Hydrogen - A good candidate for clean energy transition

As the world races towards clean energy, hydrogen emerges as a "potential winning candidate". According to analysts, the hydrogen market could reach $1 trillion per year by 2050.

The industry will be worth 1 trillion USD/year:

Oilprice (OPC) UK news site early March 2022 updated with new reports showing: The hydrogen market could be worth up to 1 trillion USD per year by 2050 when it becomes an important source of energy for transition from fossil fuels to green alternatives. With a greater number of energy companies and governments investing in hydrogen projects, it could form an important part of the energy mix going forward.

Hydrogen is expected to be of great value in the future if current energy investment trends continue to grow. Several countries around the world are producing hydrogen, but the form of production is significantly different. Many oil and gas companies produce gray or blue hydrogen, turning waste carbon from fossil fuels into hydrogen, which is still dependent on gas operations. But now, two years after the pandemic and the COP26 climate summit, several countries are looking to invest in green hydrogen, generating energy using water electrolysis.

Michele DellaVigna, head of commodity equity trading for EMEA at Goldman Sachs, explains: “If we want to reach Net Zero, we don't just rely on renewables, we need something that plays a vital role. more important than natural gas today, especially to manage seasonality and discontinuity, and that is hydrogen. The utility of hydrogen is so great that it can be used for heavy traffic, heating and for various heavy industries.

To hit the estimated $1 trillion per year target, hydrogen would have to account for about 15% of the global energy market. With oil companies seeing hydrogen as a way to reduce their carbon footprint by using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to turn carbon waste into usable energy, producing hydrogen is likely to increase dramatically over the next decade. This will be further supported by investment from governments and energy companies, which is growing across Europe and Asia.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has long predicted the growth of the hydrogen market in its 2019 Future of Hydrogen report. Hydrogen demand has tripled since 1975, to 6%. Natural gas and 2% of the world's coal were used for hydrogen production in 2019 although it has been criticized for its high carbon emissions.

From forecast to ongoing projects:

Due to the increasing demand for clean energy, it is not enough to rely on renewable sources alone, but the world has to find other sources, including hydrogen. And now, not only European, and Middle Eastern countries are developing hydrogen economy, but Namibia also has big plans for a new green hydrogen plant. At an estimated cost of $18 million, the hydrogen plant will be located in the Erongo region, with construction starting this year and operational in 2023.

The project will be implemented in the form of a joint venture between Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group and CMB.TECH. “Although the transition away from fossil fuels can take time and, in many ways, green hydrogen is one that demonstrates enormous potential in getting us there. Namibia is the perfect location for a green hydrogen project thanks to its existing solar, wind or hydroelectricity operations,” O&L Executive Chairman Sven Thieme explained to the press.

India is another country looking to increase hydrogen production by introducing new policies to welcome hydrogen into the energy mix. The government's new Green Hydrogen Policy is in response to India's National Hydrogen Mission, which aims to establish the country as a green hydrogen hub and reduce its carbon footprint. India aims to produce 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2030. The new policy allows green hydrogen producers to access renewable energy more easily or set up their own projects, waiving one associated fees and facilitation of related licensing processes.

Along with India, Japan is currently testing its first hydrogen train, putting the energy source into operation. In February, train company JR East launched the first hybrid train powered by hydrogen energy, a zero-emissions transportation vehicle developed by Hitachi and Toyota at a cost of $34.8 million. The first phase of testing will be conducted in early March, with commercial operation scheduled for 2030. Hybari trains, powered by batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, with storage tanks providing hydrogen for fuel cells, and electricity is generated through a chemical reaction with oxygen in the air. Energy is stored by the battery each time the train brakes.

The combination of power sources allows the train to achieve a greater range than if it were to run on batteries alone. Expected, the Hybari will reach a top speed of 100 km/h and a range of 140 km with a single charge of high-pressure hydrogen. However, the cost of a hydrogen-powered train will likely remain higher than that of traditional diesel-fueled trains.

Will hydrogen be the energy of the future, forming a large share of the next decade's green energy mix? Many countries and energy companies appear to be betting big on hydrogen, both fossil fuel-based and green. As hydrogen projects appear in many countries, it is likely that the energy source here will be in one form or another depending on the production technology.

