The existing technologies used for hydrogen production do not address the key issues:
- Currently, over 90% of hydrogen used by the humanity is produced from methane by means of thermal gas reforming. This so-called “brown” hydrogen leaves substantial carbon trace. CCS steps turning it into “blue” hydrogen raise the costs up, while not addressing the emissions issue, see R. Howarth, Mark Jacobson. How green is blue hydrogen, 2021 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/353841896
Comparison of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, R. Howarth, Mark Jacobson. How green is blue hydrogen, 2021
- “Green” hydrogen from electrolysers is extremely expensive, being subsidized by taxpayers (in Australia – by 70% to 75% https://reneweconomy.com.au/australia-has-38gw-of-green-hydrogen-in-pipeline-but-major-cost-falls-needed/ ). Besides, it does not resolve the carbon trace issue, either: https://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/%E2%80%9Cserious-threat%E2%80%9D-of-fugitive-emissions-with-hydrogen-plan – not to mention other environmental problems, e.g. those associated with water de-salinization.
Only natural, a.k.a. “white” or “gold”, hydrogen seems to be the only plausible answer, providing cost-effective and net-zero solution. According to the number of sources, e.g. https://www.hydrogeninsight.com/innovation/analysis-will-natural-hydrogen-extracted-from-the-ground-be-the-next-global-gold-rush-/2-1-1346871, the lifting cost of natural hydrogen from Bourakebougou-1 well in Mali is around US$0.50 per kg – four times lower than the commercially acceptable break-even threshold of US$2.00 per kg.
110m deep Bourakebougou-1 well producing approx. 130 kg pday H2 since 2011. From https://hydroma.ca/activities-natural-hydrogen/