The pathway from “grey hydrogen” from natural gas to “green hydrogen” from renewable energies

The use of hydrogen is not a novelty: In 2022, around 9 million tons of hydrogen were consumed across Europe. The main customer is the industry with the use of hydrogen as a basic chemical in the process industry.

On the way to decarbonization, this demand must be gradually converted from today’s “grey hydrogen” from natural gas to “green hydrogen”.

An increasing demand for hydrogen is also developing in the mobility sector, where it can effectively replace fossil fuels. Since no CO2 is produced in the drive technology with hydrogen, these vehicles can already drive completely emission-free today - provided they are powered by green hydrogen. The provision of energy for electrolysis from renewable sources ensures that no CO2 emissions are generated during the production of the fuel.

Hydrogen can be used in fuel cells to provide the power for electric drives, or burned in special combustion engines. It is not so much the technical/physical efficiency of the conversion process that is decisive, but the comprehensive cost/benefit analysis with a view to optimizing the cost of moving payloads.
With its high energy density, hydrogen is particularly suitable for heavy-duty applications, e.g. in the sustainable logistics sector or in passenger transport, public transport or shipping.

Green hydrogen and mobility

Refueling of vehicles

  • Heavy goods traffic and public transport
  • Watercraft, ferries and ships
  • There is already a network of hydrogen refueling stations in Europe
  • Timing and complete cost/benefit analysis means that numerous public transport applications are ideally operated with hydrogen

Refueling of trains

  • On non-electrified lines
  • E.g. INFRA SErv, Bremerhaven, etc.

Dumping in transport storage facilities

  • To supply other regional H2 customers, the hydrogen can be filled into transport storage facilities

Green hydrogen in industry


H2 is used as a reducing agent instead of coal and can thus produce CO2-neutral “green steel”

Reconversion into electricity

As a flexible energy carrier, green hydrogen can in principle also be used as an energy storage medium for temporal and local decoupling of energy availability. After production, it is compressed, stored and converted back into electricity via stationary fuel cells.

Natural gas substitution

For certain high-temperature processes to be decarbonized, hydrogen can be used as a substitute for natural gas.