Decarbonisation of the planet is one of the sustainable development objectives that countries around the world have set themselves for 2050. Green hydrogen is presented as one of the most effective solutions to achieve this challenge in the industrial sector and especially in the logistics sector, which is highly dependent on energy.
Green hydrogen is, together with the electric motor, a zero-emission alternative to polluting fossil fuels, and there are many reasons to back up this claim.
Hydrogen is generated from renewable sources, such as photovoltaic solar panels, which take advantage of Spain’s radiation, the highest in Europe. And in addition to renewable energy, the only raw material in a green hydrogen plant is water (H2O), a low-cost renewable resource whose cycle is not altered.
There are also improvements in sustainability, operation and safety compared to battery-only vehicles, with which they are complementary. This is achieved through the reduction of batteries and the elimination of electric charging and the consequent need for charging infrastructure.
The elimination of environmentally polluting gases, such as those produced by diesel or petrol, and their ability to decarbonise transport, a sector that accounts for around 25% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Spain, are also noteworthy.
Reduced refuelling time and autonomy are two other benefits of green hydrogen in logistics. Hydrogen fuel cells in forklift trucks have a range of 8-10 hours without loss of power, and vans can exceed a range of 400km.
Green hydrogen is more environmentally friendly than other alternatives because the source of the energy is known and can be certified. Increased safety for personnel adds a further advantage in favour of green hydrogen over other energies. Hydrogen is not harmful to workers unlike, for example, lead-acid batteries, which are used in most warehouses. Green hydrogen also stands out for its ease of storage and use at times other than when it is produced.
In addition to these environmental and operational benefits, there are also geopolitical benefits. The commitment to this energy source will allow Spain to become energy independent from other countries thanks to the development of a sector that creates employment and technology, while at the same time reducing dependence on fossil fuels in which we are highly deficient. Spain could become an exporting power of green hydrogen. To do so, it must first be developed in our own territory, through scalable and replicable projects that allow us to enter a curve of experience and cost reduction.