Is it really possible to produce hydrogen faster, cleaner, and more cheaply than from fossil fuels or electricity? Commercial hydrogen production is made from natural gas, but people have been experimenting with electrolysis cells for decades. Electrolysis is very lossy (around 40% efficiency), and using <20% efficient solar panels makes that even worse.
Scientists are working on artificial photosynthesis cells that convert sunlight into hydrogen at much higher efficiencies than solar electric electrolysis.
We know it’s possible with semiconducting materials like the ones used in solar panels, but a different set of materials like platinum and silicon, to actually take those materials, and instead of covering them with electrical wires, we immerse the material in water. And adding sunlight, one can split that water and produce hydrogen gas and oxygen gas directly. You would collect the hydrogen, and then could use it later in a fuel cell. Or you could convert it into a liquid fuel, or use it for other things. You would then get the oxygen back from the air at the point of combustion of the hydrogen or the other fuel you made. We know this already works.