The Green Future of Power Generation | Hydrogen Power
As power generation looks to be a greener option, Europe is banking on hydrogen. The European Commission published its 2030 hydrogen strategy marking its official commitment to hydrogen power, doubling down renewable energy. Goldman Sachs estimates that the green hydrogen market could be worth $12 trillion (USD).
The push for greener power comes from a combination of growing power demands and greater environmental concern. There is a call to arms to update the world’s power sources to a more sustainable model, while still being able to supply a growing demand for power.
E-hydrogen has the potential to meet these needs. With the commission anticipating it to double power demand in Europe, making this energy type the largest electricity consumer.
One of the biggest hurdles for e-hydrogen has been satisfying the infrastructure required to implement and produce it at scale. With massive buy in occurring in Europe, these needs are met. This creates a clear opportunity for the e-hydrogen and e-fuels market to make a significant impact on, if not replace, traditional fuel sources.
In addition to the European Commission’s commitment to hydrogen power generation, future planning is also being championed by individual countries.
Germany has unveiled a plan to invest over $10.5 billion (USD) into green hydrogen as part of a larger commitment for climate initiatives. This transition to e-hydrogen is intended to put an end to Germany’s reliance on coal power.
The plan goes beyond the adoption of grene hydrogen and plans to make it competitive. To do so they are building a home market, pushing for rapid scaling, reducing costs, and training personnel.
Why the Hydrogen Boom is Occurring in Europe, and Not the USA
Although hydrogen is showing promise, and is considered the best option for a scalable solution for zero emission energy production, The USA isn’t buying in just yet.
Part of this is due to the fact that e-hydrogen isn’t necessarily clean. It still requires intensive production using water and electricity. Where enough infrastructure is in place to support generating that electricity through wind or solar panels, it creates a clean green hydrogen.
Where renewable energy isn’t available, hydrogen production uses steam reforming. A process that still requires the use of natural gas. In the US, 95% of hydrogen is produced through steam-methane reforming.
In addition to the slower adoption of renewable sources at scale, the US also has a much greater availability of natural gas. This offers greater energy security than putting risks on a new source of energy. So not only is renewable energy less abundant, but natural gas is readily available and affordable.
Furthermore, the US government hasn’t had the same level of commitment to clean energy. While the official climate plan addresses green hydrogen, it does not make investments or infrastructure plans. Whereas European nations have made clear commitments and invested billions of dollars.
Without government buy-in, public industries are less incentivized to participate in green energy. Unfortunately for the US, this could result in leaving them years behind in an energy race that could change the face of power generation on a global scale. Of course, some US firms like General Electric are looking forward and making significant advancement on hydrogen power.
Electric Heaters in Hydrogen Power Generation
Electric heaters are no stranger to green energy. Wattco immersion heaters in solar power system are currently in use to improve power generation and use from solar energy.
In the green hydrogen market, they stand to provide even greater service. The market relies on two factors:
- Zero carbon emissions
- Maximizing efficiency
Electric heaters already meet the need for zero-emissions, using green-friendly technology to deliver power effectively and sustainably. As well, their superior performance ensures faster heat-up times, lower operational costs, and greater reliability. These factors will make them a necessity in the rapid implementation and scaling of e-hydrogen over the coming decade.
Wattco custom-manufactures electric heaters. Our team of experts help you choose the precise designs, wattages, materials, and configurations to meet your specific application and budget.