How Green is Blue Hydrogen?: Study Finds Hydrogen Produced with CCS Produces High Emissions

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 @ 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET

Hydrogen is being widely marketed as a zero- or low-emission source of energy to facilitate the decarbonization of the power sector. While 95% hydrogen is currently produced by steam reforming of methane in natural gas (resulting in carbon-intensive gray hydrogen), many industry experts have proposed introducing carbon capture and storage (CCS) as way to remove greenhouse gases from the process, producing so-called blue hydrogen. Blue hydrogen has been dubbed “clean” hydrogen by gas industry groups and federal agencies, including the US Department of Energy.

A new ground-breaking, peer-reviewed study from Robert Howarth at Cornell University and Mark Jacobson at Stanford University determined that blue hydrogen results in significantly higher emissions than burning natural gas or coal for heat and found that the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of blue hydrogen are only marginally better than gray hydrogen. The study, “How Green is Blue Hydrogen?,” concludes that blue hydrogen is hardly a low-emission source of energy and not a valid climate solution.

In this Clean Energy Group webinar, Mark Jacobson described how the research was conducted, detailed key findings from the study, and answered questions from attendees.


  • Mark Jacobson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and at the Precourt Institute for Energy


  • Abbe Ramanan, Project Manager, Clean Energy Group

This webinar was presented by Clean Energy Group’s Hydrogen Information and Public Education project.