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Navigating the seas of hydrogen risk: key factors to consider

WTW Renewable Energy Market Review 2023

January 19, 2023

In this article from the 2023 Renewable Energy Market Review we set out the key factors you should consider for hydrogen risks.
Medioambiental
Climate Risk and Resilience

Introduction: the supply & demand imbalance

Sanctions against Russia have created a restriction in the supply of natural gas to Europe without any abatement in demand; this is being seen by many as a catalyst for innovation and investment into renewable energy solutions. With a strong global focus on hydrogen, could this make a meaningful contribution to balancing the supply & demand issues experienced?

We are all acutely aware from COP27 that any change in the energy system doesn’t happen overnight, and that transitioning the energy infrastructure takes time. We must then question what level of delivery is realistic in the short, medium and long term to strengthen the energy security of supply for impacted nations, in a stable, equitable, consumer or government-led energy transition.

We are now challenged with not only increasing, but also changing, the technologies used for delivering grid electrification. We are confident that hydrogen is poised to play an increasingly important role in the energy demand for heavy industrial applications such as steel, cement, aviation, and shipping, which are inherently more challenging to decarbonise, due to the large quantity of fast-deployable energy which is required in these industries. While renewable energy will have its part to play being integrated into the new Green hydrogen infrastructure, there are limited technologies which can be deployed to directly replace traditional hydrogen carbons.

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