Is hydrogen fuel absolute solution to climate change?

Recently I have attended a conference titled “Global Energy Opportunities and Geopolitical Risks”. The focus of the conference was on hydrogen fuel or decarburization of fossil fuel. It was an International Conference and experts from all around the world were present there, especially from the developed world. The best speakers in their own fields have enlightened us with their research, expertise, experiences and we feel more educated after attending this Conference. Thanks to the organizers and speakers for their valued knowledge-sharing. 

Hydrogen as a fuel is very efficient and environmentally friendly. The awareness about the environment has raised to a certain level and many countries are taking appropriate measures to protect the environment. It was observed that during the last century, many developed nations ignored the environmental aspect and opted for industrialization to improve their economy. Once they achieved a certain level of economic development, they have sufficient money to address the environmental issue. Some of the developed countries have set-up very good examples in the protection of the environment. China, by the end of the last century, did a similar exercise and boosted its economy, but recently, China is paying the highest importance to the environment. They have sufficient money to address environments. India is also moving in a similar direction and polluting its environment in an effort to industrialize and enhance its economic growth. 

We should not repeat the same mistakes and may bypass the cycle of first pollute the environment and then spend huge amounts on the cleaning environment. We must learn lessons from history and opt for clean energy and a green economy. It is the desire of all nations to develop their economies immediately but needs to think about the cost of developments too. 

During the conference, I have noted that the focus of Hydrogen fuel was limited to Europe only. But I believe that the environment has no boundaries, we share only one earth and may be affected by pollution even it happens in any other part of the world far away from the place where one lives. The precise example I can give you is Pakistan. As Pakistan is an agricultural-based economy and is not polluting the environment. Carbon credits are in our favor in Pakistan. Yet we are the victim of climate change and stands at number 7 in international ranking who suffered most by climate change. Because of pollution generated by our neighboring countries like China, India, and Afghanistan. China and India are polluting the environment due to industrialization, but Afghanistan is polluted due to explosives used in Afghanistan during the last 4 decades, which have crossed the total explosive used in WWI and WWII. Pakistan is a victim of climate change due to its neighbors. The point is that considering the environmental issue only limited to Europe will not save them. There should be a global approach and we must consider whole humanity and save the whole planet. Efforts should be on a mass scale and target whole humanity. 

On the other hand, we have been promoting renewable energy and advocating for Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Geothermal, Ocean Energy, etc., for a long time. But could not achieve the desired results, to date the share of Renewable energy is only 5% approximately. We need to understand the reasons for the failure of popularizing renewable energy. First of all the technology break-throw, and secondly the cost-effectiveness. On the other aspect pollution by solar cells, panels, are also polluting our environment. 

In the same way, the production of hydrogen fuel is a challenge to meet the cost-effectiveness, safety factors, and transport and storage issues. The currently available source of hydrogen fuel is Water or Fossil fuel, both cannot be a source on a permanent basis. The depletion of fossil fuel or water may create an irreversible, irrecoverable impact on our planet. Is Hydrogen fuel is ultimate solution to climate change???

Let the experts think in a manner how to make it cheaper, affordable, and resolve all other challenges. I am pretty optimistic, our scientists are working very hard and they will reach on a balance point where we can enjoy economic developments as well as a clean environment. It is a global issue and let’s join hands to make global efforts to make this planet more safe and prosper.

Zamir Ahmed Awan


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