Hydrogen fuel basics:

According to the US government's energy news website Energy, hydrogen is a clean fuel that, when consumed in a fuel cell, produces only water. Hydrogen can be produced from a variety of resources, such as natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, and renewables such as solar and wind. These qualities make it an attractive fuel choice for transportation and power generation applications. It can be used in cars, in homes, for portable power, and in many other applications. Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can be used to store, move, and power energy generated from other sources.

Today, hydrogen fuel can be produced through a number of methods. The most common methods are natural gas conversion (a thermal process) and electrolysis. Other methods include biological processes and the use of solar energy. Thermal processes for hydrogen production typically involve steam reformation, a high-temperature process in which steam reacts with hydrocarbon fuels to produce hydrogen. Many hydrocarbon fuels can be improved to produce hydrogen, including natural gas, diesel, renewable liquid fuels, gasified coal, or gasified biomass. Today, about 95% of total hydrogen is produced from the water vapor conversion of natural gas.

Water can be separated into oxygen and hydrogen through a process known as electrolysis. Electrolytic processes take place in an electrolyzer, which acts like a fuel cell in reverse - instead of using the energy of a hydrogen molecule, like a fuel cell, an electrolyzer generates hydrogen from water molecules. Solar-powered processes use light as an agent to produce hydrogen. There are a number of processes that use solar energy, including photobiochemistry, photovoltaics, and solar thermochemistry. Photosynthetic processes use the natural photosynthetic activity of bacteria and green algae to produce hydrogen. The photoelectrochemical process uses specialized semiconductors to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Biological processes use microorganisms such as bacteria and microalgae and can produce hydrogen through biological reactions. In microbial biomass metabolism, microorganisms break down organic matter such as biomass or wastewater to produce hydrogen, while in photobiosynthesis, microorganisms use sunlight as an energy source.

The first hydrogen project in Vietnam:

In Vietnam, Enterprize Energy (United Kingdom - Singapore) and investors from Europe have proposed to the Vietnamese Government to set up an investment project Thang Long Wind 2 (TLW2) to produce hydrogen from electricity. sea water distribution for export at the Thang Long offshore wind power project area (Ke Ga cape, Binh Thuan province) with a scale of 2,000 MW, total investment of about 5 billion USD, expected implementation time from 2022 to 2030.

This is Vietnam's first project of hydrogen production from seawater electrolysis, which is groundbreaking, exploiting the offshore wind's potential to the fullest, as well as laying the foundation for the development of a green hydrogen economy for Vietnam in the near future. in the near future due to its location in international trade shipping routes, short distances to potential export markets such as Japan, Korea, and Singapore. In addition, during the implementation process, TLW2 will make full use of the capacity and experience of domestic oil and gas contractors such as PTSC, Vietsovpetro to process and manufacture marine works. According to Enterprize Energy, green hydrogen is created through the electrolysis of water, where wind power is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The generated hydrogen can be stored as a liquid gas, suitable for use in many fields and convenient for transportation.

In the spirit of Resolution 55-NQ/TW of the Politburo dated 11/02/2020 on researching, building and encouraging the use of hydrogen energy in line with the general trend of the world, recently, in Decision No. 1658/QD-TTg dated October 1, 2021, the Prime Minister approved the National Strategy on Green Growth for the period 2021 - 2030, with a vision to 2050, which clearly states the tasks of the Ministry of Industry and Trade on research develop a mechanism to encourage the development of hydrogen fuel associated with offshore wind power.


Thus, the proposal to invest in the TLW2 project off the coast of Binh Thuan province is completely consistent with the trend of green economic development and global green growth, contributing to enhancing the position and prestige of Vietnam. international arena.


Reference links:

1/     https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/Hydrogen-On-Track-To-Become-A-1-Trillion-Per-Year-Industry.html

2/ https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/hydrogen-fuel-basics

3/ https://dangcongsan.vn/kinh-te/du-an-san-xuat-hydro-tu-dien-phan-nuoc-bien-dau-tien-cua-viet-nam-595301.html