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Is the oil price collapse a catalyst for the hydrogen economy?

Is the oil price collapse a catalyst for the hydrogen economy?

The global energy sector is in the middle of what is likely to be its biggest crisis to date. Energy actors are facing unprecedented conditions with pressure coming from all angles. The oil price decline was the first symptom of what are set to be broader ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic for the entire energy ecosystem.

The IEA this month did not hold back in its assessment of the impact of the virus noting “the oil world has seen many shocks over the years, but none has hit the industry with quite the ferocity we are witnessing today”.

In terms of what this could imply for the wider energy sector and clear energy in particular, the IEA foresees that:

“Changes in oil markets ripple across all parts of the energy sector, with implications for a range of different fuels and technologies. A sustained period of low oil prices would affect the prospects for clean energy transitions…”

So what does this mean for the global decarbonisation push? In a business environment that prioritises earnings for survival over environment, what priority will be given to new energy? And how do we quantify the impacts of rapidly changing market dynamics on emerging parts of the energy sector that are not yet economic, such as hydrogen?

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