Low-carbon hydrogen.. Promising environment-friendly energy resource

Low-carbon hydrogen is shaping up to become one of the most promising energy resources that would lead to a better environment and help achieve the goal of
carbon neutrality set by countries around the world.

Hydrogen, as an element, is a safe and clean source of energy that does not produce pollutants while burned and has several applications including a source of heat for housing or a raw material in the industrial sector, and recently has attracted attention as a future clean energy resource.

Dr. Fotouh Al-Ragom

There are around 17 methods to produce low-carbon hydrogen, which emits less than 2.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide for every one kilogram of hydrogen.

The most important kinds of low-carbon hydrogen are the ones produced by wind and solar-powered devices known as “green hydrogen” and the other, known as “blue hydrogen”, is extracted from natural gas as a byproduct.

On this issue, several experts spoke to KUNA on the validity of the new promising energy resource.

 

The usage of low-carbon hydrogen is a new venture and Kuwait is keen on capitalizing on such an opportunity, Manager of the Energy Efficiency Technologies Program at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) Dr. Fotouh Al-Ragom told KUNA.

Dr. Al-Ragom affirmed that Kuwait had an abundance of renewable natural resources, noting that it could use solar and wind energies to produce green hydrogen not only for national consumption, but also as a material to export to other countries.

She indicated that there were many countries beginning to show increasing interest in such viable energy resource, adding that Kuwait had taken some serious steps to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 in the oil and gas sectors, a step necessary for an ambitious plan for total carbon neutrality for all sectors of the state by 2060.

It is very important to focus on decreasing direct and indirect carbon emissions to achieve the aforementioned goal, she affirmed, saying that it could be achieved by decreasing the burning of gas in extraction and production operations as well as bolstering circular economy, a model of production that focuses on sharing, leasing, and reusing energy to lessen carbon emission.

Dr. Al-Ragom also indicated that utilizing solar energy to produce electricity would also contribute to lessening carbon emissions.

She asserted that Kuwait’s efforts in this regard were in line with the global pledge for renewable energy sources and efficiency, which increases such energy resources by threefold, a measure that would decrease temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030.

She also mentioned Kuwait’s vision to save 15 percent of its need for renewable energy resources by 2030 in line with the global pledge.

Dr. Al-Ragom also revealed that there were various state entities cooperating on this matter.

Also speaking on the matter of low-carbon hydrogen usage, natural gas industries expert at the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) Wael Abdulmotai said that hydrogen usewas not a novelty; the resource was used in the past as a raw material in various industries to create products.

The increasing interest in hydrogen nowadays was due to its practical usage in future clean energy production, indicated Abdulmotai, affirming that there were obstacles that needed to be addressed before embarking on a wide-scale usage of hydrogen.

He said that the main concern with the production of low-carbon hydrogen as a resource was the high cost of the material, which was fivefold the cost of producing natural gas.

To better utilize low-carbon hydrogen, the infrastructure must be built to allow for international commerce like in the case of oil and natural gas, he affirmed, saying that policies must also be devised to ensure the organization of the process for the benefit of consumers and producers.

Abdulmotai indicated that Arab countries were at the forefront of using green and blue hydrogen as resources for energy and other applications.

He pointed out that Arab countries were interested in low-carbon hydrogen as a material to be exported to markets in Europe and Asia, adding that announced products in this regard reached 82 until last November.

Abdulmotai affirmed that the Arab world had viable future infrastructure to produce low-carbon hydrogen and invest in this promising industry, stressing that the process should be done in cooperation and also partnership with global participants.

He pointed out there were a number of declared projects within this domain, which marked the first stepping stone for this economic endeavor, adding that there were other projects within this domain chiefly amongst them was the Saudi NEOM Green Hydrogen Company, a project in which production was fully sold as part of a 30-years binding agreement.

In regards to Kuwait, the expert said that hydrogen was produced as a part of the oil industry’s operations with the material known as “grey hydrogen”, a byproduct used in refineries and petrochemical complexes.

There are proposed projects to capture carbon elements in grey hydrogen, transforming it to blue hydrogen, which a low-carbon product that might be used in green projects, said the expert.

Abdulmotai said that Kuwait was amongst countries that adopted a long-term vision and strategy to utilize renewed energy resources for sustainable usage, revealing that the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) announced its 2040 strategy to transform Kuwait’s usage of energy by 2050, allocating a sum of USD 410 billion to achieve this goal.

The strategy includes plans to produce renewable energy resources by 2025 to use in KPC operations by 2050, he said, adding that by 2030, such a plan would include operations for the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) and applying it to other companies under the banner of KPC by 2040.

Abdulmotai also mentioned that there were plans to harness and contain carbon to use it locally by 2050, adding that producing green hydrogen was part of KPC’s strategy by 2040.

Meanwhile, CEO of EnerTech Holding Company, part of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), Abdullah Al-Mutairi indicated that hydrogen and its energy usage had a history of 200 years with the material being part of the internal combustion engine technology.

He said that the continuously decreasing cost of renewable energy in the past decade provided an opportunity to power the “new economy” based on the heavy use of electric technology, which in turn led to less carbon emissions and a safer environment.

Some countries have now geared towards the usage of green hydrogen technology namely Oman, which launched its main renewable energy project the Green Energy Oman (GEO), a project aimed at producing green hydrogen and carbon-free fuel for national and global consumption.

GEO, he revealed, was a multiparty partnership amongst Shell Global, Kuwait, Oman, and Singapore with the aim of producing 25 megawatts from solar and wind energies also producing 1.8 million tons of carbon-free green hydrogen annually. (KUNA)

The post Low-carbon hydrogen.. Promising environment-friendly energy resource appeared first on TimesKuwait.

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