“Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea
and the horse on the mountain”.
I have borrowed the first lines of the poem “Romance Sonámbulo” by the famous Spanish poet Federico García Lorca to write this article, in tribute to our planet on the occasion of International Mother Earth Day 2022 being celebrated on April 22 . And if we do not quickly build a world green, we shipwrecked.
Green hydrogen (HV) is the best gift we can give the Earth in its day. HV is seen as the fuel that will replace oil and other fossil fuels, as it is a totally clean, renewable and green gas, and for this reason it is called to be the protagonist of the energy transition that is no longer expected.
Right now, when Germany and Europe are on the verge of a severe energy crisis, in the context of the war in Ukraine, it is time to invest all the money needed to speed up HV production and achieve in record time the volumes necessary for the long-awaited substitution.
HV is simply hydrogen, number one on the periodic table, the lightest and most abundant element in the universe. But for the same reason, because it has an atomic weight of one, the gravitational force of our planet is not enough to retain it and therefore the H2 escapes into the atmosphere and does not exist in a free state on Earth. On the other hand, in water, it is something else, since H2O molecules are the most frequent in this blue globe where we all live.
To separate the two H atoms from the H2O, it is necessary to build an electrolyser, a very simple and cheap device, which in my student days was no bigger than a medium or small fish tank, with a cathode and an anode, enough so that in the chemistry lab the students could learn to produce hydrogen from water. On the other hand, to obtain HV on a large scale, electrolyzers of gigantic dimensions must be built, in addition, for the H2 to be green, the electrolyser has to use electricity from solar or wind energy. For this reason, the energy transition process is expensive, but if we think about it, preserving life on Earth is priceless.
In addition, we must say NO to the construction of new nuclear power plants that some countries want to undertake, such as the United Kingdom. To them we say: invest that money in producing HV. The Chinese, the biggest polluters on the planet, are building the world’s largest electrolyzer. Europe is also in it. Due to the energy urgency that has been presented by the war, it is imperative to put the accelerator to the bottom and set a deadline and outline a true heroic act so that in the shortest possible time humanity can achieve a green world.
After COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, the third threat facing us is climate change. But this one does not have vaccines, nor the local or temporary character of the war since it would affect the entire planet and the recovery would go through a process of centuries or millennia. Once it arrived, and hopefully we could stop it sooner, it would come dressed as a climate catastrophe and it would be much more painful and long to reach the long-awaited green world. So that we are not late, we must all join the fight against climate change. Now, yes, right now, better yesterday if this were possible.
A green world means green fuels, green air, soil, rivers and oceans. Green education for children, adolescents and young people must be a priority in education programs, as well as in schools, colleges and universities. Green thinking for parents and guardians, teachers, professors, professionals, workers, writers and poets must play a leading role in the transition process that lies ahead of us. We will all have to be the natural facilitators, called to guide our children and young people on the path to a better world.
On behalf of all, we say to our beloved planet Earth on its day, “green, how I want you green”.
Sandor Alejandro Gerendas-Kiss