Hydrogen is formed by electrolysis of water. This requires a lot of sustainable electricity and fresh water. Thus, areas that experience a lot of sun are very suitable, except for the often scarcity of fresh water.
In its latest report, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) stated that this problem could be solved by using desalinated seawater. This increases hydrogen production costs, but not so much that hydrogen becomes expensive. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the total cost of hydrogen production is only 4 percent higher.
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There is not enough fresh water
This is good news for countries like Saudi Arabia, Namibia, Chile and Australia. All of these regions have plans to produce large quantities of green hydrogen, because they have vast areas in which a lot of solar energy can be generated, but they do not have enough fresh water.
Desalination and water transportation are expensive. To reduce costs, the installation can also be used to produce fresh water for other customers, such as local residents. Irina says large-scale desalination of seawater will cut costs.
Hydrogen costs remain low
In this way, green hydrogen production not only provides a sustainable source of energy but also usable fresh water for the local environment. And that’s without hydrogen costs getting too high. “Water scarcity is the main challenge for Africa. But green hydrogen can solve this problem rather than aggravate it,” said Irina.
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