Summary: Bellona EP presentation on Hydrogen

Publish date: March 18, 2003

The Bellona Foundation was founded on June 16th 1986. It is a science-based, technology-optimistic and society-oriented environmental NGO, which holds professional competence in: nuclear physics, chemistry, biology, energy, economy, law and social studies.

The main office is in Oslo Norway. In addition Bellona Russia have offices in St Petersburg and Murmansk, Bellona Europe are situated in Brussels and Bellona USA in Washington DC.

Bellonas work is organised in seven focus areas, where energy is one. Our vision is that current polluters will go from being a part of the problem to become a part of the solution.

The Bellona Foundation has for many years worked with pollution from production and use of energy in general and with the challenge of reducing GHG emission particularly. The goal is to reach a clean energy chain. Our key approaches are as follows: more renewable energy, prioritising energy efficiency and making production and use of fossil fuels cleaner. Regarding GHGs we must first comply with the Kyoto commitments, then reduce the GHGes further according to the recommendation for IPCC (international Panel on Climate Change).

This work is currently covered in the “Bellonas hydrogen project”. Broad and long-term thinking is key points in the project. The second phase of the project has commenced, “Road maps to the Hy-Way” (2002-2004). In the first phase, “Searching for solutions” (1999-2001), Bellona conclude that: “In a global perspective, the use of hydrogen and electricity as energy carriers will be of critical importance in the efforts to reduce global warming and local atmospheric pollution.”

To be able to move forward and to implement suitable solutions for society Bellona sees the importance of communicating on different arenas.

Unfortunately, we recognize a big gap in the foreseen actual and the required development of renewable energy sources if the road transport should convert to renewable based hydrogen within decades. The hydrogen produced to day is made from fossil fuels. Increasing the production could propel the transition to hydrogen, however, this will in turn increase GHG emissions.

Our working strategy is as follows: energy used for the production of hydrogen and electricity must preferably be based on renewable energy sources. The transition to an energy system based on clean energy carriers and renewable energy sources relies on generating energy from hydrocarbons where the greenhouse gases (GHG) are separated and properly handled. This can be done by splitting the carbon from the hydrocarbons and depositing the carbon in an environmentally sound way. Bellona considers de-carbonising hydrocarbons as a possible missing link on the road leading to a society based on renewable energy. The challenge is to arrive at a practical method of de-carbonisation, thereby providing sufficient energy to produce enough solar panels, wind turbines, electrolysers etc. to replace fossil-based energy and energy carriers.

So far, the emphasis in the second phase has been placed on ways and means to reduce CO2-emissions from the oil and gas industry in Norway. In this respect, Bellona sees two possible paths. Firstly, the energy production required for the production of oil and gas and their transport to the markets must be carried out without the emission of CO2, i.e. the CO2 produced must be captured at the production sites and deposited in an environmentally safe way. Secondly, in order to realize the potential for use of CO2 as a value-adding component, as an agent for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) in the North Sea, a market for CO2 must be created. This market can be based upon de-carbonization of natural gas and transport of the CO2 back into the oilfields. In addition, Bellona perceives this as an opportunity to reduce the cost of hydrogen production without GHG-emissions.