Which path to hydrogen? Shell and Schneider discussed future of energy at the Web Summit

Both companies believe in offering their customers the greatest number of options regarding the energy they can use. However, for Schneider, hydrogen has no economic value and the future "will be more electric and electricity will be produced and consumed in a decarbonized and decentralized way".

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The future of energy was discussed this Wednesday at Websummit with Yuri Sebregts, executive vice president of technology at Shell and Emmanuel Lagarrigue, member of Schneider's executive committee. Hydrogen was the central theme and in this topic companies exposed different perspectives.

“Of course, hydrogen will be very important in the future, but it must be taken into account that not everything will be powered by hydrogen”, guaranteed Yuri Sebregts of Shell, stressing that “there will be a lot of electrification of the systems, not least because not all types of energy are easy to electrify ”. To exemplify the difficulties of electrifying systems, Yuri Sebregts referred to "the large industrial processes that need a very dense energy level, such as the production of steel or synthetic materials or fertilizers".

"The energy system of the future will be very different from what we have today, because we need to reach a world that has zero gas emissions and, at the same time, we need to provide access to affordable and reliable energy for all of humanity," he assured.

Yuri Sebregts guarantees that Shell is "committed to fulfilling the Paris agreement and being part of the solution". However, this official recognizes that in addition to the difficulty in electrifying systems, it may be a challenge to “carry electrified energy for a long time”.

Both companies argue that their customers should have all possible alternatives at their disposal, but unlike Yuri Sebregts, Schneider's Emmanuel Lagarrigue does not share the same view on hydrogen. Although he recognizes that “hydrogen will be a good alternative to some batteries”, he believes that “the transport of hydrogen has no chance”.

On hydrogen, Emmanuel Lagarrigue stressed that “there is no way to have economic value, since it is very difficult to electrify parts of the economy” and revealed that there is “protectionist behavior on the part of some energy companies that are not just avoiding or postponing the right to its distribution ”.

Despite the perspective on hydrogen, Emmanuel Lagarrigue believes that the future "will be more electric and electricity will be produced and consumed in a decarbonized and decentralized way".

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