The quest for net zero is encouraging all businesses to consider their long-term energy strategy right now. This has also been reinforced by supply chain challenges for traditional energy sources in Europe during the past year. Consequently, there is a growing focus on low carbon, renewable energy solutions for the long-term.
The latest programme in the Logiconomi TV series looks at two important areas of development: hydrogen and solar power. Suzy Valgaeren from Air Products brings an up-to-date report about the plans they have to make hydrogen power a reality for many more businesses and consumers in Europe. Also in the programme is an interview with Pascal Olin from Swedish solar company Alight, bringing focus to the latest developments in this important area of energy generation.
Plans to double green hydrogen supplies in Europe
Suzy explains that the European Commission has a strategy to double green hydrogen supplies by 2030 to satisfy the growing demand. She explained that whilst hydrogen is already used in industrial refineries and for ammonia production there will be a significant change in the coming years. This will be to use hydrogen for mobility with lorries, buses and trains potentially switching to this source of energy, and furthermore there is a vision that hydrogen will become commonplace in heating systems both in industrial and domestic settings.
How is green hydrogen produced?
Hydrogen can be produced in different ways. Green hydrogen is produced through electrolysis, using electrical power from renewable sources, such as solar or wind power. And the hydrogen generated can then be stored and subsequently utilised as an energy source at the point of consumption, for example in vehicles.
Because of this requirement for power in the generation process, it is anticipated that much of the green hydrogen requirements for Europe will need to be produced in other countries that have the right conditions. Approximately half of Europe’s planned supply of green hydrogen is anticipated to be imported from countries with sunny climates. The hydrogen produced will be stored in the form of ammonia for transportation, then converted back to hydrogen for use, distributed either through pipelines, or in liquid tankers.
The power of solar
Alongside the potential to use solar power in the hydrogen production process, there are tremendous opportunities to use it directly at the point of generation. In fact, Pascal Olin sets out the potential of solar power by explaining that the amount of energy that reaches the Earth from the Sun equates to 10,000 times the amount of energy required to power activities on the planet. Furthermore, that to capture this energy would require just one percent of the Sahara Desert to be equipped with solar panels.
Watch a short teaser of the latest Logiconomi TV series
How easy is it to generate on-site solar energy?
There are two clear benefits from generating your own solar energy. Firstly cost, particularly given the high cost of energy from the grid, and secondly resilience, as your business may be able to operate regardless of potential interruptions to power supplies.
In his Logiconomi interview, Pascal explains that the process of installation is extremely straightforward. Most roofs are perfectly capable of supporting solar panels, which means you are simply taking advantage of space that would otherwise be wasted. Installation is measured in a matter of weeks, and companies like Alight offer purchase power agreements which means that the cost of installation is covered, and the customer simply has a supply agreement for power generated at a predetermined cost, giving savings compared to the grid from day one.
Get the complete story by watching the latest Logiconomi-TV episode “Progressive Energy”.