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Still More Green Hypocrisy In the EU, This Time Hydrogen

Still More Green Hypocrisy In the EU, This Time Hydrogen

Let’s discuss the meaning of “Green” EU style.
What We Mean By 'Green'

Hooray More Green Energy!

The EU is cheering a new hydrogen project at a refinery in Germany.

The plant will be built by Shell and ITM power and will be able to produce about 1,300 tonnes of hydrogen per year, which can be fully integrated into the refinery processes, such as for the desulphurisation of conventional fuels. It will be the world’s largest hydrogen electrolyser.

Tudor Constantinescu, Principal Advisor, DG ENER at the European Commission stressed the the contribution of green hydrogen to the Energy Union objectives, saying: “Renewable electricity can support decarbonisation not only of the power sector, but, through sectoral integration also of other carbon intensive industries, such as refining. Green Hydrogen is a key enabler in this process, contributing to the Energy Union objectives both in terms of emissions reductions and increased renewables share.

Ten Times the Hydrogen, Ten Times the Cost?

Euractive has some interesting details of the undertaking, allegedly Set to Multiply Capacity tenfold by 2024.

The 10 MW electrolyser, while already Europe’s largest of its kind, is a pilot project for grander ambitions.

If the pilot works out well, the partnership around Shell wants to add another 100 MW of electrolysis capacity which would complete construction in 2024. That would then be the largest electrolyser in the world.

Yet the pilot project depended on financing by the FCH JU at a 50% rate, meaning that the business case for a project ten times larger without public funding would be questionable at best.

Whether those ambitions come to fruition will therefore depend on the carbon price and the amount of additional funding available, which could come from either the EU or Germany.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

 

The Hydrogen-Based Economy: Is it Enough to Paint Something Blue to Make it Green?

The Hydrogen-Based Economy: Is it Enough to Paint Something Blue to Make it Green?

A hopeful image for a hopeful article by Bertrand Piccard. “Blue Hydrogen” seems to be popular, nowadays. But is it enough to paint something blue to make it green? It turns out that “green” hydrogen, assuming it exists, is too expensive for what we need to do now in order to move away from fossil fuels and stabilize Earth’s climate.

Hydrogen has come a long way since the time when it was discovered by Henry Cavendish as a component of the water molecule in the 1700s and then given its name of “creator of water” by Henry Lavoisier in 1783. It was later discovered that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and the main component of stars.

Using hydrogen as a fuel is an old idea. It was, again, Cavendish who discovered that it can burn. The idea that hydrogen could be cycled as an energy storage medium is probably as old as the “fuel cell,” developed by William Grove in the early 1800s. In the 1950s and 1960s, the dream of “energy too cheap to meter” associated with nuclear technologies made it possible to think of hydrogen as an energy vector able to carry energy to the points of use, even vehicles, from a limited number of large nuclear plants. The first explicit mention of the concept of “hydrogen economy” was made by John Bockris in 1970. The nuclear promise never materialized, but the concept of the hydrogen economy was later linked to renewable energy.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

The Hydrogen Hoax: Confessions of a Former Hydrogenist

The Hydrogen Hoax: Confessions of a Former Hydrogenist

The “hydrogen economy” is like a zombie: no matter how many times it is slain, it keeps coming at you. Like a Hollywood zombie movie, hydrogen seems to exert a tremendous fascination because it is being sold to people as a way to keep doing everything we have been doing without any need for sacrifices or for changing our ways. Unfortunately, reality is not a movie, and the reverse is also true. Hydrogen is a pie in the sky that delays the real innovation that would make it possible to phase out fossil fuels from the world’s energy mix.  (image source)

This is a re-worked and updated version of a post that I published in 2007, in Italian, during one more of the periodic returns of the “hydrogen economy,” a fashionable idea that leads nowhere. For more technical information on the hydrogen scam, see the exhaustive treatment by Antonio Turiel in three posts on his blog “Crash Oil”, in Spanish, “The Hydrogen Fever” Onetwo, and Three, all written by “Beamspot.”

Confessions of a Former Hydrogenist

I think it was in 2004 when an Italian company based in Tuscany developed a hydrogen car and organized a presentation for the president of the Tuscan regional government. I was invited to attend the demonstration as the local fuel cell expert.

So, I showed up in the courtyard of the Tuscan government building where a truck had unloaded the car. It turned out to be a modified Fiat Multipla that you may know as having been awarded the 2014 prize for the ugliest car ever made. Of course, the ugliness of the car was not a problem, but the whole idea was. It was not a fuel cell car, but simply an ordinary car fitted with two compressed hydrogen cylinders under the body. The hydrogen went directly to the carburetor to operate the internal combustion engine.  

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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