Where is the global hydrogen economy going?
2020-12-22 16:21

   Hydrogen energy has become one of the hot topics in the global energy field in the future. On December 20, the China premiere of the third global manufacturing and industrialization Summit (GMIS), which was introduced and launched exclusively by the China Federation of industrial economics, entered the second day. Siemens new energy business CEO aman schenettler, Germany's national hydrogen commission member Dr. Kirsten Westfall, and Linde Group Australia's hydrogen and clean energy product manager Daniel mills launched a group discussion on "global hydrogen economy". Holger Losch, deputy director general of the German Federation of industries, presided over the session.


Panel discussion on "global hydrogen economy"

   Participants in the meeting believed that renewable energy power generation is one of the most important climate protection measures in the future, and further promoting electrification is the inevitable trend of energy in the future. At present, 20-25% of the final energy consumed by human beings comes from electric energy. We can realize low-carbon through wind and solar power generation, hydropower and other green energy. In the future, we are expected to increase the share of electricity in total energy consumption to 40-45%, or even 50%. But on the other hand, the proportion of non electric energy in the total energy consumption is still as high as 50%, especially in the industrial and other industrial integration fields, which need to consume a large number of chemical molecular energy including gas fuel, and it is difficult to achieve low-carbon simply. Therefore, in order to achieve the climate goals of Paris Agreement, we must pay more attention to and study green molecular energy. In order to achieve the goal of carbon dioxide removal in the whole energy industry, including the energy industry in 2050, all countries are paying more and more attention to the carbon dioxide removal of the whole energy industry, including the carbon dioxide generation.

   Siemens has been deeply engaged in the field of energy for many years. Although the energy group of Siemens is still developing its traditional energy business, it has obviously felt the huge pressure brought by renewable energy. Therefore, it has set up a new energy business unit. At present, it focuses on hydrogen economy and all future hydrogen related businesses. During the discussion, Siemens new energy CEO aman schenettler shared the company's challenges in selling natural gas turbines. The Netherlands last bought natural gas turbines five years ago, and the company expects to sell 400 natural gas turbines a year in the first three quarters of this year, but the actual sales volume is less than 100 units, schennetler said. These data show the challenges and pressures faced by traditional energy related industries in the energy transition stage. At present, siemens energy is making great efforts to turn challenges into opportunities, help customers make the transition from traditional energy to new energy, and help them grasp the green energy market, especially the hydrogen energy market opportunities. As a result, the group has cultivated a new energy business unit focusing on business development in the field of new energy.


Aman schenettler, CEO of Siemens new energy business department and chairman of German electrical and Electronic Information Technology Association, delivered a speech

   In Australia, the utilization rate of renewable energy has increased significantly in the past decade. At present, more than 70% of the electricity in the Australian power grid is generated by renewable energy, which alleviates the problem of excessive carbon emissions, but it also faces the new problem of "double duck curve". Take solar energy as an example. In the afternoon when the sun is strong, a large amount of available power generated by power plants is wasted. At the same time, it is unable to provide sufficient power in the morning and evening of peak power consumption, which leads to the country's heavy dependence on fossil fuels. The German industrial giant Linde Group has been studying hydrogen energy for a century. Daniel mills, manager of the Australian company of the group, said that hydrogen energy can realize energy conversion across time and space according to the needs of users, so as to meet the power demand of different places. It will be an effective countermeasure to solve the dilemma of "double duck curve".


Daniel mills, manager of hydrogen and clean energy products of Linde Group

   At present, hydrogen energy has begun to enter the energy market, new value chains are developing and expanding, and emerging energy countries are beginning to appear, bringing new opportunities. Dr. Kirsten Westphal, a member of the German national Hydrogen Energy Commission, believes that in the future, the most important point for the popularization and development of hydrogen energy is to unite oil countries, fossil fuel producing countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, which we traditionally believe have failed in the development of new energy resources in the world. In fact, these countries are also carrying out the strategic transformation of energy, seeking to develop low-carbon economy, finding new business opportunities in the emerging hydrogen energy value chain, and maintaining the consensus on the Paris Agreement. At the same time, countries are competing with each other in science and technology and innovation, striving to be ahead of the technology and innovation cycle. Dr Westfall believes that the hydrogen economy will be an opportunity for EU countries.


Expert of German Institute of international and security affairs, member of national Hydrogen Energy Commission

Speech by Dr. Colston Westfall

   Green hydrogen represents the most important opportunity and market in the future. Oman schenettler believes that to promote the further development of green hydrogen, the production cost must be reduced first, and its cost largely depends on the cost of renewable energy power. Therefore, the primary premise of promoting hydrogen energy is to improve the power generation efficiency of existing renewable energy and obtain low-cost green power. Compared with fossil energy, hydrogen energy producing areas will be more decentralized. In addition to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other oil exporting countries, South America and Australia are all opportunity countries. Northwest Africa, South America and even Russia will also take a share of this new energy market. On the other hand, reducing the use cost, that is, expanding the scale, is also crucial for the overall development of hydrogen energy economy. We need to invest heavily in technological progress, reduce the cost of electrolytic agent, and improve the maturity level of energy, so as to stride into the future of green hydrogen energy. On the other hand, it is necessary to promote the application of hydrogen energy. At present, the price of green hydrogen still does not have competitive advantage, and it is most likely to be extended to those places with the strongest price acceptance. Schennetler believes that mobile transportation is the most promising application field. If hydrogen energy can be used in private cars worldwide, trucks, trains and even aviation industries will follow suit. He thinks it will be the next outlet. If the scale of green hydrogen production in refineries is expanded, and the European Renewable Energy directive will be revised and launched next year to boost sales demand, it will soon be seen that a large number of hydrogen production projects will be built in various places, with the production scale likely to reach 100 MW or even several million MW. McKinsey's in-depth study on the future of hydrogen economy shows that the global hydrogen storage capacity needs to reach about 40 gigawatts before it can really reach the industrial scale, so that the price of hydrogen energy can really compete with oil and natural gas.

   Currently, the industry has been discussing the possibility of hydrogen as a fuel energy export. Due to the variety of hydrogen production methods, renewable energy, natural gas and steam can be used, or high-temperature decomposition of methane can be used to produce hydrogen. In the future, hydrogen projects will be more flexible in choosing partners and establishing joint ventures in the whole value chain, which is completely different from the petroleum system which is almost completely restricted by geological factors and infrastructure. Dr. Colston Westfall believes that in the future, we should also establish a value chain trading system for hydrogen energy from production to storage.

   In addition to discussing the development prospects of hydrogen energy in the future, Daniel mills also shared two other leading technology advantages of Linde Group liquid ammonia and liquid helium. He believes that liquid helium will also become an important member of the global energy market. Because liquid helium can be used together with liquefied natural gas, it is expected to become an important part of regional energy market.

Conference playback link

Sign up for more summit information