Manufacturers explore ‘transformational opportunity’ of green hydrogen

The meat-free manufacturer joins the likes of Unilever, which last year began tests on switching two facilities in the UK to using hydrogen to demonstrate that it can be used as a substitute fuel for natural gas in manufacturing processes. Nestle, too, has said green hydrogen is one potential avenue to pursue as it seeks to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

What’s the appeal? Hydrogen made with renewable energy is completely carbon-free. When turned into electricity, the only emission is water. What’s more, it’s easy to store and transport, it’s claimed.

The UK’s independent climate advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change has described green hydrogen as an essential part of the journey to net-zero, which could be used for fueling industry and transport networks, and heating homes. The UK government believes that hydrogen will provide between 20-35% of total final energy consumed by 2050. The European Commission recently granted state aid approval of €900 million to the German government to allow the funding of the H2Global hydrogen import programme.

Globally, meanwhile, 131 large-scale projects have been announced since February 2021, taking the total to 359 projects, according to McKinsey & Company. The total investment into projects and along the whole value chain amounts to an estimated $500 billion through 2030.

The ongoing natural gas shortage and high gas prices, meanwhile, has given further impetus to the idea that green hydrogen could present a realistic, sustainable alternative for companies to secure its energy supply and meet their net positive targets.

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