Blue Hydrogen vs Green Hydrogen: Do We Have a Winner? - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Carbon Capture Technology makes the difference, but is it enough?

Here’s the detailed article posted in Spectrum.

According to them,

  • Carbon capture facilities currently store 45 megatons of CO2 annually, but to achieve net-zero emissions, we need to store 1 gigaton per year by 2030.
  • Combining carbon storage with hydrogen production i.e. producing blue hydrogen offers a low-carbon solution, involving production from natural gas and storing the CO2 emissions in depleted oil and gas reservoirs. However, it has been criticized for its reliance on fossil fuels and the possibility of methane leaks.
  • Nonetheless, it is a more cost-effective and feasible solution in specific areas compared to green hydrogen, which depends on a significant amount of land for renewable energy..

But is this enough to end the big debate over Green Hydrogen vs. Blue Hydrogen? Here’s a table to differentiate the two even better:

AspectGreen HydrogenBlue Hydrogen
Production MethodElectrolysis of water using renewable energyReforming natural gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS)
Energy SourceSolar, wind, or other renewable energyNatural gas
Carbon EmissionsVirtually zeroLow, but dependent on efficiency of carbon capture
CostHigher due to expensive renewable infrastructureLower due to established natural gas infrastructure
Land UseRequires significant land for renewable energy plantsLess land required
Reliance on Fossil FuelsNoneDependent on natural gas
Carbon CaptureNot applicable>95% of CO2 emissions captured and stored
Potential for Methane LeaksNonePossible during natural gas extraction and processing
ScalabilityLimited by availability of renewable resourcesMore scalable with existing natural gas infrastructure
Geographical ViabilityBest in areas with abundant renewable resourcesMore versatile, can be implemented where natural gas is available
Environmental ConcernsLow environmental impactConcerns about methane leaks and carbon storage integrity
Current UsageEmerging technology, less widely adoptedMore commonly used due to existing infrastructure

So, the conclusion to this debate can only depend on the need of the time.

Both green and blue hydrogen have their own advantages and challenges.

Green hydrogen is ideal from an environmental perspective due to its zero emissions during production and reliance on renewable energy. However, it is currently more expensive and faces scalability issues due to the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources and the need for new infrastructure.

Blue hydrogen, while not completely carbon-free, offers a more immediate and scalable solution by leveraging existing natural gas infrastructure and carbon capture technologies. It provides a practical pathway to reduce emissions in the short to medium term as renewable energy capacity expands.

In the immediate term, blue hydrogen appears to be a more viable option for quickly scaling hydrogen production and reducing emissions, especially in regions with abundant natural gas resources and existing infrastructure. However, for long-term sustainability and deeper decarbonization, the focus should gradually shift towards green hydrogen as renewable energy innovations become more cost-effective and widespread. A balanced approach that incorporates both green and blue hydrogen can help achieve climate goals while transitioning to a fully renewable energy system.



About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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