• Hydrogen Economy
  • Hydrogen infrastructure
  • Decarbonization
  • Energy Industry
  • Clean Energy

Large-Scale Hydrogen Projects Transform the Market

Shayne Willette
May 12, 2020

Hydrogen

On April 8, a key development in the hydrogen arena occurred when two major Italian companies signed a memorandum of understanding to further explore hydrogen’s potential in Italy. Snam, one of the world’s largest energy infrastructure operators, and RINA, a global testing, inspection, certification, and engineering consultancy services firm, agreed to deal launch hydrogen’s compatibility with current infrastructure and explore new technologies.

Snam’s CEO Marco Alverà stated, “The use of green hydrogen in existing infrastructure will play a key role in enabling the energy transition and achieving climate objectives, whilst also creating new opportunities for economic development, which are now more important than ever.” This endeavor is not Snam’s first dive into hydrogen. In 2019, Snam became the first company to successfully test hydrogen blends of up to 10% in its gas transmission network. A report commissioned by Snam concluded that hydrogen could meet upwards of 23% of Italy’s total energy demand by 2050. In short, hydrogen’s resurgence has been driven by its ability to decarbonize several energy sectors, especially those experiencing difficulty with emissions reductions such as industry.

Large-Scale Projects Advance the Hydrogen Economy

Snam isn’t the only entity making headway in large hydrogen projects. Los Angeles’ plans to go 100% renewable will be supplemented by renewable hydrogen generated and stored geologically in Utah. In December 2019, Kawasaki launched the world’s first liquid hydrogen carrier ship to import hydrogen produced in Australia. The Port of Rotterdam and a consortium of stakeholders are conducting a study on the feasibility of a 250 MW electrolysis plant to produce green hydrogen, and British Columbia is performing a similar study. These projects are just a few examples of pivotal hydrogen initiatives and projects around the world.

Projects of this magnitude are imperative for making significant progress with hydrogen. As stakeholders deploy more hydrogen projects, relevant hydrogen technologies advance further along the learning curve, thus reducing the barriers to entry for other hopeful participants. Solar PV is perhaps the best example of this phenomenon.

Hydrogen Can Help Decarbonization Efforts

Hydrogen will need to be employed if we are going to meet the climate goals set out by the Paris Agreement. The extent of hydrogen’s deployment remains to be determined, but it is imperative that policymakers recognize the fuel as a piece of the puzzle. With proper policy support and continued foundational work for hydrogen projects like those mentioned above, hydrogen will have the opportunity to play a role in the energy transition.