Climate Change Crisis Has Driven the Efforts to Find Renewable Energy, But With Intermittent Availability of Wind and Solar, Hydrogen Remains a Promising Source

Climate Change Crisis Has Driven the Efforts to Find Renewable Energy, But With Intermittent Availability of Wind and Solar, Hydrogen Remains a Promising Source

Over the years, the push to stop the negative effects of climate change has driven up the investments that produce energy from solar and wind. However, given the challenges associated with these clean sources such as the on and off availability, there’s a need to find other sources. It’s for this reason that hydrogen has been identified as a promising renewable energy source that can replace fossil fuels and help stop the looming crisis caused by climate change.

Hydrogen remains a promising source given the options it has when it comes to production as well as the versatility when it comes to its use. One way that is gaining popularity when it comes to the production of hydrogen, is the electrochemical water splitting process. It simply involves the passing of electricity through water usually in the presence of a catalyst to produce hydrogen and oxygen. Arguably, it is a clean process and certainly promising. The only challenge, however, at the moment, is the cost of power needed to do the splitting. If it reduces or a technology is found that increases efficiency, then there is no doubt that hydrogen will be the energy source of the future.

Thankfully, with the many research projects going on, there are indicators of success and that soon, there might, indeed, be effective technologies that will solve the problem of high production cost. For instance, researchers at the Georgia Institute of technology working in collaboration with Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) have come up with an alternative. They have devised a process that splits water efficiently to produce hydrogen. While it is still undergoing refinement, it is considered an effective solution and the best option for industrial partners that need to produce large amounts of hydrogen and relatively lower costs.

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In other news, the US government under President Biden’s administration set a goal during the last summer to reduce the cost of producing hydrogen by 80%. The project that is already on the course has been named the Hydrogen Shot. By the year 2030, the cost of producing clean green hydrogen will be expected to drop to 1USD/kg. If that becomes the case, then hydrogen will replace coal, natural gas, and the problem of carbon emissions, will be reduced by a significant margin.

To achieve the goal, scientists working in Georgia’s research team are looking to use hybrid materials specifically for the electro-catalyst. They argue that the current process being used in electrolysis involves the use of expensive and rare metal components such as iridium and platinum. So, if replaced with hybrid materials that are easily available and inexpensive. That’s what the scientists say is their major focus. Therefore, they are finding ways of reducing the use of these metals, while increasing the use of other viable alternatives. Notably, this is work in process, but the team is hopeful of a positive outcome that will reduce the cost of electrolysis.

Generally, renewable energy sources including solar, wind, and hydrogen are key in combating the climate crisis. The challenge with wind and solar is their intermittent availability while that of hydrogen is the relatively high cost of production. Through research, there’s hope that hydrogen is the renewable and clean energy source to watch now and soon.

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