This Saturday, April 22, marks the 47th annual Earth Day. There are many reasons to be joyful about our planet, as the march to sustainable progress seems irreversible. Good economics is the tip of the arrow leading our society to clean energy without compromises. Just last week, a new study tracking global investment in renewable energy found, “The world spent less money to add more renewable energy than ever in 2016.”
This Earth Day, we created a photo blog to capture and celebrate the many ways clean hydrogen can help us to create a more sustainable planet. The pictures that follow come courtesy of world adventurer, photographer, and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Christopher Michel.
Star Power for a Sustainable Planet
The fuel of all things that shine in the universe is as clean as water. The hydrogen found in every molecule of our most valuable substance, H2O, started its long journey at the center of a star that became ignited by a cloud of hydrogen dust. Because the hydrogen atom reacts with most elements, the vast majority of hydrogen is locked up in water here on Earth. Today, technological innovation is making it possible to liberate this incredible source of energy so that it can shine again—this time, in the lights of clean and beautiful cities all around the world.
Hydrogen for Clean Air
Making abundant hydrogen available is tricky, as the bond it forms with oxygen in water is quite strong. Once we unlock the power of hydrogen to make this happen (using innovative clean technologies such as Hydrogen 2.0), we can reduce C02 in the air and replace it with water vapor, which is what the combustion of hydrogen produces. Cities then can have clear, healthy air, just like the air that envelopes these mountains in South America.
Hydrogen for Clean Oceans
Hydrocarbons release CO2 when combusted to produce energy. However, those carbon particles fall into the oceans via precipitation, which makes oceans absorb more sunlight and warms the water. Clean hydrogen can help us maintain the ocean temperatures at a level where its current inhabitants can flourish. The waves arriving at this California beach stand witness to the vitality that oceans nurture.
Hydrogen for Icy Poles
The unprecedented international collaboration that produced the Paris Agreement and several other major sustainability initiatives last year (see our article on that) represents a milestone in our joint efforts to grow our economies more sustainably. Renewables, such as solar and wind, alongside hydrogen, can help us control carbon emissions that affect the Earth’s temperatures, so that beautiful icebergs like this one off Greenland will continue to form at the right seasons.
Hydrogen for a Clean Flora and Fauna Ecosystem
Biodiversity is one of the most important measures of the health of our planet. Many plants and animals, such as those that live in this New Zealand tropical forest, are extremely sensitive to tiny changes in their environment. Clean energy can help us keep the delicate balance that has sustained tropical forests (which are often referred to as the ‘lungs’ of our planet) for millions of years.
Hydrogen for a Clean Human Ecosystem
Humanity also needs a clean and thriving “ecosystem.” Cities, such as Hong Kong pictured below, have become home to billions of people. In fact, more than half of all people now live in cities—a number that is expected to increase to 70% by 2050 (see our article on Cities as Engines for Sustainability). We all want to live in cities that are healthy to inhabit and that thrive economically. No-compromise clean hydrogen can help make our cities the sustainable engines of progress they should be.
The Time to Make Hydrogen Work for Us is Here
The time has come for innovation to unlock the incredible energy potential of hydrogen. Adding clean and abundant hydrogen to the mix of energy we use to power progress, can help people and our planet thrive in a sustainable and equitable manner. That is one more reason to celebrate Earth Day.
As the Hydrogen 2.0 ecosystem gains momentum, we’ll be sharing our views and insights on the new Hydrogen 2.0 Economy. We also update our blog every week with insightful and current knowledge in this growing energy field.