Are we sitting on the clean energy source of the future?

Are we sitting on the clean energy source of the future?

If something sounds like it’s too good to be true, it usually is. But sometimes it’s even better. There may be limitless amounts of clean energy under our feet.

Hydrogen has been identified as a key energy carrier as we transition to a net zero future but most of it is expected to be made by passing renewable energy through electrolysers to split water.

That’s revolutionary because anyone with some renewable energy and an electrolyser can produce hydrogen when we have been living in a world where a few hydrocarbon-rich countries (not all of them particularly friendly) have out-sized influence over the rest of the global economy.

But what if we didn’t have to make hydrogen ourselves because there’s actually more than enough in the ground waiting to be extracted? That’s what a growing number of people think may be the case.

In April, the U.S. Geological Survey said there is probably enough hydrogen trapped underground to meet global demand for hundreds of years. And unlike oil and natural gas, more of it is being created all the time through chemical reactions deep within the earth, meaning we may never run out.

Thus far, while some major underground hydrogen deposits have been found, no one has shown they can predict where they are and successfully exploit them. If they can, the repercussions will be monumental.

The central U.S. area of interest for underground natural hydrogen is related to rocks that were formed when an ancient rift almost split North America in two. The failed rift, known as the Midcontinent Rift, occurred about 1.1 billion years ago, and underlies Lake Superior and much of Iowa (pictured), Minnesota, and Michigan.

Ukrainian geologist Viacheslav Zgonnik thinks so-called gold hydrogen could be so cheap and abundant that it becomes the go-to fuel for everything from power to transport

“We think that we can reach $1 a kilo in the long-run and provide baseload power 24/7,” he told The Telegraph recently. “It can be compressed for storage in steel tanks. It is not that expensive.”


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Exploration is underway at a few sites globally and it could be no more than a few years before we know what the real-world potential for gold hydrogen really is.

Française De l’Énergie and GeoRessources found hydrogen with 15% purity at a depth of 1,100 metres and predict it will be about 90% at 3,000 metres.

In the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia, Gold Hydrogen has discovered 80% pure hydrogen at 500 metres.

One of the most radical features of the gold hydrogen industry should it emerge is that it tends to be found only where there aren’t oil and gas deposits because it turns into a hydrocarbon when it comes into contact with it. That would mean the current global energy landscape would be completely turned on its head.

To learn more about Ryze Hydrogen, click here.

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