‘It makes no sense to talk about hydrogen without talking about ramping up renewables’

Kaiserwetter’s Rene Mono says clean energy technologies such as wind and solar power ‘must go hand-in-hand’ with the use of hydrogen as a tool for decarbonisation

It makes no sense to talk about hydrogen without talking about ramping up renewable energy generation.

That was the statement underlined by Kaiserwetter’s Rene Mono in a recent interview with future Net Zero Founder Sumit Bose, who stressed clean energy technologies such as wind and solar power “must go hand-in-hand” with the use of the gas as a tool for decarbonisation.

The hydrogen expert noted that although it can be produced without technologies like wind and solar, this “makes no sense in terms of climate policy” and stressed green hydrogen must be the way forward, rather than blue or grey forms of the fuel, which are not completely carbon-neutral.

He said: “From an energy point of view, hydrogen can be everything – hydrogen can be a fuel, hydrogen can be used in motors, we can burn hydrogen and this is what’s so fascinating about hydrogen. So in theory, hydrogen, and I think that’s a big advantage, can be used in any energy usage.”

However, Mr Mono added it was unlikely the fuel would prove a panacea for all of the sector’s issues – while accepting that this might be understandable from a technical point of view, he referred to a study that suggested Europe would need 2,200TWh of hydrogen to reach net zero and said it was “unbelievable” to consider that the gas could be used to provide so much energy.

He said: “I think the fundamentally important role of hydrogen for the future energy system is as a missing link – so we will need hydrogen in sectors where the electrification of transport and the electrification of our heating system do not work for technical reasons and we will also need hydrogen as long-term storage, an energy carrier, so there are three basic sectors where I can see we definitely will need hydrogen.

“That is first of all in the electricity sector as storage, then secondly for industrial processes where we won’t come along with the electrification of heating or the direct use of renewable energies and third also, in some niches of the transportation sector, so in the aviation sector for example or the maritime business, from today’s point of view they won’t come along without hydrogen so we definitely need hydrogen for carbon neutrality.”

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