Green hydrogen: Fuel of the future has ‘big potential’ but a worrying blind spot, scientists warn

Made exclusively with renewable power, green hydrogen is emerging as a promising alternative to polluting fossil fuels. But this much-touted fuel of the future may have a pitfall.

Some scientists say the lack of data on leaks and the potential harm they could cause is a blind spot for the nascent industry.

At least four studies published this year say hydrogen loses its environmental edge when it seeps into the atmosphere. This is because it reduces the concentration of molecules that destroy the greenhouse gases already there, potentially contributing to global warming.

If even 10 per cent leaks during its production, transportation, storage or use, the benefits of using green hydrogen over fossil fuels would be completely wiped out, two scientists told Reuters.

They say the lack of technology for monitoring hydrogen leaks means there is a data gap, and more research is needed to calculate its net impact on global warming before final investment decisions are taken.

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