Empowering green hydrogen: Data's key role in sustainable energy generation
However, the green hydrogen value chain will be more complicated than any current energy carrying vector. It will be broader, more complex, and have more stakeholders. Optimizing green hydrogen production will rely on visibility across the value chain. Decisions made at one end of the value chain could rely on events at the other. These decisions may be made in real time, based on data shared across the ecosystem. The long-term viability of green hydrogen will demand a strong data foundation. Knowing when to profitably produce, transport, and store hydrogen or when to convert it into other chemicals will be dictated by many factors. These include an oversupply of renewables generation, steel, ammonia, or fertilizer prices, or regulated hydrogen reserve levels. A robust data infrastructure can provide all stakeholders with the enterprise-level situational awareness required to make the right choices at the right time. Once they have this complete view, companies will be able to make more informed, data-driven decisions. From hydrogen production optimization, through equipment- and system-level predictive analytics, to site-level asset performance, all business processes can be monitored both technically and financially for continuous improvement and optimization. This paper highlights the factors driving investment in green hydrogen, why green hydrogen is a likely future energy-carrying vector, its many uses – both inside and outside of the energy industry – and why utilities need to start planning the data infrastructure that will support the industry. It draws on a survey of 112 utilities, which provides insights into the industry’s current preparations. While nearly half of respondents agree that green hydrogen is a significant revenue opportunity, only 19% have a clearly defined strategy for green hydrogen.