27 April 2022

If we want to hit net zero, we must be ambitious. One thing that we’re positive about is the role of green hydrogen in helping us meet the government’s goal of zero emissions by 2050. This fuel of the future is a completely clean energy source that will one day be powering everything, from your car to a spaceship.

What makes green hydrogen unique is that it’s sustainably produced using renewable energy sources, including solar and wind.

We’re opening the world of renewable energy to farmers through our zero-cost solar panel programme. You won’t have to pay any upfront costs, and you can make up to four times your current earnings by leasing your land. The only way we’ll reach the target of net zero is by working together and utilising the untapped market of unwanted/unused farmland.

What is green hydrogen?

Green hydrogen is the future. By the mid-2020s, this renewable energy source is expected to have grown up to 50-fold since 2020. While it’s easy to get caught up in the scene of green hydrogen production, we’re breaking it down into a simplified process.

The production of green hydrogen occurs using renewable energy and electrolysis. The ‘green’ part of its name is important. Grey hydrogen produces methane, releasing greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. By comparison, blue hydrogen captures the emission and stores them underground.

Originally, green hydrogen was expensive to produce due to the limitations on renewables and the lack of investment in electrolysis. The renewables boom and funding into electrolysis has led to a significant drop in the production costs of green hydrogen – which is expected to continue to fall as renewable energy becomes more mainstream.

What makes green hydrogen so popular is its versatility. In an age where we’re looking to abandon fossil fuels for renewables, green hydrogen has the potential to fill the gap left behind. This renewable energy can be used for HGVs, cars, and factories – to name but a few. With steel, trucking, shipping, and aviator accounting for 40% of the global carbon footprint, green hydrogen offers a way of targeting the most problematic industries with a renewable alternative.

The government’s goal of zero emissions by 2050

The UK government’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 comes from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. It was designed to focus minds on sustainability to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, with 1.5 degrees chosen as the goal.

The Paris Agreement sets out that these goals will only be met if global carbon dioxide emissions are reduced from 2010 levels by 35% by 2030. However, the challenge is becoming greater every year. Even with the pandemic, greenhouse gas concentrations hit a record high in 2020 – although it did lead to a drop in Co2 emissions.

If the government in the UK – and the countries who signed up to the Paris Agreement – wish to hit their net-zero goal, urgent action is needed. As we emerge from the pandemic, policy thinkers and public officials are once again focusing on how to move the economy and country towards carbon neutrality.

Investment and incentives towards renewable energy play a vital role in this as the government looks for affordable and sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. That’s where green hydrogen comes in.

In August 2021, the UK government published its hydrogen strategy to create a “thriving low carbon hydrogen sector in the UK to meet our ambition of 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030”. Green hydrogen is part of the 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution.

How green hydrogen will help us reach net-zero

Scaling up our country’s capacity to produce green hydrogen is essential if we want to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 to minimise global rising temperatures. Goldman Sachs predicts that green hydrogen could supply up to 25% of the world’s energy requirements by 2050 – becoming a $10 trillion industry by 2050.

Everywhere from Chile to Japan and Portugal has recently published national hydrogen strategies as countries throw their weight behind green hydrogen to help them achieve the ambitious net-zero goal.

The reality is that it would be virtually impossible to hit net zero without using green hydrogen. Its versatility and ability to be used in high-emission industries make it an invaluable asset.

Green hydrogen goes beyond what other renewables can achieve as it can be transported using pipelines, going beyond the limits of an electrical grid. Its versatility makes it one of the few exportable renewable energy sources that could replace petroleum in the global market.

The production, transport, and storage of hydrogen will play a key role in achieving net-zero by 2050. The scaling of electrolysis production and increasing investment into renewables will help to lower the cost to put green hydrogen on an even cost footing as fossil fuels.

The International Energy Agency predicts that green hydrogen production will need to grow at a rate of 1,000-fold by 2030 to achieve net-zero by 2050 and prevent a rise of temperatures above 1.5 degrees.

Green Switch Capital

Our solar farming initiative is the easiest way to become involved in the renewables industry and create a consistent, passive income.

Our programme allows you to lease a portion – or all – of your farmland to use for the development of solar panels. In exchange, you’ll be paid a guaranteed price for each acre of your land – and we’ll cover everything, from getting planning permission to overseeing the installation and maintenance.

You can find out more about the process of joining our solar farming programme here. Do you have a question about joining our programme? You can get in touch with our team directly here.