If hydrogen was produced mainly with water electrolysis, and so with electricity, we’d be facing an unsolvable problem: how to produce energy for the 82% final energy needs not covered by electricity, while renewables only represent less than 30% of the global electricity production ? In Europe, replacing fossil fuels by hydrogen produced by electrolysis for all cars and heavy goods vehicles would imply a multiplication by 15 of the current electrical production by wind and solar farms. Unfeasible.
The Earth produces more than 72 Gtoe (Giga tons of oil equivalent) worth of biomass per year. In comparison, oil consumption is currently approximately 3,9 Gtoe globally. The recovery of a small fraction of this biomass would be sufficient to cover a large part of the energy needs of the world.
Biomass is often mistakenly considered as forest and agriculture wastes only, while it includes of a lot of resources that are perfectly usable for hydrogen production. Biomass will never be a limiting factor. The biomass sector’s growth will generate true decentralized circular economies. In a country like France, close to 100.000 jobs would be created to satisfy about 35% of hydrogen mobility needs.
Electrolysis, which is needed and welcome to absorb over-produced renewable electricity during off-peak hours, will have to be complemented by a massive production of hydrogen from biomass, which is the only other identified renewable energy resource able to produce hydrogen to this day.
Furthermore, biomass will allow to decrease rapidly and drastically the distribution cost of hydrogen.