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Help! Part 2 - Making Sense of the Hydrogen Buzz, Production Edition

Based on the response we received to our first-ever hydrogen blog last fall, it’s fair to say we didn’t waste this space on a fringe subject. To be honest, the level of interest in hydrogen far exceeded our expectations, and suggested that we might have even been a little bit late to the party — but fashionably so, if you ask us. In the weeks since then, we’ve spent a fair amount of time distilling the tremendous amount of news flow and reading material that was either sent our way or popped up in the daily news feeds. You could go a lot of different directions with hydrogen and it’s still very easy, in our view, to get lost in the forest of green energy technology. So, as we are wont to do, we have stuck to our simple approach of tackling this fuel just like we do with hydrocarbons, and we are first turning our attention upstream. Today, we continue our series on hydrogen with a look at the top production methods for the fuel.

As we outlined in our first-ever hydrogen blog back in November, creating fuel from the lightest of all gases has become a hot topic lately. Will it fade away again, as has happened in prior clean energy bubbles? We don’t know. Maybe this time will be different and maybe it won’t, but it’s difficult to ignore the momentum that has seemingly built behind the latest hydrogen craze. Simply keeping up with the daily announcements and news articles is a challenge, let alone committing the time to research developments and determine their relevance to the overall energy puzzle. For those reasons, we have decided to devote this space once every two weeks, usually on Thursdays if our plan holds, to the topic of hydrogen. On top of that, we will soon begin publishing a weekly hydrogen newsletter on Wednesday of each week to track news and topics that don’t perhaps require an entire blog to dissect. For more details, see our new Renewable Energy Analytics (REA). Now, on to today’s blog, which focuses on hydrogen production methods.

If you are ever inclined to research the history of hydrogen production, it’s an easy way to burn off a few Saturday afternoons. While it’s up to you to decide the best use of your free time, we don’t recommend developing a full understanding of all the methods of — and drivers behind — the multitude of hydrogen production processes. The way we see it, you probably need to understand just a few of the primary pathways to generating hydrogen. We cover those today and will leave the NASA rocket fuel case studies, though they are fascinating, for you to pursue at your leisure.

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