The initial thoughts on hydrogen economy began in 1972 when John O’M Bockris and Dr. John Appleby met at a hotel in Savoy and made notes on the tabletops which led to their article “The Hydrogen Economy – An Ultimate Economy” (Bockris, John O’.M 2013). Their paper discusses how hydrogen could take over from fossil fuel. Since then, hydrogen economy has fueled a great deal of interests and controversies. While some critics label hydrogen economy as illusionist, fashionable and wasteful, its proponents include hydrogen economy in their energy policy plans, companies like Siemens invest Euros 120 million in it and patent applications for electrolysis water prosper.
This article attempts to answer the question “how technologically, economically and environmentally feasible is a hydrogen economy in 2050?”. The primary aim is to analyze whether the production and storage capacities of hydrogen could address energy needs in a sustainable future at the net zero horizon of 2050. Then, the potential environmental implications in implementing hydrogen economy are explored with a focus on Europe through the highly debated concept of “additionality”. We conclude by summarizing the consequences of the arguments for or against the feasibility of hydrogen economy and point towards some other challenges than the ones covered in this article.
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