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Is Hydrogen A Solution?

August 26, 2019
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood

 

There has been some useful discussions about the potential role of hydrogen in our energy mix. It is often regarded as a panacea, providing clean, carbon dioxide free energy for all our needs, power, transport and heating. Things, however, are not quite that simple!

It is therefore worth looking at what the Committee on Climate Change had to say in their Net Zero report.

There are two principal ways to produce hydrogen:

1) Steam or gas reforming – in this process, an energy source such as methane reacts with steam to produce a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and some carbon dioxide. It is currently the predominant means of producing hydrogen in the chemical process industries, because of its relatively low cost and scalability.

2) Electrolysis – the process of using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Although small scale and more expensive, electrolysis has the advantage that no carbon dioxide is produced.

The CCC have clearly come down on the side of gas reforming as the only practical solution, with electrolysis playing only a niche role. (Although hydrogen production is expressed in TWh, the numbers don’t refer to electricity output, merely the energy equivalent).

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https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/net-zero-technical-report/

 

 

In terms of actual costs, hydrogen production is expected to cost £44/MWh by 2025 (at today’s prices), using steam reforming. Natural gas, by comparison, currently costs 46p per therm, which equates to £15/MWh.

Again, I would stress this is the cost of producing hydrogen, and not the cost of electricity. It is the equivalent, in other words, to the wholesale cost of natural gas.

The cost also excludes storage and distribution costs.

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https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/net-zero-the-uks-contribution-to-stopping-global-warming/

 

According to the CCC, the cost of electrolysis would be double that of reforming.

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The CCC reckon that electrolysis could only be competitive with a power price of £10/MWh, which clearly is not going to happen.

The argument for electrolysis is that it could mop up unused solar and wind power, ie effectively “free” in terms of marginal cost.

The trouble with this is that costings for power from wind and solar assume that all of the electricity produced is sold. If some of the surplus is sold “for free”, it means that the rest actually costs a lot more.

The other major drawback for electrolysis is storage. For example, unimaginable amounts of storage would be needed to store the surplus solar power in summer, for consumption in winter. All of this would involve yet more cost.

Either way, intermittent renewables are not an economically viable solution.

63 Comments
  1. General Ripper permalink
    August 26, 2019 2:20 pm

    All one needs to know about the hydrogen hoax was clearly laid out by Robert Zubrin years ago…..https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-hydrogen-hoax

  2. Graeme No.3 permalink
    August 26, 2019 2:29 pm

    Garbage (the word I think will get through);
    Reformation would require “carbon capture and storage” except it is still “pie in the sky”.
    It would also require cheap natural gas, so ban fracking?????
    Electrolysis: intermittent process (which renewables do best) is very inefficient. Continuous high pressure process is cheaper but needs very cheap electricity. Guess what happens to the price of that under AGW/Climate Change/Climate Disruption/Extinction Emergency etc. etc.?
    Then there are some problems with hydrogen gas as a fuel. Add money- lots of money to overcome these problems.
    Why do these fools refuse to heed actual science and engineering and prefer their fantasies?

    • Saighdear permalink
      August 26, 2019 2:59 pm

      Aye – Ban fracking – Hey C U Jimmy! here’s been a 2.x strength EARTHQUAKE pinpointed to the fracking site this morning according to the bbc ….. .. mmm?

      • Adam Gallon permalink
        August 26, 2019 3:31 pm

        Whereas the 2008 Market Rasen earthquake, was around magnitude 5

      • Pancho Plail permalink
        August 26, 2019 5:27 pm

        Roughly equivalent to a lorry driving past.

      • Joe Public permalink
        August 26, 2019 6:19 pm

        Oughdear, the 2.x strength tremor near the fracking site this morning was merely 100x smaller than is allowed for geothermal fracking.

      • Saighdear permalink
        August 26, 2019 6:47 pm

        Oh a didna know that either! but heh, lisening to bbc tripe tonight you would never have known a lot of all this – and apparently was THIRD incident in past few days …. and the way Quadrilla spokesman spoke, seemed to really be just the Norm – so was there a Misprint on the scale – thocht it was maybe 0.2 on the Richter scale …. just saying.

      • August 26, 2019 6:58 pm

        Ah, the BBC. The home of world class science …not.

  3. JimW permalink
    August 26, 2019 2:30 pm

    Generally you find a solution if you have a problem. The problem we have is that of delusion and irrationality not one of physical science. The solution to this is societal and pyschological.
    We need people to behave rationally again.

  4. Joe Public permalink
    August 26, 2019 2:31 pm

    “The other major drawback for electrolysis is storage. For example, unimaginable amounts of storage would be needed to store the surplus solar power in summer, for consumption in winter. All of this would involve yet more cost.”

    What would be stored, is gaseous H2, not electricity. So a greater quantity of energy can be stored in the form of H2 rather than electricity, at lower cost per MWh.

    (Those suggesting ex-Natural Gas storage can be used often overlook the inconvenient fact that volume-for-volume, H2 has just 1/3rd the heat content of Nat Gas.)

    However, there’d still be insufficient storage for inter-seasonal requirements.

    • August 26, 2019 4:31 pm

      The UK hasn’t got much gas storage capacity any more.
      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/mar/01/uk-is-running-out-of-gas-national-grid-warns-freezing-weather

      • Joe Public permalink
        August 26, 2019 5:01 pm

        The Graun’s article stated “National Grid has warned that the UK would not have enough gas to meet public demand on Thursday ….” – the Thursday being during the Beast from the East.

        The Graun’s ‘experts’ had “… said there was a strong chance that industrial users could experience interruptions to their gas supply.”

