The real promise of hydrogen

BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP | Hydrogen has great promise—but not in the way the most vocal boosters would have you think. Low-carbon hydrogen and associated synthetic fuels will be the key to decarbonizing large sectors of the global economy, making them a critical component in efforts to limit global warming to below 2°C.

But alongside this very real potential is some dangerous hype. Companies and taxpayers risk burning billions to fulfill grand visions of what is often called “The Hydrogen Economy,” the widespread deployment of hydrogen across the energy landscape as the central driver of decarbonization—including in areas where it does not make financial sense. If companies and governments do not become strategic about low-carbon hydrogen, they will waste large sums of money and could make ambitious climate goals even harder to achieve.

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