Green hydrogen is a term that has gained a lot of relevance in recent years due to its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
But, what is green hydrogen exactly? What benefits does it present? And most importantly, how can it revolutionize the future of hospitals? In this new article, we try to provide the answer.
What is green hydrogen?
It is hydrogen produced through renewable energy, such as solar or wind energy. Unlike conventional hydrogen, which is produced from fossil fuels and emits large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) during the production process, green hydrogen is a clean and renewable energy source that does not produce greenhouse gas emissions.
It can be used in various ways, such as in electricity generation, heat production, and vehicle propulsion. However, in the field of health, green hydrogen has great potential to revolutionize the healthcare system.
A tool for becoming more sustainable
The commitment of the European Union to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 is driving the use of green hydrogen in hospitals. It should be noted that the EU assumed, within the framework of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, the objective of moving towards carbon neutrality in the second half of the 21st century.
This ultimately means that any activity carried out in all European countries must be neutral in CO2 emissions – something that currently seems unattainable.
” The EU’s provisional emission reduction target for 2030 has been increased from 40% to at least 55%.”
That is why, among other elements, green hydrogen has become a key tool for combating climate change and meeting the European decarbonization goals.
Benefits of green hydrogen
One of the great advantages of using this chemical element in the healthcare system is its ability to provide energy more safely and reliably than other conventional energy sources.
For example, in hospitals, a constant supply of energy is crucial to ensure that medical equipment works properly and that patients receive the care they need.
“Green hydrogen can provide a more stable and secure source of energy than conventional ones, which can be especially important in emergency situations.”
Another benefit of green hydrogen in the healthcare sector is its ability to reduce air pollution. In hospitals, air quality is crucial to ensure that patients and medical staff breathe a clean and safe environment.
Likewise, it can help reduce air pollution by producing energy without greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants associated with conventional energy sources.
Additionally, green hydrogen can also reduce energy costs in hospitals.
Although the initial investment in the technology needed to produce green hydrogen can be significant, in the long term, it can be more economical than conventional energy sources due to its low maintenance cost and its ability to reduce expenses associated with air pollution.
Improving hospital electrical systems
One of the most common ways of using green hydrogen in the healthcare system is in electricity and heating generation. For example, hospitals can use hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity and heat more cleanly and efficiently than traditional energy systems.
This, combined with better hospital electrical design, good grounding, optimal uninterrupted power supply and alarms, will elevate the quality of the electrical system in hospitals.
In addition, hydrogen vehicles can also be used in hospitals to reduce air pollution and increase the sustainable mobility of medical and support staff.
A revolution in the healthcare sector
As we can see, green hydrogen is poised to revolutionize the healthcare system, especially for its ability to generate and store energy in emergency situations. Hospitals can use green hydrogen energy storage systems to ensure energy in cases of power outages or interruptions or even during times of high demand.
In turn, green hydrogen could have a positive impact on the image and reputation of hospitals as environmental and sustainable aspects increasingly generate interest among patients and the community at large.
The use of green hydrogen in hospitals demonstrates their commitment to sustainability and the environment, which can enhance their image and reputation.
Despite the many benefits of green hydrogen in healthcare, there are still unknowns and challenges that need to be overcome for widespread adoption.
One of the biggest challenges is the investment needed in technology to produce green hydrogen. Although the technological cost has decreased in recent years, it is still significant compared to other conventional energy sources. In other words, it requires a large upfront investment.
In addition, the infrastructure to produce, distribute and store green hydrogen can also be high due to its flammability and volatility.
Another challenge is the lack of knowledge and understanding of green hydrogen in the healthcare sector, which may limit its adoption.
Hospitals capable of producing green hydrogen
The Viamed San José Hospital in the town of Alcantarilla (Murcia) is the first hospital in Spain capable of producing green hydrogen and storing “medicinal oxygen, an essential medicine in the treatment of different lung diseases”.
We are talking about a facility for the generation and consumption of oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2) by electrolysis of water using renewable energies, which will allow not only to store energy in the form of H2 and O2 from surplus photovoltaic generation, but also to use it to reduce the carbon footprint.
A potential to be explored
Ultimately, green hydrogen has the potential to revolutionise the healthcare system by providing a clean, safe and reliable source of energy for hospitals.
Its use can reduce air pollution, energy costs and improve the image and reputation of hospitals.
And while there are still challenges to be overcome for mass deployment, there is no doubt that green hydrogen has a key role to play in the sustainable future of the healthcare system.