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Green hydrogen is a premium product, impossible to use on a large scale in the gas grid in 2026

19 April 2024

Hydrogen from renewable energy is a premium and expensive product, which makes it impossible to switch from gas to hydrogen to supply localities due to high costs, said Alexandru Ciocan, Senior Researcher at Energy Policy Group (EPG), at the conference “Hydrogen Project – what is Romania up to”, organised by Energynomics.

“Some thought needs to be given to the extent to which hydrogen can be used in households by apartment power plants or household appliances. [There is a perception that] most of the UATs have developed strategies in which they dream that from 2036 they will switch entirely to hydrogen. However, renewable hydrogen is a premium and expensive product and it is possible that in 2026 the switch will not be possible due to cost reasons. Renewable hydrogen can become a competitive solution by 2030 as new green energy capacity comes on stream,” he said.

According to Ciocan, the evaluation of the use of hydrogen mixed with gas in distribution networks was made on purely technical grounds without taking into account the economic aspects. At the same time, it is not yet clear whether all safety elements have been taken into account, given that hydrogen is an explosive gas.

In addition, replacing 20% of natural gas in distribution networks with hydrogen does not result in a proportional decrease in CO2 emissions, but only a 7% decrease.

EPG has produced a study outlining ten myths that affect both the production, transport and consumption of hydrogen. The study also explores the possibility of using hydrogen in transport infrastructure. In light transport, there are still doubts about the efficiency of hydrogen, especially given the growing popularity of electric vehicles. But in heavy transport, aviation and shipping, hydrogen may be a more suitable solution than batteries.

EPG’s latest report aims at changing focus from myths to optimal use of hydrogen

Five potential sites for hydrogen production – the so-called hydrogen valleys – have been identified in Romania. To develop the hydrogen economy, however, a thorough analysis of the infrastructure, including transport and storage infrastructure, and available human resources is needed. The EPG study comes up with seven suggestions, from financing to human resource training, highlighting the importance of an integrated vision for clarifying where hydrogen comes from.

According to Ciocan, Romania could become a hydrogen hub and could even produce some components for car fuel cells and other hydrogen equipment.

The conference “Hydrogen Project – what is Romania up to” was organized by Energynomics with the support of our partners Elektra Renewable Support and Horváth.

On this occasion, the Didactic and Pedagogical Publishing House presented the book “Discussions the Hydrogen Energy Vector”, authored by Ioan Iordache, Dumitru Chisăliță, Hans Marius Shuster, Cristian Călin, and Oana Dumitrean, as part of the collection “Academica energie.”

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