Powering Planes With Hydrogen, Not Batteries
With 4.5 billion passenger trips taken each year and more than 16 million planes taking off in the U.S. every year, aircraft are responsible for 2.5% of global CO2 emissions, and the problem is growing. One proposed solution rivals the power of fossil fuels without the emissions — hydrogen. Aircraft giant Airbus is exploring the technology, as are startups ZeroAvia and Universal Hydrogen. CNBC explores hydrogen planes and whether they could fix aviation’s emissions problem. (CNBC)
Yes, most of the activity for the foreseeable future will be for sub-100 seat aircraft. And there are major technological, economic, certification and infrastructure hurdles to overcome for broad industry adoption. While Europe and Airbus continue to push hydrogen, the US entered the fray with the Inflation Reduction Act, which creates generous subsidies for green hydrogen, and innovative new designs which could feature hydrogen, like JetZero‘s blended wing. And, of course, pioneers like Universal Hydrogen and ZeroAvia.
Over the next decade, we will figure out where and how hydrogen makes the most sense as aviation continues its decarbonization journey.