The idea of hydrogen as a green fuel source has been whispered about for decades, but the conversation is getting louder. And recent talk has involved real money.
From Australia announcing more than $270 million Cdn to boost industry projects to the European Commission’s trillion-euro “Green Deal,” which touts hydrogen as a “priority area,” it seems there’s keen interest in investment — even as part of a post-pandemic recovery.
Hydrogen has been proven to be a zero-emissions source of energy, capable of fuelling cars, trucks and power plants. It has powered space shuttles for 60 years. But the economics of it have always been in question.
“We are seeing a bit of an acceleration in the number of small pilot projects which are being announced,” said Kobad Bhavnagri, head of industrial decarbonization at research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“What we aren’t seeing is a sort of broad-based opportunity to invest in hydrogen projects and infrastructure. The policy mechanisms that would need to support that sort of investment aren’t in place.”
The money being pledged right now could be used to overcome some of the hurdles of creating hydrogen cleanly.