World needs to embrace hydrogen challenge, cut costs: IEA

KARUIZAWA, Japan (Reuters) – The world should take up the challenge to boost the use of hydrogen as a potentially emissions-free source of energy, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday in its first major report on the fuel. The cost of producing hydrogen from renewable energy could fall by 30 percent by 2030 and the fuel could reduce emissions in industries such as transport, chemicals and steel, the agency said, although it warned there were still major challenges. The IEA report was released as Group of 20 (G20) energy and environment ministers gather in Karuizawa, northwest of Tokyo, in the run up to the group’s summit in Osaka later this month. Japan is heavily promoting hydrogen and has set a goal to cut the cost of producing carbon dioxide-free hydrogen to less than a tenth of current levels by 2050. However, many experts say hydrogen is difficult handle, expensive and involves too much energy or heat loss. The technology for hydrogen fuel cells has been described by Tesla chief Elon Musk as “incredibly dumb.” Hydrogen is enjoying its latest wave of interest since the 1970s, driven by governments, the renewable energy industry, utilities, automakers, oil and gas companies,… continue reading

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