Archive for the ‘hydrogen’ Category

Posted on  by Green Alliance blog

This post is a reblog of an article by Dr Robert Sansom, independent consultant and member of the IET’s Energy Policy Panel.

Recently, Professor Cebon wrote on this blog that pursuing the hydrogen economy would be a mistake. I am neither an advocate of hydrogen nor am I associated with the oil and gas industry, but I was the lead author of a report, produced by the IET in 2019, which focused on the engineering questions that need to be addressed if the UK is to transition to hydrogen.  There are also major questions around the electrification of heat. Until these questions are dealt with, I do not believe anyone can say that one technology is better than another.

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If they need to ask the question, the answer is probably ‘no’.
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Hydrogen has the potential to be a low-carbon alternative to gas in our homes and businesses, but first we need to test this fuel for the future.

That’s where FutureGrid comes in, says the National Grid.

Today most of us are reliant on gas to heat our homes and businesses, with 85% of households using gas central heating.

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The global race to produce hydrogen offshore

Posted: February 13, 2021 by oldbrew in Energy, hydrogen, wind
Tags: ,

Offshore wind farm [image credit: Wikipedia]


Production will obviously be as intermittent and therefore as unreliable as the wind itself. And how does the hydrogen get back onshore? Yet more expense is implied. Or if the plan is to use ‘excess’ energy, that suggests power already being sent to the national grid, so why not produce the hydrogen onshore?
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Last year was a record breaker for the UK’s wind power industry, says BBC News.

Wind generation reached its highest ever level, at 17.2GW on 18 December, while wind power achieved its biggest share of UK energy production, at 60% on 26 August [Talkshop comment: cherrypicking].

Yet occasionally the huge offshore wind farms pump out far more electricity than the country needs – such as during the first Covid-19 lockdown last spring when demand for electricity sagged.

But what if you could use that excess power for something else?

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Another ‘net zero’ stumbling block for climate-obsessed governments is investigated by researchers. This time it’s the question of where and how to keep all the hydrogen – assuming it can be produced from renewables on an industrial scale in the first place.
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Large-scale storage of hydrogen remains largely untested but is essential if hydrogen is to realize its potential to make a significant contribution to achieving net-zero emissions, says TechXplore.

A new perspectives paper sets out the key scientific challenges and knowledge gaps in large scale hydrogen storage in porous geological environments.

These underground hydrogen reservoirs could be used as energy storages to face high demand periods.

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NuScale reactor (SMR) design [credit:
NuScale / Wikipedia –
click on image to enlarge]

All part of looking to invent a hydrogen power market in the UK, to help solve problems that are only known to exist in failing climate models.
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Combining wind power with a nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) could see energy production re-start at Wylfa in North Wales by late 2027 under plans presented by Shearwater Energy, says New Civil Engineer.

Shearwater has said that the proposal would involve construction of a wind-SMR and hydrogen production hybrid energy project, which it says would be located on a different site to the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station, planned by Horizon, that stalled when Hitachi pulled support last year.

The Shearwater plant could provide 3GW of zero carbon energy and is also expected to produce over 3M.kg of green hydrogen per year for use by the UK’s transport sector.

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Let’s keep pretending the climate will notice if a few hundred wind turbines are dotted around the seas. Better still, let’s make them even more expensive and unwieldy by adding some new technology that we can’t easily service as it’s miles offshore. It’s claimed that ‘brilliant minds’ will be working on this, but it doesn’t take a genius to see the flaws in the plan.
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Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy have today announced plans to invest €120m ($146m) in a five-year strategy to unlock the potential of harvesting green hydrogen from offshore windpower, reports Power Engineering International.

The companies are collaborating on a solution to integrate an electrolyzer into an offshore wind turbine as a single synchronized system to directly produce green hydrogen.

Over the next five years, Siemens Gamesa will invest €80m and Siemens Energy €40m in the initiative, with a view to unveiling a full-scale offshore demonstration by 2025/26.

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Porsche 911 of a certain vintage


Basically they will extract CO2 from the air and mix it with manufactured hydrogen. Whether the economics stack up remains to be seen. If not, it could end up as another pseudo-green attempt to curry favour with global climate miserablists. Or as an expensive way to keep a few old cars on the road.
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Porsche and Siemens Energy have announced plans to link arms for a new e-fuel factory, says CNET Road Show.

The German companies say the pilot project will result in the world’s first industrial-scale plant for carbon-neutral synthetic fuel.

