How can we overcome the greatest barrier currently obstructing hydrogen from becoming mainstream?
In a Hydrogen Ireland webinar entitled ‘Hydrogen getting the green light, driving Europe’s green revolution,’ we asked the audience, Which of these 6 challenges presented pose the greatest barrier to Hydrogen getting the green light?
- Cost – 35%
- Supply chain and Co-ordination – 20%
- Public perception/safety – 14%
- Technical challenges – 11%
- Government funding/subsidies – 9%
- Legal barriers – 3%
The audience response is included in italics. Over 1/3 of the respondents stated that cost is the greatest barrier.
We do need to overcome challenges before hydrogen’s full potential can be realised. As Dr Rory Monaghan said in the webinar ‘we are at the chicken and egg scenario – we need to increase demand without which production will not happen, we need investment in new supply infrastructure, and we need a national and local policy landscape that will stimulate growth.’
We must engage in large scale decarbonisation, we know for example at £500,000, the double-deck bus at present costs twice as much as a diesel equivalent. Government support will be needed to drive down costs. When we have guaranteed usage volumes we will need less support. The supply chain including the fuel cell, storage tanks and fuelling infrastructure all need that volume to reduce their prices, and when this happens the Hydrogen Buses will match the cost of the existing Diesel Double Decks.
Therefore the challenge is to think beyond traditional models and devise one that will act as a stimulus whilst also lowering exposure and cost in other areas for us to reduce our prices. At Hydrogen Ireland we understand utilising this energy vector has multiple impacts beyond the obvious including helping achieve decarbonisation..
We would welcome the thoughts and input of on this subject as countries worldwide seek to develop hydrogen pathways and transition away from fossil fuel dependence..