Hydrogen is an industrial raw material, and it can be combined with other things to create hydrogen-based fuels and feedstocks. There is already a market in hydrogen for various applications.
When we are talking about the potential for a hydrogen economy, we are talking about hydrogen in its pure form, where it is an energy carrier. Hydrogen stores energy which can be used at later times and can be transported to different places. In this way, hydrogen acts like a battery. However, unlike conventional batteries, hydrogen allows energy to be stored for long periods.
Hydrogen is versatile. It can be produced from a range of sources and physically converted between its gaseous and liquid states. It can displace natural gas for heating and cooking, and it can replace diesel and petrol (and other fuels) for cars, trucks, ships and planes. It can store excess electricity and feed this back into the grid when it is required. It can also be chemically converted into other forms, such as ammonia and methane. Hydrogen can be repeatedly converted across and between its physical forms and chemical forms.
When we combine these features with the possibility of hydrogen being created at scale with renewable or clean energy, we can see the great potential for hydrogen in the new energy ecosystem.