That’s the conclusion of an analysis by BloombergNEF, which said the most abundant element is likely to play a growing role in reducing pollution from power producers and industry.
The findings add to the potential for widespread use of hydrogen. While the gas has been hailed for decades as a carbon-free energy source, the cost and difficulty of making it has confined it mainly to niches like fueling rockets and helping upgrade blends of oil.
“Once the industry scales up, renewable hydrogen could be produced from wind or solar power for the same price as natural gas in most of Europe and Asia,” Kobad Bhavnagri, BNEF’s head of special projects, said in the report on Wednesday. “These production costs would make green gas affordable and puts the prospects for a truly clean economy in sight.”
Those industries that are finding it difficult to remove emissions. Hydrogen can also be stored, shipped and used to produce electricity or fed into fuel cells that are increasingly appearing in cars and small power plants.
BNEF looked at how to generate hydrogen from renewable sources such as wind turbines and solar panels. It also examined how the gas that’s produced can be stored to provide energy at times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.