How can you prove your hydrogen is green? Here’s the first solution to guarantee its origin

Acciona’s new blockchain platform will enable buyers to track renewable H2 shipments from production to delivery

Green hydrogen, blue hydrogen, grey hydrogen, purple hydrogen, turquoise hydrogen is all identical (see panel below). It’s just hydrogen, a colourless, odourless gas. The only difference is the way it’s produced.

Grey hydrogen derived from unabated natural gas or coal produces nine to 12 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of H2 produced. Green hydrogen produced from splitting water molecules into H2 and O2 inside an electrolyser powered by renewable energy has zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Green hydrogen can help save the planet. Grey hydrogen is helping to destroy it.

So how can a buyer of hydrogen be sure that their gas has a renewable origin? After all, grey hydrogen is currently a lot cheaper to produce than green, so any unscrupulous producer or distributor could make a tidy profit by passing off grey H2 as green.

Spanish conglomerate Acciona has come up with the first solution — a digital platform that guarantees the renewable origin of green hydrogen.

GreenH2chain — which is based on blockchain technology that makes it impossible to tamper with — allows users to track and verify the transportation of green hydrogen from its production site to final delivery.

It is a similar system to the Guarantees of Origin used to verify renewable energy on the grid.

“This technological solution will allow renewable hydrogen consumers to quantify, record and monitor the decarbonisation process of their own energy supply,” said Acciona.

“In the future, GreenH2chain will be complementary to any official systems dedicated to certifying the renewable origin of hydrogen, once these are established.”

The system will first be used to guarantee the origin of green hydrogen produced at Acciona’s Power to Green Hydrogen pilot project on the Spanish island of Mallorca, which will produce more than 330 tonnes of green H2 per year when it becomes operational in July.

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