Andrew Forrest's Fortescue green hydrogen business is set to be bigger than the iron ore market that company founder and major shareholder built his billions on. His green hydrogen business CEO said last week that the market was as big as replacing the entire fossil fuel market in the world. And it's real right now. So what is green hydrogen?
Hydrogen is an incredibly clean, readily available and renewable element. It is an excellent fuel as it’s highly flammable and it doesn’t create CO2 when it burns.
The problem with Hydrogen is getting your hands on it in the first place. Hydrogen doesn’t really float around by itself much. It tends to be combined with something else and water – H2O - is an excellent example of where you find it.
A common way of extracting hydrogen from water is through the electrolysis, the process of using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. This reaction takes place in a unit called an electrolyser. The problem with electrolysers is that they use a pile of energy. So you find yourself using piles of energy to make something that is an energy source. Until now, that's been the problem.
The energy source in the electrolysis process and the energy sources are the usual energy suspects – fossil fuels, nuclear or renewables. GREEN hydrogen uses renewable energy to power electrolysis and extract hydrogen.
Support Green Hydrogen and renewable energy projects. If you are a policy or decision maker, be aware of the real environmental costs of the different production options.