A green future with hydrogen and water: united for sustainability

On this World Water Day, we celebrate the potential of green hydrogen as a key tool in the fight against climate change, without forgetting the importance of responsible water use.

Europe, at the forefront of green hydrogen development, has installed more than 50 GW of solar photovoltaic and wind power by 2022, 45% more than in 2021. However, green hydrogen production also consumes water, raising concerns about its impact in the context of water stress.

“Green hydrogen is the most water-efficient of all clean hydrogen types, consuming 17.5 litres per kilogram of hydrogen,” according to the report “Water for hydrogen production” by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). However, more than 35% of the world’s green and blue hydrogen production capacity is located in regions with high water stress.

IRENA also notes that “in Europe, it is estimated that 23% of green hydrogen projects and 14% of blue hydrogen projects will be located in areas with high or extremely high water stress by 2040”. This could increase competition for water and affect the sustainability of the hydrogen industry.

Europe, a leader in the development of this technology, has made great strides in renewable energy production. However, the production of green hydrogen also consumes water, a vital resource that we must protect.

To ensure a green future with hydrogen and water, it is essential:

  • Prioritise green hydrogen projects that minimise water consumption.
  • Implement efficient technologies such as PEM electrolysis.
  • Carefully manage competition for water, especially in water-stressed areas.
  • Promote desalination as an alternative to fresh water.
  • Develop green hydrogen production centres in areas with available water resources.

In Aragon, we are committed to a sustainable future

The Aragon Hydrogen Foundation, together with Zinnae, Geoslab and DH2 Energy, are working on the H2iber project. This web platform, based on artificial intelligence, will allow:

  • Estimate geolocated water consumption for hydrogen projects.
  • Assess the feasibility of these projects based on water availability.
  • Contribute to the strategic planning of green hydrogen production in the region.

The main objective of H2iber “is to develop a web platform, based on the use of artificial intelligence (AI), which allows to display estimates of geolocated water consumption, in order to support the feasibility of hydrogen generation projects based on the present and estimated future availability of water resources in the Autonomous Community of Aragon, explains David Jiménez, Consulting and Training technician at Fundación Hidrógeno Aragón.

“This project is currently in the development phase, and plans to extend the work to a national scale in future phases of implementation, with the aim of generating a database that provides perspective when planning, designing and implementing future hydrogen projects that will be necessary to achieve the energy transformation of Spain and Europe, considering the consumption of water resources at all levels of the production process,” concludes Jiménez about H2iber.

H2iber is an example of how innovation and collaboration can help build a greener future, where hydrogen and water are used responsibly and sustainably.

Image by Freepik.

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