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Green Hydrogen: The Promising Path to a Sustainable Energy Future

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Hydrogen can play a vital role as a sustainable source of energy due to the clean and versatile properties it has. When used in fuel cells, hydrogen produces electricity by combining it with oxygen, emitting only water vapor as a byproduct. It can be used in various sectors like transportation, industry, and power generation, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.

Green Hydrogen

Hydrogen is abundantly present in 75% of all matter, is light, doesn’t pollute by itself, and can be stored. It is an energy vector as it enables energy to be carried and can then be converted back into any other form of energy. A chemical process is required to extract and turn it into fuel.

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Grey hydrogen is derived from natural gas using steam reforming, which separates the hydrogen from the natural gas, but in this case, the carbon emissions are not captured but released into the atmosphere. For blue hydrogen, the extraction process is the same as for grey hydrogen, but here the carbon emissions are captured and stored.

Green hydrogen, unlike the fossil fuel-derived grey or blue hydrogen, is produced through a process called electrolysis, by using renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar power. This method produces a clean fuel, green hydrogen, that holds immense potential across various sectors. Often hailed as the fuel of the future, green hydrogen offers a plethora of benefits that position it as a potential game-changer in the global effort to reduce carbon emissions and secure a sustainable energy future.

Zero Emissions

At the heart of green hydrogen’s appeal lies its zero-emission nature. It has the potential to play a crucial role in decarbonizing various sectors, including transportation, industry, and heating. When used in fuel cells, hydrogen produces electricity with only water vapor as a byproduct, offering a clean energy solution. Also, as it is produced using renewable energy sources, it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Energy Storage and Grid Stability

One of the most significant challenges of renewable energy sources like wind and solar is their intermittency. Green hydrogen offers a solution by acting as a versatile energy carrier and storage medium. Excess renewable energy can be used to produce hydrogen during periods of low demand, and this hydrogen can then be converted back into electricity when needed, providing stability to energy grids and enabling the integration of more renewable sources.

Industrial Transformation

Industries that have long relied on carbon-intensive processes are exploring green hydrogen as a pathway to reduce their carbon footprint. Sectors such as steel, cement, and chemicals can use green hydrogen to replace fossil fuels in their processes, leading to a substantial reduction in emissions.

Transport Sector

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles offer a clean alternative to conventional vehicles, with only water as the byproduct of combustion. These vehicles provide longer ranges and quicker refueling times compared to battery-electric vehicles, potentially accelerating the transition to cleaner transportation.

Economic Opportunities

Investing in green hydrogen technologies presents economic opportunities on multiple fronts. It can drive innovation, create jobs, and foster technological advancements. Many countries are actively promoting hydrogen technologies and investing in research, development, and infrastructure. Collaboration between governments, industries, and research institutions is essential for accelerating the adoption of hydrogen energy on a global scale.

Challenges Faced

Challenges like high cost, efficient production, storage, and distribution need to be addressed for green hydrogen to reach its full potential as a sustainable energy source.

Cost: Currently, the cost of producing green hydrogen remains relatively high compared to conventional methods. However, as renewable energy costs decline and electrolysis technologies advance, the gap is narrowing.

Infrastructure: Hydrogen has a low density and requires specialized storage and transportation infrastructure. It is challenging to store and distribute hydrogen due to its high reactivity and low energy density, which can lead to leakage and safety concerns. Building the necessary infrastructure for hydrogen production, storage, and distribution would require significant investment.

Scale-Up: To make a substantial impact, green hydrogen production must be scaled up significantly. This entails expanding renewable energy capacity, fostering research and development, and driving innovation.

Policy Support: Government policies and incentives play a pivotal role in accelerating the adoption of green hydrogen. Supportive regulations, funding mechanisms, and international cooperation are essential to create a conducive environment for its growth.

Safety concerns: Hydrogen is highly flammable. While safety measures can be implemented to handle hydrogen safely, the risks associated with its storage, transportation, and handling require careful consideration.

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Fuel cell technology challenges: Hydrogen fuel cells, which convert hydrogen into electricity, face certain technical challenges, including durability, cost, and the need for precious metals as catalysts.

Green hydrogen is a beacon of hope in the global pursuit of sustainable energy solutions. Ongoing research and technological advancements aim to address the challenges and make green hydrogen energy a more viable option.

