In recent years, new-found interest in the hydrogen economy from both industry and academia has helped to shed light on its potential. Hydrogen can enable an energy revolution by providing much needed flexibility in renewable energy systems. As a clean energy carrier, hydrogen offers a range of benefits for simultaneously decarbonizing the transport, residential, commercial and industrial sectors.
Hydrogen is shown here to have synergies with other low-carbon alternatives, and can enable a more cost-effective transition to de-carbonized and cleaner energy systems. This paper presents the opportunities for the use of hydrogen in key sectors of the economy and identifies the benefits and challenges within the hydrogen supply chain for power-to-gas, power-to-power and gas-to-gas supply pathways.
While industry players have already started the market introduction of hydrogen fuel cell systems, including fuel cell electric vehicles and micro-combined heat and power devices, the use of hydrogen at grid scale requires the challenges of clean hydrogen production, bulk storage and distribution to be resolved.
Ultimately, greater government support, in partnership with industry and academia, is still needed to realize hydrogen’s potential across all economic sectors. This article is part of the themed issue ‘The challenges of hydrogen and metals’.