Splitting Water: All About Hydrogen with Tianyi Sun, EDF

Dr. Tianyi Sun is a climate scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund. This nonpartisan, nonprofit organization relies on science and economics to tackle climate change and other pressing environmental issues of our day. Tianyi holds a Ph.D. in Climate Dynamics from the University of Texas at Austin and did her undergraduate studies in Atmospheric Sciences at Nanjing University, China. Her work at EDF focuses on the impacts of short-lived climate pollutants, such as methane and hydrogen. She explores how their emissions and mitigation affect the climate system and the role of short-lived gases in net zero emissions pathways. She also leads EDF’s hydrogen science work on hydrogen emissions measurements and their climate implications.  

Dr. Sun walks us through a very helpful Hydrogen 101. Learn why hydrogen is the new rising star in the climate mitigation world. 

Hydrogen is emerging as a pivotal solution for climate mitigation, offering both promise and challenges. Its versatility as a clean energy carrier enables decarbonization across transportation, industry, and power generation sectors. Utilizing green hydrogen produced from renewable sources reduces carbon emissions significantly. Benefits include zero emissions, energy storage capabilities, and fostering energy independence. 

However, challenges loom, notably regarding cost, scalability, and infrastructure development. Risks encompass safety concerns, primarily related to hydrogen’s flammability and transportation hazards. Addressing these challenges demands concerted efforts in technological advancement, policy support, and investment. Hydrogen stands as a potent ally in combating climate change, albeit with caveats requiring careful navigation. 

Learn more here:  

  1. EDF’s 2022 award-winning paper on the climate implications of hydrogen: https://www.edf.org/blog/2022/03/07/hydrogen-climate-solution-leaks-must-be-tackled   
  1. EDF’s latest study on the implications of overlooked factors in climate assessments of hydrogen Statement: https://www.edf.org/media/hydrogen-could-have-much-bigger-climate-impact-most-estimates-study-shows  
  1. Link to the full study: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.3c09030 

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