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Mukesh Kwatra
Mukesh Kwatra
Dr. Mukesh Kwatra, Environmentalist & Founder of Smiling tree

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COP28 UAE: SANY Promotes Green Manufacturing Transformation, Takes Concrete Action to Tackle Climate Challenges

CHANGSHA, China, Nov. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- SANY Group, ("SANY"), a globally leading enterprise of the high-end equipment manufacturing industry, is accentuating advancing sustainable development and the green manufacturing transformation of the heavy machinery industry, ahead of the COP28 UAE, that is set to take place from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai. The theme of the 13-day program this year is "Actionism," calling for people to rise to meet the climate change challenges.

The COP28 will center on four major paradigm shifts – namely accelerating the transition from fossil fuels, agreeing on climate finance shifts, emphasizing the role of people and nature in climate action, and ensuring the summit is an inclusive event that women, indigenous people, local communities, youth, countries and more can all be a part of.

SANY is responding actively and positively to the summit's agenda with concrete actions to promote the transformation of green manufacturing, bringing sustainable solutions to the industries of mining, construction, wind power, and more.

Taking green actions to build a sustainable future

SANY is vigorously expanding the use of green energy (renewables such as solar and wind) in production processes to reduce the reliance on traditional energy sources, lower carbon emissions, and support climate change actions. It has adopted multiple initiatives, especially in accelerating the R&D and application of wind energy, hydrogen, and electrification solutions, and achieved significant results.

SANY's subsidiary SANY Renewable Energy has been investing in and constructing wind farms to boost the proportion of wind power in the energy structure, through intelligent upgrades in manufacturing and creating intelligent workshops. By doing this, SANY Renewable Energy has reduced the overall unit energy consumption and carbon emissions by 15 percent compared to pre-upgrade.

In 2022, SANY has added more than 3,000 energy metering connections. SANY built China's first intelligent mixing station park and invested 3.22 million yuan in photovoltaic construction that will produce 900,000 kWh of power annually. The park will cut 887 tons of carbon emission, 242 tons of dust emissions, 26.7 tons of sulfide, and 13.4 tons of nitric oxide to achieve synergetic development of intelligent manufacturing and environmental conservation.

A total of 11 subsidiaries of SANY have installed photovoltaic power generation equipment, with clean energy usage amounting to 16.013 million kWh.

SANY is actively engaged in the R&D of hydrogen fuel cell technology to improve battery efficiency, reduce cost, and boost the production and storage capabilities, while expanding the applications of hydrogen energy.

Innovation-driven climate action tackles industry bottlenecks

Through establishing a green supply chain, SANY adopts renewable materials and environmentally friendly technologies to reduce resource waste and improve the sustainability of the supply chain.

SANY continues to improve the long-term mechanism for pollution prevention and control, strengthen the control of waste emissions including water, gas, and other hazardous substances, and be cautious of business and operation actions that could damage the ecological environment. In 2022, the group's wastewater and gas emissions met the standard rate of 100 percent, with a 100 percent compliance rate for hazardous waste disposal.

The group is also pushing for using environment-friendly materials to minimize pollution, so that the carbon reduction throughout the product life cycle also includes materials. In 2022, its VOCs emission density was 0.0011 tons per million revenue, a 39.71 percent reduction from the base year.

Meanwhile, the continuous upgrade of production techniques and processes, promotion of energy conservation technologies, and advancement of low-carbon technology development are not only playing key roles in improving production efficiency, but also reducing carbon footprint and aims to reach the "dual-carbon" goals.

Calling for the public's participation

SANY has been carrying out training programs and campaigns centered on environmental protection for employees, while further raising community engagement in terms of green, low-carbon, community-friendly, and educational innovation agendas. In 2022, the company employees completed 687.4 hours of volunteer work, and SANY invested 9.75 million yuan in the year to support 15 public welfare projects.

SANY Construction Industry is leading the green technology application in urban infrastructure construction to accelerate the sustainable development of cities and building intelligent cities, green transportation systems, and energy-conserving architectures to reduce energy consumption, improving urban environment quality and people's livelihoods.

In terms of biodiversity and sustainable development, SANY emphasizes the conservation of soil, ocean, crops, and animals to create a better future, and advocates a circular economy to decrease the waste of resources.

In the context of increasingly severe issues of global climate change, SANY, as a leader in the green industry, is committed to promoting sustainable development and actively joining global efforts to address climate change through comprehensive initiatives such as green supply chains, green energy, and carbon emission reduction.

For more information about SANY Group, please visit www.sanyglobal.com or follow us on Facebook or YouTube.

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