Hydrogen planes not enough to green aviation: study
PARIS, Jan 26, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - The aviation industry looks at hydrogen-
fuelled planes as a solution to decarbonise the sector, but a report by an
environmental group released Wednesday found that they will only help limit
Using hydrogen as fuel produces no climate-warming CO2 when it burns, just
Automakers and planemakers alike have been looking at it as a means to
reduce the climate impact of the transportation sector, although currently
most production of hydrogen creates emissions.
The introduction into service of hydrogen-fuelled planes from 2035 is one
way the aviation industry hopes it can reach net-zero carbon emissions in
If using hydrogen on long-haul aircraft is impossible due to the volume of
gas needed, "on the short- to medium-haul flights where hydrogen aircraft are
viable, these planes could virtually eliminate carbon emissions," said the
report by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has targeted 2035 to bring hydrogen passenger
aircraft to the market, and is looking at developing both a single-aisle
turbofan jet and a turboprop commuter aircraft.
The ICCT said hydrogen storage would reduce the range of such aircraft
compared to current aircraft using convention fuels, but that nevertheless
they could be used to carry up to a third of global air traffic.
If there was a 100 percent take up with aircraft using green hydrogen on
eligible routes, the ICCT found it would "reduce aviation's carbon emissions
by 31 percent in 2050, representing a capping of emissions at 2035 levels."
A take up of 20-40 percent would result in a 6-12 percent drop in CO2
The study estimated that green hydrogen would be cheaper than synthetic
fuels that could also provide a means to reduce carbon emissions.
The ICCT said carbon taxes would be needed to eliminate the price advantage
of jet fuel produced from petroleum.