Hydrogen is an energy carrier that partly offers the advantages of fossil fuels – flexibility and energy density – with potentially a low carbon footprint. As a storehouse of low-carbon energy, it offers a means to integrate high shares of variable renewable electricity into the energy system.
But as the IEA Technology Roadmap: Hydrogen and Fuel Cells explains, not only is hydrogen technology’s economic success uncertain, its necessary components are less advanced than those of many other low-carbon technologies. But Technology Roadmap: Hydrogen and Fuel Cells also makes clear that hydrogen holds promise for some of the key challenges facing emissions reduction in sectors such as transport, industry and buildings, as well as the electricity system. The report details the steps governments, industry and researchers need to take to foster and track deployment of hydrogen technology, if it is to be a significant energy carrier by 2050.