Consider a world driven by clean, sustainable energy, in which emissions are eliminated and our planet flourishes. Green hydrogen, the fuel of the future, has brought that planet within reach.
What exactly is Green Hydrogen?
Green hydrogen is generated using sustainable energy sources such as solar and wind power. Green hydrogen, as opposed to standard hydrogen, which is created using fossil fuels, is fully carbon-free. This implies that when burned, it does not generate damaging greenhouse gases, making it a key solution to climate change.
Green hydrogen is a versatile fuel that can be utilized for a variety of purposes, including:
- Power automobiles, trucks, buses, trains, and ships, replacing fossil fuels and lowering emissions from the transportation sector, which is a major source of air pollution.
- Making of steel, chemicals, and other products without the use of fossil fuels, lowering industrial emissions and supporting a more sustainable manufacturing process.
- Energy Storage: When renewable energy sources are unavailable, green hydrogen can be stored and used to generate power, assuring a consistent supply of clean energy.
In 2021, the NITI Aayog issued a paper titled “Harnessing Green Hydrogen Opportunities for Deep Decarbonisation in India.” The research discusses how green hydrogen could help India meet its net-zero emissions objective by 2070. It also lists a number of obstacles that must be addressed before green hydrogen production and consumption can be scaled up in India.
The high cost of creating green hydrogen is one of the major obstacles. However, as technology advances and economies of scale are realized, the cost is likely to fall dramatically. The National Institute of Technology Aayog is working on a number of projects to encourage green hydrogen research and development in India.
- The worldwide green hydrogen market is estimated to reach $2.5 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 31.4%.
- Green hydrogen generation is predicted to increase from 0.5 million tons in 2022 to 5 million tons by 2030.
- Green hydrogen use in transportation is estimated to reach 10 million tons by 2030.
- Green hydrogen has the potential to generate up to 5.4 million new Employment globally by 2030.
- Green hydrogen production costs are predicted to drop by 80% by 2050.
Areas of engineering for green hydrogen:
- Chemical engineering: Chemical engineers are in charge of creating the machinery and procedures needed to create, store, and move green hydrogen.
- Mechanical engineering: Mechanical engineers create and construct the fuel cells, electrolyzes, and hydrogen storage tanks that are utilized to create and utilize green hydrogen.
- The electrical systems needed to produce, transfer, and distribute green hydrogen electricity are designed and constructed by electrical engineers.
- Materials engineering: Materials engineers create novel materials and coatings that can be applied to green hydrogen technologies to increase their longevity and efficiency.
- Civil engineering: Civil engineers plan and construct the infrastructure—such as hydrogen storage facilities and pipelines—necessary to sustain a green hydrogen economy.
Transforming a career in chemical, mechanical, electrical, materials, or civil engineering toward green hydrogen involves a strategic approach to align skills and knowledge with the evolving needs of the industry. Here’s a guide for each engineering discipline:
1. Chemical Engineering:
Hydrogen Production Techniques Specialization:
Learn about sophisticated hydrogen production techniques like electrolysis, biomass gasification, and steam methane reforming.
Integration of Renewable Energy: Investigate the use of renewable energy sources in hydrogen generation to contribute to sustainable and environmentally friendly activities.
Storage and transportation of hydrogen: To ensure the effective processing and distribution of green hydrogen, focus on storage and transportation technology.
2. Mechanical Engineering
Hydrogen-Based Energy Systems: Learn how to develop and optimize hydrogen-based energy systems, such as fuel cells and hydrogen-powered cars.
Work on enhancing the efficiency of hydrogen production and utilization processes in order to make them more competitive and ecologically friendly.
Understanding the materials used in hydrogen infrastructure and developing solutions to improve material compatibility and durability.
3. Electrical Engineering:
Power Systems for Hydrogen generation: Focus on power systems that facilitate green hydrogen generation by incorporating renewable energy sources.
Develop your knowledge of electrolysis technologies such as proton exchange membrane (PEM) and alkaline electrolysers.
Hydrogen Integration in Smart networks: Investigate the incorporation of hydrogen into smart networks to provide efficient and sustainable energy delivery.
4. Materials Engineering:
Advanced Materials for Electrolysis: Investigate and develop materials that are suited for electrolysis operations, with an emphasis on durability, conductivity, and efficiency.
Hydrogen Storage Materials: Investigate hydrogen storage materials such as metal hydrides and carbon-based compounds to improve storage capacity and safety.
Material Recycling and Sustainability: Research environmentally friendly materials and recycling methods throughout the full hydrogen value chain.
5. Civil Engineering:
Specialize in the design and development of infrastructure for hydrogen generation, storage, and transportation.
Safety and Environmental Compliance: In hydrogen plants and transportation networks, focus on achieving safety standards and environmental compliance.
Hydrogen Integration in Urban Planning: Investigate urban planning solutions that utilize hydrogen technologies, particularly in sustainable city development.
The following list of businesses focuses on green hydrogen:
- Reliance Industries One of the biggest businesses in India, Reliance Industries, is making significant investments in green hydrogen. The company wants to produce 4 gigawatts of green hydrogen by 2035 and 100 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.
- Adani Environmental The biggest renewable energy firm in India, Adani Green Energy, is also making investments in green hydrogen. By 2030, the company wants to produce 1.5 gigawatts of renewable hydrogen.
- Leading Indian provider of renewable energy, Greenko is also a green hydrogen investor. By 2030, the company wants to produce one gigawatt of renewable hydrogen.
- Technologies Provided by L&T Solutions for the green hydrogen industry are offered by L&T Technology Services, an engineering and technology services firm. The business is creating novel equipment and procedures for the generation, storing, and conveyance of green hydrogen.
- Indian Oil Business The biggest oil and gas corporation in India, Indian Oil Corporation is also making investments in green hydrogen. By 2030, the company wants to produce two gigawatts of renewable hydrogen.
- The French multinational industrial gas business Air Liquide is a pioneer in the creation and manufacturing of green hydrogen. By 2030, the company wants to produce three million tons of renewable hydrogen.
- The German multinational industrial gas business Linde is a pioneer in the creation and manufacturing of green hydrogen. By 2025, the company wants to produce 500,000 tons of renewable hydrogen.
- Siemens Power German multinational energy technology business Siemens Energy offers solutions for the green hydrogen industry. The business is creating novel equipment and procedures for the generation, storing, and conveyance of green hydrogen.
- ThyssenKrupp is a German multinational industrial conglomerate that is also developing technologies for the green hydrogen sector. The company is working on developing new electrolysers and fuel cells for green hydrogen production and utilization.
- Nel Hydrogen Nel Hydrogen is a Norwegian multinational company that is a leader in the development and production of electrolysers for green hydrogen production. The company has set a target of producing 500 megawatts of electrolysers by 2025.
A paradigm shift towards clean and sustainable fuel sources is signalled by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s launching of India’s first hydrogen-powered automobile. Students are urged to consider professions in the green hydrogen industry as we observe the fusion of technology and environmental awareness, helping to build a more sustainable and clean future.
Written by Vikram Soni- Team Jitin Chawla