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Hydrogen could usher in the energy transition

Hydrogen (H) has what it takes to decarbonize large parts of transportation and industry and bring us closer to climate protection goals. It could also be used to store green electricity.

10 Dec. 2017
Michael Triadan
Fuel Cell Energy-solutions
Hydrogen could usher in the energy transition (picture: FuelCell Energy Solutions GmbH)

Although hydrogen has long been irreplaceable in many industries, it is still not widely used as fuel. This is all the more surprising, as it could be used to store the electricity from renewable energy over the long term and to make a significant contribution to decarbonization, i.e. reducing the use of fossil-fuel energy sources. Hydrogen is thus a key element for a sustainable and integrated energy system of the future.

The BMWi-funded "multi-talent hydrogen" would allow us to drastically reduce emissions and, as a result, reach climate targets more quickly. In contrast to fossil fuels, hydrogen can be obtained from renewable sources: Wind or solar power use an emission-free electrolysis process to split water into its hydrogen and oxygen components. In Germany, larger plants are currently being built at Shell in North Rhine-Westphalia and at the Schindler oil works in Hamburg .

Especially in combination with fuel cells, hydrogen can be converted into energy cleanly and with high efficiency, and used everywhere where electricity or heat is needed: for example, in vehicles and in cogeneration plants in buildings, where they are already partially in use, or in emergency generators.