The use of molecular hydrogen (H2) for energy applications has been discussed for decades, but this possibility has never really materialized due to numerous technical and economic obstacles. Today, in the face of the need for deep decarbonization of the energy system, we are seeing a renewed interest in hydrogen. On May 27, the multifaceted aspects and potential of molecular hydrogen (H2) in the energy sector have been discussed in a workshop at the Bologna Academy of Sciences, organized by ISOF Research Director Nicola Armaroli and Prof. Leonardo Setti (UNIBO). The workshop was entitled “Idrogeno: quale ruolo nella transizione energetica?“
Invited representatives from big Italian companies such as Enel Green Power, SNAM, Acciaierie d’Italia and several academics have discussed many topics, including production methods, prospects for storage and transport, green hydrogen and electrolyzers, blue hydrogen and geological confinement of CO2, hydrogen districts, industrial and transportation uses, storage of renewable electricity also compared with the use of batteries, potential environmental impact of a hydrogen economy. Special focus has been devoted to hydrogen projects in Italy by industrial players. Production of hydrogen on a large scale will not occur before a decade and uses will have to be concentrated where alternatives are not readily available such as hard-to-abate industrial sectors. The future of hydrogen in the transport sector is instead uncertain due to efficiency and infrastructural barriers. The video of the entire workshop is available here.