Startups Look for Ways to Bring Down the Cost of Green Hydrogen
Companies are pouring a lot of money into the idea that hydrogen can help decarbonize the fossil-fuel-based economy. One drawback to hydrogen as a form of green energy, however, is that nearly all of the world’s hydrogen is produced in a greenhouse-gas-intensive process: heating natural gas with steam to split it into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. This type of hydrogen is known as gray hydrogen, or sometimes blue hydrogen if the factory has carbon-capture technology.
Green hydrogen currently costs between approximately $3 per kilo and $26 per kilo, according to data from S&P Global. The Energy Department has said it needs to cost about $1 per kilo to unlock new industrial applications. Closing that gap with current technology depends on renewable electricity becoming a lot cheaper. The Hydrogen Council, an industry group, says the cost of making hydrogen with electrolyzers could fall to $1.40 a kilogram by 2030 in the right circumstances, such as renewable electricity being available for as little as $13 per megawatt hour.