Hydrogen could be the missing link in the energy transition, finds new IRENA report

Dear Richard
Today, the International Renewable Energy Agency launched *Hydrogen from Renewable Power – Technology Outlook for the Energy Transition. *Hydrogen could be the missing link in the energy transition: renewable electricity can be used to produce hydrogen, which can in turn provide renewable fuels to sectors otherwise difficult to decarbonise through direct electrification.
Key Findings:
– Hydrogen produced from renewable power could facilitate the deployment and integration of high shares of variable renewable energy (VRE) into the energy system. – Hydrogen from renewable power could create new downstream markets for renewable power. It has the potential to reduce renewable electricity generators’ exposure to power price volatility risk. – Key hydrogen technologies are reaching technology maturity. Scale-up is necessary to pursue the necessary cost reductions, building on decades of experience with an array of established global players and mature technologies and processes. – Proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysers and fuel cells are approaching technical maturity and economies of scale, with commercial deployment starting in several regions. – The economics remain challenging, with significant cost reductions to be achieved for hydrogen to reach competitiveness. Production of hydrogen from renewable power is expected to take place as both grid-connected, on-site production and off-grid, located where best renewable resources are. – Initial efforts could focus on large-scale applications, so as to rapidly generate economies of scale with minimal infrastructure requirements, and on sectors where hydrogen from renewables stands out as one of the few technically-feasible options to meet climate targets and comply with local emissions regulations.

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