Striking the right balance: understanding the strategic applications of hydrogen in transitioning to a net zero emissions economy

Jake Whitehead, Peter Newman, Jessica Whitehead, Kai Li Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The hydrogen economy has been a major vision for many futurists, for over half a century, as a way to transition to a world not dependent on fossil fuels (Bockris, Science 176:1323, 1972). As with many world views, the hydrogen economy has a complete perspective from which all potential change can be viewed. It therefore has a passionate if somewhat fundamentalist following. This paper outlines how electrification has now superseded much of the originally envisaged hydrogen economy and thus it deconstructs what is left of this vision to highlight hydrogen’s strategic, niche, yet important roles, that remain for supporting the transition to a global net zero emissions economy. In our view, it is critical that policy-makers, industry and researchers take a strategic view on striking the right balance on the adoption of hydrogen. Here we propose a framework for hydrogen development globally, with support directed towards enabling the decarbonisation of harder-to-electrify sectors using renewable hydrogen, including, but not limited to: steel, cement, fertilisers, chemical feedstocks, shipping, and aviation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalSustainable Earth Reviews
Volume6
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

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