Germany hopes to make Australia one of its hydrogen suppliers

Posted: November 1, 2020 by oldbrew in Energy, hydrogen, ideology
Tags: , , ,

Nyngan solar plant, Australia [image credit: Wikipedia]

This sounds every bit as inefficient as the UK importing wood pellets from North America on an industrial scale, to generate electricity. How the hydrogen might be sent across the world in a ‘green’ way is not mentioned.
– – –
A bilateral agreement aimed at increasing German imports of hydrogen produced from solar power plants in Australia could set a milestone in efforts to establish a global hydrogen market, says Euractiv.

Australia said it wants to become “a powerhouse in hydrogen production and exports” after signing what it described as “a landmark agreement” with Germany on 11 September.

The agreement initiated a joint feasibility study that will look into establishing a green hydrogen supply chain between the two countries.

Australia’s partnership with Germany came in addition to similar deals on green hydrogen made with other countries like Japan, South Korea and Singapore, the Australian trade minister said in a statement.

Addressing a webinar on the subject last month, moderated by EURACTIV, Lynette Wood, the Australian ambassador to Germany, said: “It is our ambition to become a global leader in hydrogen production”.

Over time, the European Union is expected to play its part by introducing a certification scheme that could serve as a basis for trading green hydrogen on a global scale.

“We want to work with Germany and the European Union” to develop a global hydrogen market, Wood told the webinar, organised on 14 September by the Australian embassy in Germany.

Germany is eyeing massive imports of green hydrogen produced from places like Australia, Africa or the Middle East.

Seen from Berlin, these countries have vast untapped potential for solar power which could be fed into electrolysers producing “green” hydrogen made from renewables.

“We are only at the beginning of a very long road,” said Dr Hinrich Thölken, deputy director-general for energy and climate policy at the German Federal Foreign Office, who spoke at the webinar.

Reaching climate neutrality by 2050 – the EU’s stated goal – requires decarbonising the entire economy, including sectors such as cement, chemicals and heavy-duty transport, which are hard to electrify and could use hydrogen as a clean alternative, Thölken pointed out.

This is why “we are convinced that green hydrogen will play a crucial role in achieving our goals,” he told participants at the webinar.

Full article here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    similar deals on green hydrogen made with other countries like Japan, South Korea and Singapore

    Singapore? Hang on…

    ‘Just a matter of when’: the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar
    14 Jul 2019

    The developers say it will be able to provide one-fifth of the island city-state’s electricity needs, replacing its increasingly expensive gas-fired power.

    How is Singapore going to produce ‘green’ hydrogen?

  2. Chaswarnertoo says:

    Have we reached peak stupidity yet?

  3. BoyfromTottenham says:

    ChasW – nah, because whereas our brainpower is limited, stupidity is infinite.

  4. Graeme No.3 says:

    This is one of 2 supposed plans, one in the NW of West Australia and the other in the Northern Territory. Huge areas of solar PV panels feeding CHEAP electricity to electrolysers, hence CHEAP GREEN Hydrogen.
    Orginally the NT plan was going to feed electricity to Singapore via a cable. Someone must have pointed out that the cable would have to run over 2 active tectonic plate junctions, hence the switch of focus to hydrogen.
    The ‘thinking’ is lots of cheap land with lots of free sunlight, so lots of cheap electricity hence cheap hydrogen. That those land areas lack water so are very dusty hasn’t registered. They would have to transport water there just to wash the panels frequently, and also feed the electrolysers. Years ago a scientist measured the solar energy received (near the proposed NT site) and found around 25 to 50% reduction due to dust. A further reduction in estimated output would be the 62% theoretical limit using the continuous high pressure process or the 36% figure for intermittent hydrolysis (more likely as the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day out there). Then the hydrogen has to be transported to Singapore.
    Both plans, I suspect, have been dreamt up by financial operators who have never been in the australian outback but expect to get lots of finance from gullible governments until the whole thing collapses.

  5. Gamecock says:

    They agreed to a ‘feasibility study.’ So many claims made prior to the study!

    Ipso facto, the fix is in. The study will find it imminently feasible. That’s what the politicians are paying for.

