The assessment Report No. 5 of the International Panel “IPCC” was the main indicator that brought representatives of 195 Countries to approve an historic agreement which puts CO2 as the cause of planetary warming. The participants pledged to reduce quickly within the short period of ten years, global emissions of CO2 to 55 gigatonnes.
Most of the CO2 (80%), is generated by the combustion of two hydrocarbons: crude oil and natural gas. This means that in order to have a reduction of emissions in the short term, resulting in a temperature increase of not more than 2c°, a draconian reduction of the two main culprits is inevitable.
The repercussions of this arrangement are apparent from the fact that oil has precipitated by 2014 from $114 to $45 per barrel, which has been stable for over two years. Since the beginning of the year, the European Stoxx Europe 600 Oil & Gas index has lost 9.7%, and the US segment has lost even 21%. Altogether, the top 20 companies listed in the industry have burned around $ 100 billion in capitalization.
The price of $ 45 / $ 50 per barrel does not allow companies investments in the industry but only imposes a maintenance cost which however has come to the critical point of disinvestment. In fact, the stocks are at maximum of containment. Gasoline stocks are rising, Opec’s cut results have not led to any upsurge and production is clearly higher than demand. In the US this year the extraction will drop by 700,000 barrels a day. The first forecasts for 2018 by the International Energy Agency (AIE) indicate that US shale oil production will grow more than demand next year, and that means that most of the gas will remain unsold, but the same goes for the Opec producers, and for the Saudis who have understood that they will have to spend their last resources on research and new technologies.
In 2015 the European Parliament adopted the new legislation “2014/94 UE” that updates to new ISO standards (ISO/TS 19880-1 2016) the entire sector of distribution, production and transportation of fuels, but the particular novelty is the introduction of a new chapter devoted entirely to the use of hydrogen. The new rules extend the use of hydrogen to the automotive, power generation, range extender systems (systems of combined energy), transport and even increases the capacity of fuel cell tanks up to 700Bar. An electric car powered by a fuel cell (FCEVs) recharges in ten minutes and can have a range of over 700 km.
The new legislation makes possible the expected change to the new power player, and the cost of hydrogen production will drop more and more as a result of ongoing development of technologies and supply chain, the current cost of production by electrolysis having dropped from 4.5 kWh /M3 to 2.2 Kwh/M3 using for example ethanol or formic acid.
Hydrogen is not simply a fuel but a “power player” because it can generate in a single transformation the three main axes of energy: electricity, fuel or heat.
That’s why the hydrogen will replace the oil in the next five years.