For decades, scientists have been researching alternative sources of energy to combat the threats of climate change. Can these alternative sources replace gas and other major fuels in the future? In Keele University in the UK, the efficiency of hydrogen, a sustainable source of energy, has been put to the test.

In this pioneering hydrogen energy project known as “HyDeploy”, scientists aim to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. The HyDeploy project is the first attempt of a hydrogen trial in a modern gas network. The natural gas supply at Keele University, the first beneficiary of this fuel, is being blended with 20% hydrogen that will be used by its university canteen. According to their staff, the 20% blend of hydrogen made no difference to their operations. The hydrogen is produced by splitting a water molecule (H2O) into its constituents: Hydrogen and Oxygen, in a gadget called “electrolyser”. To split the water molecule, the electrolyser uses wind power, another eco-friendly form of energy.

As stated by the gas distribution firm Cadent, who is leading the project, if the 20% blend of hydrogen were to be introduced to the public, the carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced by 6 million tonnes. This is equivalent to removing 2.5 million cars out of the roads. Furthermore, the only by-product of burning hydrogen is water.

The major drawbacks to this hydrogen fuel are cost and availability. It needs massive infrastructures. The costs are also more expensive than that of natural gas. However, the differential will eventually get lesser since carbon taxes raise the price of burning gases.

Further improvements and tests for this technology are still needed for it to be the world’s major source of energy in the future. Hydrogen fuel might prove to be too expensive for mass consumption at the moment. Despite this, supporters of this technology still have high hopes. In the long run, the advantages of using this green alternative outweigh the negatives. Hydrogen fuel is a promising game-changer to fight the continuing threats of climate change.