The facility will be located in Southern Chile in a bid to capitalize on the country’s strong wind energy, which will be used to power the plant sustainably.

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Scottish offshore wind project [image credit : urbanrealm.com]


Billed as ‘A bright future for Levenmouth’, the claim that switching to hydrogen could ‘save energy customers across Britain billions of pounds’ looks rose-tinted to say the least. Maybe it’s easy to get carried away when you imagine you’re going to save the world, or something.
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Fife has leapt closer to launching the world’s first 100% green hydrogen network with the announcement of an £18 million funding boost, reports The Courier.

Three hundred homes across Levenmouth will be connected to the network, with residents becoming the first in the world to use zero carbon hydrogen for heating and cooking.

Householders will be invited to get involved in the four to five year trial from late next year.

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Some extraordinary claims are being made, or at least suggested, here. The idea of charging a battery in a few seconds, especially a lithium one, using microwaves (not the kitchen version) sounds a bit hairy to say the least.
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A team of researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) has discovered a new method that makes it possible to transform electricity into hydrogen or chemical products solely using microwaves — without cables and without any type of contact with electrodes, reports TechXplore.

This represents a revolution in the field of energy research and a key development for the process of industrial decarbonisation, as well as for the future of the automotive sector and the chemical industry, among many others.

The study has been published in the latest edition of Nature Energy, where the discovery is explained.

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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.
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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.

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Credit: mygridgb.co.uk


Questions such as: why bother? If it’s three times the cost of natural gas and it’s not technically possible to produce it at large scale from renewables, in what way does it make any sense, even to committed climate alarmists?
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Using hydrogen instead of natural gas for heating could help the UK to achieve net carbon-neutrality by 2050, according to new Imperial research, reports TechXplore.

Currently, non-renewable natural gas from fossil fuels is used to supply half of Europe’s heat demand, with national shares as high as 80 percent in the Netherlands and the UK.

However, the UK has committed to developing an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, and one of the ways to achieve this might involve switching natural gas for hydrogen.

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Fuel cell bus from Wrightbus


The obvious problem for the imagined ‘hydrogen economy’ is that there isn’t any natural source of hydrogen gas. The viability of using electricity generated only from renewables to convert water into industrial-scale hydrogen supplies is questionable, to put it mildly. Brace for the usual ‘green jobs’ claims having a tendency to be wildly over-optimistic.
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The first zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell-electric double-decker bus has arrived in Aberdeen, reports Route One.

Aberdeen City Council (ACC) says the delivery, part of an £8.3m project funded by ACC, the Scottish Government and the European Union Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles across Europe (JIVE) project, underlines the city’s role as the ‘energy capital of Europe’ and its commitment to the transition of green energy in a net zero vision.

Hydrogen offers greater range and faster refuelling while maintaining the efficiency of battery-electric equivalents, the council says.

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HydroFLEX tester train [image credit: BBC]


The government minister is talking up ‘the UK’s hydrogen ambitions’ here. Another potentially massive drain on the increasingly threadbare electricity grid system beckons. How much more pseudo-green pie can these deluded carbophobes lob into the sky?
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Supported by a £750,000 grant from the Department for Transport (DfT), the trial of the HydroFLEX train took place in Warwickshire, reports New Civil Engineer.

It follows almost two years’ development work and more than £1M of investment by both Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham. Unlike diesel trains, hydrogen-powered trains do not emit harmful gases, instead using hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, water and heat.

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Image credit: Airbus


Nonsensical climate virtue signalling takes to the skies. Hydrogen production is expensive, and operating two fuelling systems at airports also sounds costly. ‘Zero emission’ only applies if hydrogen is produced without burning any fuels – as the EU recently told the Netherlands – so the burden on renewables to power entire countries, plus all their vehicles, will have to extend to aircraft as well? Pie in the sky springs to mind.
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Aerospace giant Airbus has announced plans to build zero-emission aircraft using hydrogen power technology.

On Monday (21 September), the firm revealed three concept designs that are on the table and is targeting a 2035 entry-into-service, reports Euractiv.

Airbus is working on three designs for aircraft that could be zero-emission, which range from a conventional turbofan jet with space for 200 passengers to a ‘blended wing’ concept that is a significant departure from the current generation of planes.

“These concepts will help us explore and mature the design and layout of the world’s first climate-neutral, zero-emission commercial aircraft, which we aim to put into service by 2035,” said CEO Guillaume Faury.

