Hydrogen is one of the simplest chemical elements on this globe. It is most bountiful element that can be used for fuels and generating clean electricity.
There is no need to spend trillions of dollars and cause irreparable harm to the environment, looking for oil.
Hydrogen has a long history of being used for fuel. Hydrogen high combustion rate and high efficiency rate has made it the fuel of choice for global space agencies.
Unlike the harmful greenhouse gases that petroleum and coal produces, Hydrogen by product is water. The practical use of Hydrogen, as a means to move beyond oil and gas, is presented by the Seoul based automobile manufacturer, Hyundai. The Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) provides just that. The vehicle uses hydrogen as a source of energy to generate electricity from its fuel cell system, allowing the vehicle to become emission-free. Not only does the vehicle emit pure water (H2O) in the process of generating electricity, but it also filters ultrafine dust from the atmosphere when driven, https://tech.hyundaimotorgroup.com/fuel-cell/fcev/
Hyundai deserves credit for investing significant resources to develop the FCEV. The technology that it is employing provides the most environmentally protective EV for clean transportation options. A significant component of the Hyundai Technology is the energy storage system. Every time the vehicle breaks or slows down, the clean electricity that is produced is redirected into the battery for use. This energy savings aspect of the technology is a key to the elusive hydrogen infrastructure that has been the development goals of many urban planners for decades. The most compelling aspect of the hydrogen infrastructure development is the generational development feature that can assist governments and industries in meeting greenhouse gas emissions with a diverse delivery system of hydrogen based fuels and electricity generation. The Transportation sector is a key contributor to climate change. The use of fossil-based fuels, in general, and specifically with automobiles, is the obvious target to reduce the greenhouse gases. Public transportation certainly improves the abatement factor, but fossil fuels are still the main source of electricity generation for metros, trams and light rails, as well as rural and urban bus networks.
The Electric Vehicles, on the market, utilize storage electricity that is, for the most part, generated from fossil fuels prior to entry into the grid. The battery component is either lead acid of lithium based. Lithium has a better profile than lead acid batteries, but it is not an optimum solution. Lithium is extracted through the mining process. In order to understand the deleterious effect of the mining process, it is best reported from experts in field. We encourage our reader to examine the following link, https://www.samcotech.com/what-is-lithium-extraction-and-how-does-it-work/
The choice seems clear, why haven’t we built the infrastructure to support the widespread use of hydrogen? In 2004, the California Energy Commission was charged with the building of the “Hydrogen Highway.” Although environmental advocates were concerned about the use of fossil fuels in the manufacturing process and the use of platinum, which is mined, the belief was that the high cost of hydrogen production, and the generational development of the Hydrogen Fuel Cells, would abate the environmental impact of production.
However, the R&D that would be needed to support the development of the infrastructure and the development of the path from “grey hydrogen”, the use of fossil fuels in the manufacturing process to “green” hydrogen did not materialize.
The failure of the California Hydrogen Highway was certainly a setback for the proponents of accessing this basic element for green refinement.
However, as any good entrepreneur knows, failure is an important step in the life long educational process. Grenoble, France is the R&D capital of France. The city is not only blessed with beauty but also academic rigor. The city draws experts and students from the globe who are dedicated to find the tech solutions in energy, biotech, and tech platforms in different sectors. The city has a tangible loud pulsating buzz which is Parisian nightlife. But it has a “can do” energy as students and researchers move about town, on bikes, trams and purposeful walks, consumed with their projects.
Bringing the hydrogen solution to the market is a challenge that is being addressed. “In France, eight of the ten existing hydrogen stakeholders are based in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. CEA and Institut Liten in Grenoble have worked for over 20 years on fuel cells and technologies related to hydrogen energy. Fuel cells, which are energy converters – or energy carriers – produce electrical energy for a variety of uses. A number of joint projects are also underway on electrolysis and hydrogen storage. Research is underway to enable the emergence and development of these technologies as part of cleaner mobility and industry.
In the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, the value chain is also represented by key players such as Air Liquide for production; Engie as an operator; McPhy or Ataway for the manufacture of electrolyzers; Symbio (created with CEA patents) for the design of fuel cells, which make it possible to convert hydrogen to electricity.”
The recent publication from the prestigious school, Grenoble Ecole de Management, presents a compact and comprehensive presentation of the dedicated work as well as the challenges that exist for the path to the hydrogen fuel source,https://en.grenoble-em.com/news-hydrogen-promise-clean-energy.
Although the R&D work in Grenoble is promising, there is the nagging question of the ability to scale the production of hydrogen. One of the challenges in California, is that the automobile is still the most common means of transportation. In order for the Hyundai FCEV to make a market impact there is a need to develop a scalable harvesting and refinement of hydrogen, that has the path to green production that rivals the cost of exploration and production of oil and gas.
The answer to the scalability of the green hydrogen production may be in Namibia. One of the most intense topographies on the continent, Namibia’s Namib-Naukluft Park sits in the world’s oldest desert, The Namib. Towering red sand dunes and exotic wildlife make this national park a must see on anyone’s must see list. The tidy capital of Windhoek is surrounded by phenomenal scenery. There are varied hotel options and touring options in the spectacular reserves within the reach of the city.
In addition to the natural wonders, Namibia should be recognized for implementing its goal to become one of the globes largest producers of green hydrogen. The Namibian government awarded a major hydrogen project to Hyphen Hydrogen Energy, Ltd. This project specific development company will build a green hydrogen production facility. The development is projected to produce 300,000 metric tons of green hydrogen from 5GW of renewable generation. The project’s annual production will allow Namibia to provide for both national consumption and global trade. The project has gained the attention of international investors and environmental advocates. The R&D community will have an obvious interest in the examination of the project scalability, https://hyphenafrica.com/.
Could the starting point of the global hydrogen highway start in Windhoek?