The energy carrier hydrogen is a key facilitator of sustainable energy and can contribute significantly to attaining sustainability and sustainable development. As easily accessible fossil fuel supplies become increasingly scarce and environmental concerns escalate, hydrogen energy is likely to become an increasingly important. Then, hydrogen and electricity are expected to be the two dominant energy carriers for the provision of end-use services, in a hydrogen economy. A hydrogen economy involves many types of hydrogen energy systems, which together allow greater use of renewable energy resources.
Routes to hydrogen production are possible from various energy sources, including renewable and non-renewable energy sources. In fact, numerous commercial and pre-commercial processes exist for producing hydrogen from various fossil fuels as well as non-fossil fuel sources like solar energy, wind energy, bioenergy energy and various other types of renewable in addition to nuclear energy. Renewable energy options are usually considered more sustainable. Furthermore, technologies exist and are undergoing development for the storage, transport, distribution and utilization of hydrogen, especially in the transportation and energy utility sectors.
In this presentation, the role of hydrogen as an energy carrier and facilitator of sustainable energy is described and illustrated, and hydrogen energy systems that can contribute to a sustainable world are reviewed and discussed.