In the best of circumstances, hydrogen can be made from electrolysis of water, powered either by solar or wind. Theoretically, it can therefore store surplus renewable power when the grid is unable to absorb it, and most critically, it can help decarbonize hard-to-electrify sectors such as long-distance transport and heavy industry. It has emerged, in part, because of our need for a solution to the intermittency of renewables.

Originally used by the Nazis to produce synthetic fuels from coal, currently– as earthquakes and climate change turn natural gas from boon to bane—there is new hope for the use of hydrogen if it can be made “clean”.

Hydrogen is not a technology, but rather an energy carrier that can be produced either clean or dirty. The climate impact depends entirely on how it is made – if from natural gas, not so clean (called “grey”), if from natural gas with carbon capture and storage, better (called “blue”), and if from the electrolysis of water powered by renewables, very fine indeed (called “green”).

Some have posited that hydrogen has a future fueling private cars, but most believe that the future of automobiles is electric, although many suggest that long haul freight will be electric plus hydrogen. Philipp Niessen, director for industry and innovation at the European Climate Foundation, predicts its most important potential lies “in sectors such as heavy industry where there is no decarbonization alternative.”

Essentially, all of the summarized information above came from an utterly brilliant, articulate, and vastly more comprehensive article written by Sonja van Renssen, on August 27, 2020, in Nature Climate Change. A PDF of the entire article is here.


Nine Mile Point Begins Clean Hydrogen Production

Clean hydrogen production is underway at the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in Oswego, New York. The facility is the first-of-its-kind in the United States to generate clean hydrogen using nuclear power.
Read more

California declared war on natural gas. Now the fight is going national

By Sammy Roth 02/09/23
In July 2019, elected officials in the Bay Area city, a national leader in progressive politics and environmental protection, voted to ban gas hookups in most new homes. That meant no gas furnaces, boilers or…
Read more

Guest post: Can ‘green hydrogen’ grow fast enough for 1.5C?

By Adrian Odenweller and Others 01/23/23
Hydrogen is expected to become one of the building blocks for reaching global climate goals, yet current production is almost exclusively from high-carbon sources.
Read more

Study touting hydrogen — a technology favored by gas firms — was funded by gas interests, e-mails show

By Shabrina Shankman 11/17/22
A study by researchers at UMass Lowell on hydrogen's potential seemed innocuous enough. But hundreds of pages of e-mail correspondence now ...
Read more

DOE touts nuclear-powered hydrogen production projects with Xcel, Constellation, 4 other partners

By Rod Kuckro 11/10/22
The U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday highlighted plans to fund projects at four nuclear plants to demonstrate the clean production of hydrogen.
Read more

Is hydrogen really the Holy Grail of green energy?

By Mark Brownstein 10/27/22
Driven by severe price shocks in the oil and gas market combined with the urgent need for low-carbon fuels to stave off a climate crisis, hydrogen is being aggressively promoted as a cure for climate…
Read more

Breakthrough Twin-Fuel Hydrogen Engine Could Cause A Revolution

By Will Lockett 10/22/22
We are in a desperate race to halt our rampant carbon emissions and save the planet from our self-created catastrophe. Some of the most prominent technologies helping us achieve this venture are EVs and hydrogen…
Read more

Why Would You Make Hydrogen From Aluminum?

By Lloyd Alter 10/18/22
Everyone loves "green" hydrogen these days. It's the miracle fuel. The trouble is, it takes a lot of renewable or clean energy to make it through electrolysis, and the process is only about 80% efficient.…
Read more

Oakland tests electric transit buses for resilience in vehicle-to-building pilot

By Robert Walton 10/12/22
The city of Oakland, California, will be the site of a vehicle-to-building pilot analyzing how zero-emission transit buses can maintain critical loads during emergency conditions, project participants announced Tuesday.
Read more

I come bringing good news about hydrogen

By Noah Smith 10/02/22
The is a techno-optimist blog, and it’s time for another techno-optimist post. By now, everyone knows about the importance of solar and wind power. Some people still argue against these technologies, but the brute logic…
Read more

Alternative Fuels Data Center

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (Public Law 117-169) amends the Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit (IRC 30D), now known as the Clean Vehicle Credit, and adds a new requirement for final assembly…
Read more

Hydrogen for heating? A comparison with heat pumps (Part 1)

By David Cebon 04/15/22
The two most frequently proposed ways to heat buildings in a low-carbon future in the UK are: hydrogen to power hot water boilers, or electricity to power heat pumps. Hydrogen is being suggested in two…
Read more


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are powered by hydrogen. They are more efficient than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles and produce no tailpipe emissions—they only emit water vapor and warm air. FCEVs and the hydrogen…

Impact Of Green Hydrogen Production On The Availability Of Clean Electricity For The Grid

Gas utilities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are proposing to use variable renewable energy sources, particularly wind power, to produce green hydrogen to replace various proportions of fossil methane (natural gas), now burned for heat…

Global Hydrogen Review 2022

Hydrogen demand is growing, with positive signals in key applications Hydrogen demand reached 94 million tonnes (Mt) in 2021, recovering to above pre-pandemic levels (91 Mt in 2019), and containing energy equal to about 2.5%…


Is hydrogen a climate savior or a disaster? Cutting through the hype

By Sammy Roth   03/24/22  
As I admired the beach views from Scattergood Generating Station — a sprawling mess of electrical wires, gas-fired generators and towering red-and-white smokestacks — I couldn’t stop thinking about how this power plant could never…
Read more