The blue hydrogen debate

Posted: May 1, 2024

Can blue hydrogen slash CO2 emissions? Blue hydrogen is created by turning natural gas into hydrogen through a process called stream reformation, then collecting and storing the associated carbon emissions. Simply put, blue hydrogen can help industries to reduce their carbon footprint. For example, in the production of ammonia, blue hydrogen is created to cut down carbon emissions, making the process more sustainable. With carbon capture and storage (CCS) tech, emissions can be lowered even further.

However, this method of hydrogen production has its critics. They worry that blue hydrogen might keep us hooked on natural gas and carbon capture technology well into the future. They are skeptical about whether it is as efficient as its advocates claim. They wonder whether it can truly slash emissions.

Advocates versus critics

Blue hydrogen does indeed face challenges in its production process. You need a lot of energy to extract and process natural gas. If this energy is not from clean sources, it can add to the carbon emissions. From this perspective, blue hydrogen cuts both ways, a double-edged sword:  creating a cleaner fuel but also using more carbon to power this fuel generation.

In the eyes of its advocates, however, blue hydrogen is clean energy’s best hope. They see it as the hero tackling hard-to-decarbonize sectors, utilizing existing natural gas setups and expertise to make industries cleaner. But critics are not easily won over. They question the efficiency and environmental impact of blue hydrogen, especially when compared to green hydrogen.

This highlights the complexity of the energy transition. We need to explore alternative pathways that prioritize sustainability without compromising economic growth. We must embrace the technology that we have available today while investing in innovative technology for the future.

Greener today and a more sustainable tomorrow

While oil and gas still play a vital role in our energy needs today, we need to do what we can to make the energy production today as environmentally-friendly as we can, while we invest in innovative technology for a sustainable tomorrow.

Greener today: Promoting energy efficiency

Implementing energy efficiency measures across various sectors can significantly reduce energy consumption and cut down on harmful emissions. From improving industrial processes to incentivizing energy-efficient practices in households and businesses, there is much you can do to have a positive impact right now.

Sustainable tomorrow: Embracing renewable energy

Investing in renewable energy technologies such as hydrogen, wind, and solar power can help diversify the energy mix, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and pave the way for a more sustainable future. When you transition towards renewable energy sources, you can mitigate environmental impacts while fostering innovation and driving economic development.

Striking the balance between blue and green

We need to strike a balance between meeting our energy needs today and safeguarding the planet for generations to come. By promoting energy efficiency today and investing in renewable energy, we are not just talking about change—we are actively shaping a brighter, cleaner future for all.

Blue hydrogen has a place in making today’s industry greener. It can play an important part in the energy transition as we continue to invest in the technology of the future. Learn more about how AVEVA can help within the hydrogen economy.

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