High Natural Gas Prices Could Lift Green Hydrogen Investment

Major green hydrogen deals and projects in Europe and Australia

As the price of natural gas is soaring globally amid a scarcity of supply and Russian threats to cut off flows to Europe unless buyers start paying in rubles, the economics of the so-called blue hydrogen have deteriorated. Green hydrogen made of electrolysis from renewable energy is now the preferred choice of future hydrogen supply as governments target net-zero emissions and a reduction of reliance on Russian gas.

Scalability and costs are still issues to be overcome in green hydrogen production. Yet, Europe’s dependence on natural gas supply from Russia and Putin’s war in Ukraine have prompted the European Union and many of its member states to embrace green hydrogen development, preferring it to the so-called blue variant made of natural gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Companies in Europe and U.S. allies such as Australia have recently announced major green hydrogen deals and projects. Although costs of green hydrogen production are yet to drop to economically scalable and feasible levels, the prospect of using home-grown energy resources—wind and solar—rather than relying on gas imports from Russia is now paramount for policymakers in the West.

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Los Angeles Looks To Launch Massive Hydrogen Network

California to achieve net-zero by 2045

The largest gas utility in the United States revealed a proposal for what would be the largest green hydrogen network, according to a company press release. SoCalGas—a division of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE)—has announced its plans for the Angeles Link, a network designed to help California achieve net-zero by 2045. SoCalGas has referred to the green hydrogen network as one of the world’s largest clean energy infrastructure systems.

As proposed, the Angeles Link could deliver enough green hydrogen to displace as much as 25% of the natural gas that SoCalGas currently supplies. SoCalGas currently supplies gas to 22 million homes. Part of the project is destined to include a new pipeline to transport the hydrogen from parts of the state that have large renewable energy resources to the Los Angeles area. Today’s reality is, however, that green hydrogen is cost-intensive. But economies of scale could help lower those costs, according to SoCalGas.

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A New Era Of Innovation Is Coming To The Nuclear Sector

Smaller-scale version of nuclear reactors would be mass-produced

When it comes to clean energy, solar panels and wind power usually dominate the conversation, while cutting-edge and unproven technologies from green hydrogen to nuclear fusion feature prominently in headlines. But the actual powerhouses of the climate-friendly energy revolution receive far less lip service.

“Nuclear power and hydropower form the backbone of low-carbon electricity generation,” reports the International Energy Agency (IEA). “Together, they provide three-quarters of global low-carbon generation.” Nuclear power alone has prevented the emissions of over 60 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the past 50 years.

Innovations and advances are taking place in the nuclear energy sector that may be able to bring the industry into the 21st century and make increased adoption more appealing for nations that are on the fence about nuclear power. One of the key advances in nuclear technology that is close to becoming a reality is the deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs), a smaller-scale version of nuclear reactors which would be mass-produced and assembled on-site, improving efficiency and making building new reactors far more cost-effective.

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