“True Blue - scaling up hydrogen production in a fossil fuel world"
The global hydrogen industry, until recently a side-kick to the petrochemical and steel industry, is being thrust centre stage in a new saga of energy, carbon, ESG and industry. Governments and policy makers are attracted to quick-fix carbon reduction mechanisms; hydrogen enriched natural gas, capable of utilising existing infrastructure for domestic and industrial use, not only fits the bill but could revolutionise the utilities industry. De-carbonising major industrial heartlands with hydrogen as power source, feedstock and end-product ticks boxes for authorities, users and producers alike. So it is no surprise to see a major rush to develop hydrogen production infrastructure and technology. While the super-majors aim to scrub their ESG credentials with green hydrogen from large scale wind and solar projects, utilities and governing authorities appear ready to fast track blue hydrogen production, to meet what is expected to be soaring demand. Most current large scale projects (for utilities and industry users), and recent government funding, clearly target low carbon methane reforming with some level of carbon capture and storage (blue hydrogen). Carbon neutral energy will be blue for most users, requiring the resources of a global natural gas industry and the expertise of geoscientists at every stage.