Thursday, 11 February 2021
In February 2021, Spanish sustainability firm Acciona launched its new blockchain platform GreenH2chain, used to verify the renewable origins of green hydrogen.
The method of production and raw materials used determines whether hydrogen is renewable. Hydrogen produced by electrolysing (or splitting) water using renewable electricity as an energy source is renewable. The traditional method of producing hydrogen from natural gas involves net carbon emissions and, cannot be considered to produce renewable hydrogen.
However, all forms of hydrogen are chemically indistinguishable and can be used for similar purposes. As such, it is convenient to mix all forms of hydrogen for delivery and end-use.
Due to mixing rigorous tracking systems, including Guarantees of Origin type schemes, are necessary to verify the sustainability of the whole hydrogen value chain.
Acciona's digital platform offers a way of achieving this. GreenH2chain is based upon blockchain technology, allowing users to track and verify renewable hydrogen shipments from production sites to final delivery destination.
“This technological solution will allow renewable hydrogen consumers to quantify, record and monitor the decarbonisation process of their own energy supply,” said Acciona. “In the future, GreenH2chain will be complementary to any official systems dedicated to certifying the renewable origin of hydrogen, once these are established.”
The system is set to be used first for renewable hydrogen produced at the Acciona/Enagas green hydrogen pilot project, in Mallorca in Summer 2021.
According to the IEA, global hydrogen demand in 2018 was approximately 86 TWh, or 74 Megatonnes. Much of this usage stems from the refining and ammonia industry rather than for energy purposes.
Fossil produced hydrogen dominates the market currently, with the green hydrogen being only a small fraction. In 2018, green hydrogen production capacity via hydrolysers was estimated at 420 GWh/year.
This is set to increase to 640 TWh in 2021, rising to 1.7 TWh in 2023 based on project announcements. As this capacity continues to grow, and with it green hydrogen share, the need for traceability solutions will become more apparent.