Hydrogen is the future

London, UK: A hydrogen-powered life over the next twenty years is predicted in a new book available to read free.

It includes comments from leaders in the global energy sector who share their vision of how hydrogen technology can transform our lives in the next two decades.

The book, Touching Hydrogen Future. Tour around the globe, sets out the changes we can expect if hydrogen projects currently under consideration are successfully implemented. With a foreword from former EU Commissioner for Energy, Andris Piebalgs, each of the book’s 27 chapters focuses on a specific country, providing a snapshot of hydrogen-powered life over the next twenty years. Starting in the Netherlands, the book’s ‘hydrogen tour’ covers countries across six continents with insights from experts from every corner of the globe in a Jules Verne style odyssey.
 
The book has been written to educate and inspire the next generation to embrace and help develop hydrogen technology. While it is pitched at energy professionals and students with an interest in energy and sustainability, it is freely available for all, allowing readers from any background to access its insights. Touching Hydrogen Future aims to highlight the diverse, global opportunities in the developing hydrogen economy, encouraging readers to consider a career in the industry. 
 
The accounts the book provides are fictional, but the hydrogen technologies they reference are based on existing hydrogen projects and strategies. Hydrogen-powered flights, shipping, road vehicles and factories are envisaged across the world, contributing to fighting climate change through carbon saving.

Hydrogen, as a decisive decarbonization tool, contributes materially to reducing the total carbon footprint of the 27 countries covered by the book, which together account for 66% of global emissions (EU Joint Research Centre Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) 2020).

28 energy experts and leading authorities in energy transition from academia, business and policy have each contributed a chapter to the book. A third of the authors are female, representing the shift expected from the current 22% female representation in the oil & gas sector towards a more gender-balanced workforce within the hydrogen sector (Women in Green Hydrogen study, published in 2021, on the percentage of women working in the energy sector).

Contributors include the Center on Global Energy Policy’s Anne-Sophie Corbeau, who envisages hydrogen use in the United States in 2035, and Joachim von Scheele, of Linde, the world’s largest industrial gas company, whose chapter focuses on China in 2030.
 
Andris Piebalgs, who served as the EU’s Commissioner for Energy and Commissioner for Development, has written the book’s foreword, welcoming its accessibility and informative contribution to a ‘paradigm-shift’ journey which the advent of hydrogen technologies will entail.
 
Piebalgs said: “There are immense opportunities for the global community in clean hydrogen development, with production potential far exceeding estimated global demand. Nevertheless, we must take pause and acknowledge the difference between what we can envisage, and what we know and see.
 
“The book allows us to understand the gravity and complexity of the task in hand, with each country bringing its own opportunities, constraints, and positionality. Although the transition will be far from simple, requiring unprecedented efforts from governments, industry, and citizens, the tour shows the reader the truly exciting opportunities hydrogen offers for all nations. It is not just a fuel replacement, it is a paradigm shift in the way we look at energy systems, with co-benefits across a number of Sustainable Development Goals.”
 
Erik Rakhou, book initiator co-editor, said: “Almost 150 years after Jules Verne first envisaged a world powered by hydrogen, we can map out the changes it will enable within our lifetimes. Through the eyes of today’s energy leaders, we paint a picture of a transformed world powered by hydrogen alongside other energy transition vectors, and invite you to join us in building it.”

Since 2019, at the time of the release of the IEA’s landmark report The Future of Hydrogen for the G20, only France, Japan and Korea had strategies for the use of hydrogen. By October 2021, release of IEA’s Global Hydrogen Review 2021, 17 governments have released hydrogen strategies, more than 20 governments have publicly announced they are working to develop strategies, and numerous companies are seeking to tap into hydrogen business opportunities.

Such efforts are timely: hydrogen will be needed for an energy system with net zero emissions. In the IEA’s Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector, prepared for Glasgow summit, hydrogen use extends to several parts of the energy sector and grows sixfold from today’s levels to meet 1/10th of total final energy consumption by 2050. As example, the UK Hydrogen Strategy was published in August 2021.

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