A green hydrogen future?

We just organised an international virtual cocktail with 18 folks involved in one way or another in the hydrogen economy. A couple of points that emerged in the conversations confirmed some things our existing projects in the sector revealed:

  • Power to X (including H2) is (at present) the best option we can come up with at present to store excesses of the intermittant types of renewable energy in summer for their use in winter. Clearly there are substantial energy losses at each step of conversion (to H2 and back again if not used for thermal value e.g. in smelting steel). But so long as an excess of renewable energy at some point, from a CO2 (but not necessarily financial) point of view, better this than letting the energy generated go to waste (or stopping the windmill).
  • Hydrogen itself will be local, and could be sent by pipeline. But for transport at distance it will be Ammonia (or perhaps methanol or methane).
  • There was quite a bit of buzz around African projects thanks to a couple of participants at our cocktail, and the scale of some projects (with impact on the economy) could be substantial for some countries.

But what do you think about hydrogen? Hype or future?