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Irrational fear of a minor trace gas in the atmosphere, largely based on the output of failing climate models, continues to disrupt national energy policies. EU leaders add to the chaos and confusion.

The European Commission turned down Dutch plans to support hydrogen production with subsidies, reports the NL Times.

The government of the Netherlands wants to use hydrogen instead of other fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but because the Dutch plans got shot down, this will not be continued, Climate Minister Eric Wiebes told the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Parliament, on Monday, according to FD.

The government saw possibilities to replace oil, natural gas and coal by hydrogen, especially within heavy industry.

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Nikola Two truck model


Some critics say Nikola has been cheating by using gravity as a propulsion method when promoting its truck concepts — or they use words to that effect. Of course exaggerated claims are not unheard of in the world of supposedly ‘green’ engineering. The company has tried to defend itself, as the share price yo-yos with each new claim or attempted rebuttal. This is where the climate-crazed world is taking us, or trying to.
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With its electric and hydrogen-fueled trucks, the firm Nikola aims to revolutionize the future of the transportation sector, says Phys.org.

But with one investor claiming the group is running on empty, it has been having a rollercoaster ride on the stock exchange for the past week.

Founded in 2015 by Trevor Milton, the company is mainly working on the development of trucks and pick-ups powered by electric batteries or hydrogen fuel cells, as well as building out hydrogen recharging stations.

Although it has not yet built anything, it has forged strategic partnerships with several renowned industrial groups including the German engineering giant Bosch, the Italians CNH Industrial and, most recently, US car-maker General Motors.

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Carbon capture and storage (CCS) [credit: cnet.com]


Aren’t they in effect spelling out why the target is unachievable, not to say ridiculous? Whichever way you look at it – cost, feasibility, technology, benefits (lack of?) etc. – it has failure written all over it.
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Britain’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by mid-century is achievable but immediate action is needed across a range of technologies including carbon capture and storage (CCS), electricity grid operator National Grid said.

Last year Britain became the first major economy to pass a law to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, compared with its previous target of at least an 80% reduction from 1990 levels, says yahoo!finance.

“Reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is achievable. However, it requires immediate action across all key technologies and policy areas, and full engagement across society and end consumers,” National Grid said in its annual Future Energy Scenarios report.

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German hydrogen train [image credit: Euractiv]


Here comes more climate propaganda, but it gives some details of how the hydrogen might be produced if the proposals ever take off. The thorny subject of cost is not mentioned, which is usually a sign that it’s going to be way up high compared to today’s standard fuels. Using electricity to make electricity, with hydrogen in the middle, sounds clunky to say the least but climate obsessives wave away such niggles.
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Eco-friendly hydrogen is regarded as a “silver bullet” [Talkshop comment: or maybe not] when it comes to fighting climate change, asserts Deutschland.de.

With its hydrogen strategy, Germany is now promoting its production.

Hydrogen is regarded as a kind of miracle substance. In an engine or fuel cell, it burns when oxygen is added and becomes pure water.

It can be transported in pipelines or in liquefied form on tankers. Easily storable, it can replace fossil fuels in virtually every situation: in lorries, cars and trains, and in the production of steel, cement and chemicals.

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Hydrogen-powered London bus


More hopeless than hope. But for those who want to put a lot of time, effort and money into looking for ‘solutions’ to the non-problem of supposedly human-caused climate change, it’s a topic for discussion. It may have some specific uses, but cost and practicality seem to be strongly against it as a general replacement for traditional fuels.
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Can hydrogen – a relatively clean source of fuel – help power the economy of the future? – asks the BBC.

In his speech on the planned economic recovery, the prime minister said hydrogen technology is an area where the UK leads the world. He hopes it’ll create clean jobs in the future.

But is the hydrogen revolution hope or hype?

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Green blob [credit: storybird.com]

From GreenTech media

The EU is currently working through the details of a €1.85 trillion ($2.08 trillion) recovery package. Before the stimulus was signed, a leaked document by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy (DG Energy) ran through a serious of policy plans to marry the European Green Deal and the COVID-19 recovery effort.

Those plans included a possible 15-gigawatt EU-wide renewable tender designed to help make up for a shortfall in national tenders. Support for green hydrogen was also advanced as a potential item for inclusion.

But the plans have not survived a barrage of lobbying by vested interests and pushback from member states still married to a more traditional energy mix, according to multiple sources following the green recovery’s development.

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