Energy Transition – An evolving journey

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Read time: 8 minutes

Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element, estimated to account for 75% of the mass of the universe. As summarized below, hydrogen can be produced in a number of ways and from different sources, thereby giving rise to a color-based hydrogen taxonomy.

6 different types of hydrogen

This chart above highlights that there are 6 different types of hydrogen, including:

  • Grey hydrogen, which accounts for roughly 95% of the hydrogen produced globally, is mainly used in industrial applications and is produced using fossil fuels, such as natural gas or methane, through steam reforming
  • Brown hydrogen, which is produced using other fossil fuels such as brown (lignite) coal and which is harmful to the environment, as exorbitant amounts of CO2 are released into the atmosphere
  • Blue hydrogen, which is produced using the same processing technique employed to make grey hydrogen, but CO2 is not released; instead, it is captured using Carbon Capture and Storage technology. It meets the low-carbon threshold and mitigates the environmental impact to an extent
  • Green hydrogen, which is generated using renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. This is the cleanest but also the most expensive energy option
  • Yellow hydrogen, which is produced using electrolysis; however, achieved only through solar power unlike green hydrogen, which can use solar and wind. It is a subet of green hydrogen
  • Pink hydrogen, which is produced by splitting water through electrolysis, but it uses nuclear energy as its power source
Key takeaways
  • With the climate crisis influencing many policy decisions across Asia, regulators highlight that clean hydrogen is vital in achieving decarbonization targets.
  • Despite national and regional hydrogen strategies remaining in their infancy, hydrogen is predicted to comprise over 5% of the 2030 energy system.
  • Given the impetus to bolster hydrogen production to drive the energy transition, stakeholders are motivated to spur a hydrogen policy momentum.