  6. gbaikie says:

    “Top importers of Anhydrous ammonia in 2019
    The world’s largest importers of this commodity group in 2019:

    India – 15% of the world imports ($775 million)
    USA – 14.2% ($737 million)
    Korea – 7.71% ($398 million)
    Morocco – 7.57% ($390 million)
    China – 6.07% ($313 million)”

    “Top exporters of Anhydrous ammonia in 2019
    The world’s largest exporters of this commodity group in 2019:

    Saudi Arabia – 36% of the world exports ($1.64 billion)
    Russia – 24% ($1.11 billion)
    Indonesia – 9.83% ($443 million)
    Canada – 8.36% ($377 million)
    Netherlands – 3.24% ($146 million)”

    It seems Australia would export hydrogen [NH3] to India or China.
    And Canada would export Hydrogen to UK.
    And US should make more anhydrous ammonia rather being one largest importer
    in the World.
    China largest producer of ammonia {which makes little sense} in the World. Wiki:
    “Ammonia is one of the most highly produced inorganic chemicals. There are numerous large-scale ammonia production plants worldwide, producing a total of 144 million tonnes of nitrogen (equivalent to 175 million tonnes of ammonia) in 2016. China produced 31.9% of the worldwide production, followed by Russia with 8.7%, India with 7.5%, and the United States with 7.1%. 80% or more of the ammonia produced is used for fertilizing agricultural crops. Ammonia is also used for the production of plastics, fibers, explosives, nitric acid (via the Ostwald process) and intermediates for dyes and pharmaceuticals.”
    Or as world leader in natural gas, why not world leader in making something critical to being a super power?

    Which reminds of my latest hobby, ocean settlements. Make ammonia plant off shore- say in Gulf of Mexico. And with floating breakwaters, make it hurricane proof. So it’s 100 miles from any land settlements {towns}.

  7. saighdear says:

    Well fancy that now, ‘you can be sure of Shell’ Thyssen Krupp is experimenting in Manufacture of v high quality iron without using CO2 as a by-product – injecting Hydrogen into the molten steel in the give H20 asbyproduct in stead of CO2 and SHELL is set to become the biggest source of H2 in Germany and (elsewhere?) as a source for the steelworks as well as a fuel for vehicles … according to the Satellite TV prog I was watching. …… Hmmm, no word abot Australia in the prog.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Of course ‘climate neutrality’ is a bogus concept as scientists have been pointing out in peer reviewed papers since 1900. But don’t let that get in the way of the folly.

  9. Indonesia have three operating research nuclear reactors at three locations. They are planning to build a number of large scale power stations with Chinese or Russian help with whom they have signed technical agreements. If Singapore is to get electricity by cable it will likely be from Indonesia which is close. Indonesia also has lots of coal and coal fired power. Solar and wind make no sense in tropical areas where it rains just about every day and typoons are regular.

  10. oldbrew says:

    Reaching climate neutrality by 2050 – the EU’s stated goal – requires decarbonising the entire economy, including sectors such as cement, chemicals and heavy-duty transport, which are hard to electrify and could use hydrogen as a clean alternative, Thölken pointed out.

    That would require an enormous amount of expensive hydrogen, which is also tricky to store and transport.

    Re. the solar panels: where are they going at the end of their useful lifetimes?

  11. saighdear says:

    @ oldbrew, RE Hydrogen store / transport, forgot to add to my comment that Shell has linked to Thyssen Steel Plant with PIPED Hydrogen from their H2 generation plant

  12. pochas94 says:

    If you outlaw natural gas, coal, wood chips, etc., etc. then sure, there will be a market for hydrogen.

  13. oldbrew says:

    Building wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity, as well as batteries to fuel electric vehicles, requires, on average, more than 10 times the quantity of materials, compared with building machines using hydrocarbons to deliver the same amount of energy to society.
    – – –
    Obviously mined materials are not renewable, and some can’t be recycled either — or only at high cost.

