Under the IEA’s core Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), electrolytic hydrogen as a primary reducing agent is introduced at commercial scale in the mid-2030s and expands to 12 Mt used in 2050. The IEA also expects that by 2050 the greatest demand for electrolytic hydrogen in steel is expected in India and China (just over 4.5 Mt of hydrogen in each) due to large production volumes and access to large amounts of low-cost renewable electricity.8 Around 70 Mt of dedicated hydrogen are produced today, 76% from natural gas and almost all the rest (23%) from coal. Less than 0.1% of global dedicated hydrogen production today comes from water electrolysis.
If all current dedicated hydrogen production were produced through water electrolysis1 (using water and electricity to create hydrogen), this would result in an annual electricity demand of 3,600 TWh – more than the annual electricity generation of the European Union. Under IEA’s SDS, global demand for hydrogen increases to 287Mt by 20509, which represents an increase of over 400% from 2020. This presents a massive scale up challenge.
Through a renewable agricultural system that effectively recycles nutrients, minerals can be reused repeatedly to grow crops and livestock without exhausting this vital resource. Everyone who consumes food and fiber products from agriculture has a responsibility to participate in the recycling of nutrients embedded in natural waste products back to the soil. Food wastes, such as peelings, bones, and spoiled leftovers, that are placed in landfills instead of compos-ted and returned are lost opportunities for building and maintaining soil fertility for future generations. Even if these food wastes are composted by the consumer, they rarely find their way back to soils on the farms from which they came