Hydrogen for Net Zero: A critical cost-competitive energy vector
- Dec 3, 2021 3:27 pm GMT
Current industrial uses: A large share of the decarbonization will come from current industrial uses of hydrogen with 270 MT of CO2 avoided a year, particularly from the decarbonization of refining and ammonia synthesis. These applications are among the most attractive uses for early deliverable low-carbon hydrogen, at carbon abatement costs for high-purity emission streams of USD 50 to 100 a ton in most regions. Ground mobility: In the ground mobility sector hydrogen could avoid about 90 MT of CO2 emissions in 2030.
By about 2030, hydrogen-powered vehicles (e.g., heavy-duty trucks, coaches, long-range passenger vehicles, and rail) could achieve cost parity with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, leading to a significant scale-up. Given heavy payloads and long distances traveled, trucks account for the biggest share of the abatement. With a share of about 11% of global heavy-duty truck sales in 2030, emissions of about 60 MT of annual CO2 emissions would be avoided – as much as 22 million battery-electric passenger vehicles. Hydrogen-based fuels: Fuels based on hydrogen, e.g., ammonia, methanol, e-methane, e-kerosene, or liquid hydrogen, are the most promising scalable alternatives to decarbonize aviation and maritime applications above and beyond biofuels where feedstock availability is limited.
The early adoption of hydrogen in these sectors will be driven by regulators and industry commitments, and while hydrogen adoption in 2030 will be relatively low in these segments at about 1% and 6%, it lays the foundation to decarbonize these sectors longer-term by up to 60% by 2050.
Steel: While requiring larger initial investments, the use of hydrogen in steel represents a large, cost-effective decarbonization lever for 2030, with 880 MT of CO2 abated by then. A carbon cost of less than USD 50 to 100 a ton can make hydrogen-based steel production competitive in many locations due to the significant emissions of 1.85 tons of CO2 per ton of steel produced from coking coal. Steel could account for about 4% of hydrogen demand in 2030 while driving nearly 20% of emissions reductions that year.
Power: Hydrogen will enable early decarbonization of current fossil-fueled power generation assets through blending in natural gas, displacing fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas
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