- Jul 7, 2021 6:02 pm GMT
"Reasonable minds may differ on the question of whether hydrogen fuel cells have a place in the clean-energy future. However, it’s a fact that the fossil fuel giants have been heavily hyping hydrogen, and it’s not hard to see why, as the vast majority of hydrogen is currently produced from natural gas.
Oil companies (which now want to be known as 'energy companies') are keen to be seen as green these days. Shell, BP and Total are investing large sums in EV infrastructure, at all levels of the charging value chain. They also present their hydrogen business as a tool to reduce carbon emissions. However, recent comments by an oil industry lobbyist concerning the industry’s efforts to undermine climate regulations indicate that Big Oil’s double-dealing strategy—butterflies and grandchildren for the press, lobbyists and campaign cash for policymakers—hasn’t changed.
Michael Liebreich, the founder of BloombergNEF, presents some new thoughts about the issue in a recent interview published in Recharge.
Liebreich (who is no tree-hugging liberal, but a pro-business supporter of the UK Conservative Party, and an advisor to Norwegian oil giant Equinor) isn’t against hydrogen per se, but he believes (as do many in the clean energy field) that it makes sense only in certain use cases.
'In an attempt to guide governments and industry players away from the [oil industry-sponsored] spin, Liebreich has created what he calls his Hydrogen Ladder, a simple chart showing which use cases for H2 are uncompetitive, which are unavoidable for decarbonization, and which sit somewhere in the middle,' writes Recharge’s Leigh Collins."