No way around hydrogen’ says RWE CEO, as firm lays out plans to invest billions in renewables

No way around hydrogen’ says RWE CEO, as firm lays out plans to invest billions in renewables

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Hydrogen has a key role to play in the years ahead, especially in industrial applications, according to the CEO of German power company RWE.

“When you look long term, there is no way around hydrogen,” Markus Krebber, who was speaking to CNBC’s Annette Weisbach, said.

In an interview broadcast Tuesday morning, Krebber claimed this was because hydrogen was “the only technology … we currently know which is able to decarbonize those industries which cannot electrify like steel, but also some parts of the chemical industry.”

Described by the International Energy Agency as a “versatile energy carrier,” hydrogen has a diverse range of applications and can be deployed in a number of sectors.

It can be produced in a number of ways. One method includes using electrolysis, with an electric current splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen.

If the electricity used in this process comes from a renewable source such as wind or solar then some call it green or renewable hydrogen.

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While there is excitement about the potential of green hydrogen in some quarters, it remains expensive to produce. Currently, the vast majority of hydrogen generation is based on fossil fuels.

Krebber told CNBC that it would take time to build a hydrogen economy and that his company wanted to — and would — play an active role. “But we need to be fast, because I think wherever green hydrogen is available it is a very competitive edge for the location.”

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