Published: 8 July 2020
Hydrogen is central to oil and gas industry decarbonization as expectations for market growth surge, according to a new DNV GL report. Heading for Hydrogen says the time is right to begin scaling the hydrogen economy. It reveals that a fifth (21%) of senior oil and gas professionals say their companies have already entered the hydrogen market. In addition, half (52%) of the industry’s leaders expect hydrogen to be a significant part of the energy mix by 2030.
The report calls for greater industry and government collaboration to enable market growth, and identifies four immediate focus areas for this: proving safety, developing infrastructure, scaling carbon capture and storage technology, and incentivizing value chains through policy.
Assuring safety is a critical first building block in developing the use of hydrogen to decarbonize energy supply to homes in countries such as the UK, where there is high dependence on piping natural gas through extensive networks to provide the fuel for heating and cooking.
This will likely be one of the first widespread applications of hydrogen as an energy carrier. As plans materialize for hydrogen to be piped through neighbourhoods and into people’s homes, adoption of the decarbonized gas as an energy carrier will require all stakeholders to make the safety case – both real and in the minds of the public.
Gas distributors such as Northern Gas Networks (NGN) are advocating for the UK Government to support hydrogen in the home as part of the country’s decarbonization strategy, and to subsequently make the policy decision that hydrogen can be used as a low-carbon fuel for heat. The distributors want to be allowed to repurpose their natural gas networks to transport hydrogen safely and effectively. This way, they could decarbonize their activities to maintain their social license to operate the networks, while also supporting the UK’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.