Experts sound the alarm on oil sector’s blue hydrogen push

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Construction of the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline, which analysts say may transport hydrogen gas in future (Image: Paul Langrock/Greenpeace)

EU green investment rules facilitate the rollout of blue hydrogen, a fuel that could be more polluting than the fossil gas it is set to replace

The oil and gas industry is promoting the use of “low-carbon” hydrogen derived from methane that is potentially dirtier than burning fossil gas for energy, scientists and analysts have told Climate Home News.

Observers say the European Commission’s decision to classify gas as a transition fuel in its green investment list leaves the door open to “blue hydrogen” projects with exaggerated climate credentials.

“Blue hydrogen is basically nothing but a smokescreen for more air pollution, mining, and fossil fuel use with hardly any CO2 benefit,” said Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford University.

Unlike green hydrogen, which is derived from water in a process powered exclusively by renewable energy, blue hydrogen comes from methane, with the carbon dioxide emitted during production captured and stored.

The International Energy Agency reported last week that there are at least 50 blue hydrogen projects under development globally, and capacity is set to increase more than tenfold by 2030.

Written by Patrick Galey – Climate Home News

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