The Significance of Green Hydrogen as a Clean Energy Alternative

by Michael Nguyen
Green Hydrogen

Green hydrogen is increasingly recognized globally as a viable clean energy resource capable of decarbonizing high-emission sectors like transportation and industrial manufacturing.

Earlier this year, the International Solar Alliance, led by India, inaugurated the Green Hydrogen Innovation Centre. India has also allocated $2.3 billion to encourage the production, utilization, and exportation of green hydrogen. The topic of global collaboration on green hydrogen production and distribution is set to be a central discussion point among G-20 leaders during their summit in New Delhi this week.

Understanding Green Hydrogen

Hydrogen is extracted by isolating it from other elements in molecules that contain hydrogen. A classic example is water, chemically represented as H2O, which comprises two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Electrolysis can be employed to separate these components.

Hydrogen has been produced at a commercial scale for over a hundred years, primarily for creating fertilizers, plastics, and for oil refining. Traditionally, its production has heavily relied on fossil fuels, particularly natural gas. However, when renewable energy sources power this production, the hydrogen obtained is termed as ‘green hydrogen.’

Applications of Green Hydrogen

Green hydrogen has a diverse range of applications across various industries. It can be utilized in steel production, concrete manufacturing, and the chemical and fertilizer industries. Besides, it offers potential for electricity generation, fuel for transport, and residential and commercial heating. Currently, hydrogen is predominantly used in oil refining and fertilizer production. While the need for petroleum refining will diminish in a fossil-free world, the emissions from fertilizer production can be mitigated through the use of green hydrogen.

Francisco Boshell, an energy analyst at the International Renewable Energy Agency, is optimistic about green hydrogen filling the gaps in the clean energy transition. It is particularly useful in sectors where battery storage of renewable energy, like solar and wind, is not practical—such as aviation and shipping.

Concerns and Limitations

While green hydrogen offers a wide range of applications, there are challenges. According to a report by the Energy Transitions Commission, hydrogen’s highly flammable nature and transportation challenges limit its use in decentralized applications like residential heating. The report also highlights that converting renewables to hydrogen and then back to power is less efficient than direct electrification.

Other concerns include the high production cost, investment risks, the increased demand for water, and the absence of international standards that hinder the formation of a global market.

Future Prospects

Analysts project that the global market for green hydrogen will swell to $410 billion by 2030, more than doubling its current size. However, its sustainability and scalability remain subjects of debate. Critics argue that its ‘green’ label is conditional upon the source of energy used for its production.

Francisco Boshell counters this skepticism. According to his organization, hydrogen demand will skyrocket to 550 million tons by 2050, up from the current 100 million tons. Replacing the existing gray hydrogen—hydrogen produced using fossil fuels—will guarantee a sustainable market for green hydrogen in the long run.

In summary, while green hydrogen presents a compelling alternative for a cleaner future, its practical applications and limitations still require considerable investigation and debate.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Green Hydrogen

What is green hydrogen?

Green hydrogen is a form of hydrogen that is produced using renewable energy sources like solar, wind, or hydroelectric power. It is termed ‘green’ because its production does not emit carbon dioxide, making it a clean and sustainable energy resource.

How is green hydrogen produced?

Green hydrogen is primarily produced through the electrolysis of water (H2O), wherein electricity from renewable sources is used to separate hydrogen from oxygen. This differs from traditional hydrogen production methods, which often use fossil fuels like natural gas.

What are the applications of green hydrogen?

Green hydrogen has a wide array of applications across multiple sectors. It can be used in steelmaking, concrete production, chemical manufacturing, and fertilizer production. It can also serve as a fuel for transport, for generating electricity, and for heating residential and commercial spaces.

Are there any limitations or drawbacks to using green hydrogen?

While green hydrogen offers multiple applications, it is not without limitations. Its highly flammable nature and the challenges associated with its transport make it less suitable for decentralized applications like residential heating. Additionally, converting renewables to hydrogen and then back to energy is generally less efficient than direct electrification.

What is the projected market size for green hydrogen?

The global market for green hydrogen is expected to reach $410 billion by 2030. This projection would more than double its current market size, indicating substantial growth and interest in the resource.

Is green hydrogen a completely sustainable resource?

While green hydrogen is a cleaner alternative to fossil fuel-based hydrogen, its sustainability is conditional. Critics argue that the ‘green’ label largely depends on the source of renewable energy used in its production.

What role does green hydrogen play in global energy policy?

Green hydrogen is emerging as an important element in global discussions on clean energy and climate change. For example, it was a topic of significant interest at the G-20 summit in New Delhi, and various nations are investing in its production and utilization.

How does green hydrogen compare to gray hydrogen?

Gray hydrogen is produced using fossil fuels like natural gas, leading to carbon emissions. On the other hand, green hydrogen is produced using renewable energy sources, resulting in zero carbon emissions during production.

Is green hydrogen commercially viable?

The commercial viability of green hydrogen is still a topic of debate. While it offers a clean alternative for many industrial processes and transportation, its high production costs and the need for special transport and storage facilities currently challenge its large-scale commercial adoption.

More about Green Hydrogen

You may also like


Emily Williams September 6, 2023 - 3:56 am

Really comprehensive read. I appreciate the deep dive into not just the benefits but also the limitations. Btw, do we have any existing large-scale projects using green hydrogen?

Sophia Clark September 6, 2023 - 3:58 am

This is a really educational piece. First time I’m hearing about green hydrogen. Its exciting but the limitations you pointed out are definitely worth pondering on.

John Smith September 6, 2023 - 9:27 am

Wow, this article’s a game changer! Never knew green hydrogen had so much potential. But whats the deal with its flammability? Seems like a big drawback to me.

Michael O'Brien September 6, 2023 - 11:42 am

interesting. always thought solar and wind were the only ways to go for clean energy. Green hydrogen could be the missing link. Why’s it not already everywhere tho?

Karen White September 6, 2023 - 12:28 pm

Loved the depth of the article, but what about the social and political aspects? Governments are usually slow to adopt new tech. Any insights there?

Timothy Brown September 6, 2023 - 12:49 pm

the market projections are staggering! $410 billion by 2030?? Man, I need to tell my investment broker to look into this asap.

Sarah Anderson September 6, 2023 - 2:58 pm

Good article but it left me wondering, if we’re investing billions, why is it still so costly to produce? Shouldn’t the cost be going down by now?

Brian Davis September 6, 2023 - 5:17 pm

Is it me or does it feel like green hydrogen is being pushed by the same big corporations that profited from fossil fuels? Makes me a bit skeptical tbh.


Leave a Comment


BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News