  14. saighdear, I am not an expert in steel making but I know that carbon in steel makes it harder and that also applies to stainless steels where Chromium and nickel carbides harden the steel and reduce wear. There is a steel called Nihard which has an high proportion of ferric and nickel carbides. In normal steels have you heard of hydrogen embrittlement which leads to cracks and rapid failure. It is very unlikely steel will ever be made with hydrogen even if it is cheap.
    The cheapest fuel for cement making is coal as the ash is absorbed into the product. An important fuel in many countries is petroleum coke as it can match the price of imported coal. Coal and pet coke make good high emissivity flames. Hydrogen would be a useless fuel as the emissivity of the flame is very low and so the efficiency of the process is poor. Natural gas gives poor emissivity flames and it requires special burners to crack some of the CH4 to C+ but even then natural gas is less efficient than coal. Cement kilns are a good process to dispose of difficult wastes such as vehicle tyres, sewerage sludge, plastics, transformer oils, even dried and shredded garbage which the Germans call BRAM. In Germany some wind turbines blades have been shredded and put in kilns to dispose of them. The process can burn the resins and accept the glass fibres as a raw material replacement. (note Portland cement mainly is made of calcium silicates.) In Europe recycled materials used as fuel do not count as CO2 emission. It is a green lie that the cement industry (even in China) is a large contributor to CO2 emission. Concrete uses only a small amount of cement in a cubic metre and it is the lowest energy use of all building materials. The world, at its present state of development, can not exist without concrete.

  15. Joe Public says:

    Hi OB

    “How the hydrogen might be sent across the world in a ‘green’ way is not mentioned.”

    Not entirely green, but greener than using fuel-oil for the entire journey – making use of hydrogen ‘boil-off’ in a similar fashion to the original international LNG carrier that shipped US liquified natural gas to Canvey Island in 1959:

    “METHANE PIONEER was the first ship to carry LNG internationally, on a voyage from the Trunkline Terminal at Lake Charles, Louisiana to the British Gas facility on Canvey Island in the UK in 1959….

    One of the main requirement of LNG carriers has been the need to use the boil-off gas from the cargo in the propulsion system. Steam turbine was used as a prime mover and steam was generated by boilers burning oil or boil-off gas, or the combination of both. This type of propulsion is relatively inefficient and expensive to operate compared to diesel engines, especially when challenged by dual-fuel diesel-electric propulsion concept developed lately by Wärtsilä. The move away from steam turbines to diesel engines is the biggest step since a long time. Today many new LNG carriers on order will be powered either by boil-off gas driving diesel-electric installation, with dual fuel arrangements for the passage with no gas on board, or large two-stroke diesel engines burning conventional fuel, with their boil-off gas reliquefied on board.”

  16. ivan says:

    I have a great idea for shipping hydrogen round the world – a fleet of remote controlled Zeppelins. It didn’t work then, it might work now if only to show just how stupid the idea is.

    Has anyone asked them where all the products of fossil fuel are going to come from or have they worked out a way of living without plastics etc.?

  17. Gamecock says:

    Ships can be powered with ammonia. So transport ships could use part of what they are transporting for fuel.

    Big problem with ammonia as fuel is lower energy density than bunker crude. About 40%. So you would need about 2.5 times more fuel. Prohibitive problem for most cargo haulers. But, if you are hauling ammonia, you could probably overcome that. Except, you wind up with the same problem, you arrive with way less cargo than you could have had you used oil.

  18. oldbrew says:

    Japan pushes ammonia fuel as way to reach net zero emissions
    Oct 28, 2020

    If all of Japan’s coal-fired plants use ammonia for 20% of their fuel source, some 20 million tons would be needed annually, equivalent to the world’s current trade volume per year. – Japanese expert.

  19. saighdear says:

    cementafriend, Yes, I know that too so look at this: Video +Text ….

  20. dennisambler says:

    Gamecock: “They agreed to a ‘feasibility study.”

    “Good times ahead for Climate Change consultants”

    “Increasing government initiative for climate change consulting services to reduce greenhouse gas emissions driving the market demand.

    The climate change consulting market has high growth prospects owing to increasing demand in the developing economies and technological advancement in climate change consulting services.”

    There is a lot of cross fertilisation between Australia and Germany, especially since Potsdam set up a branch in Melbourne, remember this from Tony Thomas:

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