far from a miraculous energy source. Most of the world’s hydrogen is now built using fossil fuels (known as “grey hydrogen”), a more environmentally damaging technique than simply using methane gas.
For hydrogen to be regarded as “green,” water must be electrolyzed using electricity generated from renewable sources. The ineffectiveness of the procedure is the issue.
Utilizing a heat pump to heat a home directly uses less energy than producing electricity from wind or solar, converting it to hydrogen, and then burning the hydrogen at home.
According to David Cebon, of the Hydrogen Science Coalition and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Cambridge University, heating homes with green hydrogen would require about six times as much renewable electricity in the UK as opposed to heat pumps.
He remarked, “Especially since the well-known principles of thermodynamics determine the answer, we do not have the time or resources to waste further exploring hydrogen’s involvement in house heating.
According to the analysis, there is a chance that discussions about using hydrogen for heating in the future may cause a hold-up in the adoption of clean heating technologies that are now on the market.
Low carbon hydrogen “may play a significant role in helping decarbonize heat in buildings,” a Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) representative for Mr. Rees-Ministry Mogg’s told BBC News.
However, the government has made it plain that a decision on this won’t be taken until 2026, allowing for a thorough review of pertinent data.
The government is encouraging households to switch from fossil fuel-burning boilers to heat pumps by providing £5,000 incentives.
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network