        But instead of being the scare story intended, the gas market behaved precisely as designed and expected.

        All large customers on ‘Firm’ contracts had the gas they wanted; those large customers on ‘Interruptible’ contracts may have experienced exactly what their mutually-agreed contracts allowed – some interruption.

        Although we no longer have Rough, we do have 1.696 bcm / 18,656 GWh; with a daily draw-off capability of 1,518 GWh.

        https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2019/01/181207_storage_update_website.pdf

        In addition, National Grid’s November 2017 ‘Gas Ten Year Statement 2017′ – has proposals for an additional 95,700 GWh.

        See TableA4.4 Proposed storage projects’, page 150

        https://www.nationalgrid.com/sites/default/files/documents/GTYS%202017.pdf#page4

        That compares with 27GWh of pumped storage plus ~6GWh of batteries.

    • August 26, 2019 5:39 pm

      Yes, sorry, that was what I meant.

      The CCC are even talking about using old salt caverns to store hydrogen.

      • Steve permalink
        August 26, 2019 8:48 pm

        There went Cheshire.

      • A C Osborn permalink
        August 27, 2019 2:26 pm

        Isn’t H2 harder to store than natural gas being a smaller molecule?

  5. Saighdear permalink
    August 26, 2019 2:40 pm

    Och munn! .. is hydrogen a solution…. is TAXATION a solution – why is THAT missing from the scene?
    Breaking now – Germany – Swiss report on increasing taxation on ALL kinds of Travel – Planes trains cars and Freigh even on Canals – Boats / shipping. will that percolate throughout EU? beter to get away double kwik kwik

  6. It doesn't add up... permalink
    August 26, 2019 2:52 pm

    The CCC estimate there will be production of some 180 million tonnes p.a. of CO2 that will be buried under the North Sea as a supercritical liquid (i.e. at pressures of over 100bar). A way to think of this is that it is equivalent to an oil industry producing 3 million barrels a day – more than the UKCS managed at its peak. An onshore network of pipelines would also be required to collect the liquid and send it to the pumping stations on the pipelines to offshore platforms where fresh wells would have to be drilled into the substrata. Being kind, it is hard to see this as costing any less than £25/bbl, or £75m a day or over £27bn a year or £150/tonne of CO2, or (44/4=11 molecular weight ratio CO2 to the 2H2 in CH4) £1,650/tonne of hydrogen. or £50/MWh of hydrogen – just to bury the CO2. An they think they can produce H2 fro £46/MWh?

    Bonkers.

    • Steve permalink
      August 26, 2019 8:52 pm

      Ad recommend by Mr Stark- Bonkers.

  7. August 26, 2019 3:08 pm

    Well, you could do something really silly and generate electricity from methane (natural gas) without CCS. I don’t see that in the comparison. Is this an exercise on seeing how expensive you can make power? Removal of CO2 in the UK is not going to save the planet.

    No mention on the relative difficulty of handling hydrogen.

  8. August 26, 2019 3:19 pm

    The main fallacy is the explosive nature of hydrogen. It seems like the safety aspect of storing hydrogen is ignored.

  9. Ken Pollock permalink
    August 26, 2019 3:40 pm

    Paul, I don’t see any reference to efficiency in these discussions. How much of the energy in the H2 needs to be devoted to the CCS process? Whenever I have raised this topic, the answer is either a blank uncomprehending stare, or a comment that the percentage devoted to capturing the carbon is so high, it makes the whole process unviable.
    It seemed to me that the CCC assumed that CCS would be technically possible, and not excessively costly in energy terms. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who can offer sound information on this topic.

  10. Jeffrey Antman permalink
    August 26, 2019 3:47 pm

    Nuclear power dropping in price more than 25% in the next 30 years?Technical term for that is bullshit. Come on is concrete, steel, and uranium and labor going to fall in price? Nonsense article.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      August 26, 2019 5:50 pm

      We could have it for about half the cost of Hinkley Point like the South Koreans if we didn’t have such ridiculous regulations that were designed to make it uneconomic rather than safe.

    • Steve permalink
      August 26, 2019 9:00 pm

      Nuclear is already much less expensive in the rest of the world. There are a about 5 choices and our regulator insists on starting from scratch and making it very expensive. All could be fitted with Rolls Royce controls.

  11. Vernon E permalink
    August 26, 2019 4:13 pm

    Whilst hydrogen may well be a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist let’s at least get our facts right. First, for many many years hydrogen was the main component of our towns gas, so nothing new there, Secondly, CCS is perfectly viable in conjunction with steam reforming. Unlike combustion produced exhausts there is no nitrogen present which is what makes combustion based CCS impossible commercially. Of course, the produced gas has a much lower CV and different Wobbe Number so all our burners would have to be changed – remember all the fish and chip shops going up in flames when North Sea gas came in in the 1960s?

    • Steve permalink
      August 26, 2019 5:36 pm

      What is the cost of hydrogen by reforming including CCS? The CCC estimate is £28-46Wh. How can this include the basic methane and CCS? Also, if natural gas in vast quantities is used, how is this renewable?

  12. cajwbroomhill permalink
    August 26, 2019 4:14 pm

    The

    CCC should be disbanded and, as far as legally possible, attempts to curtail CO2 output ended:we release only 1.13% of world CO2 release.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      August 27, 2019 8:20 am

      No, that’s just our portion of the anthropogenic CO2. It’s around 0.3% of total.

      • cajwbroomhill permalink
        August 27, 2019 8:46 am

        Thanks, Chas., all the more reason for UK to stop crazy CO2 curbing decarbonisation.

  13. cajwbroomhill permalink
    August 26, 2019 5:01 pm

    The UK public (at least) have been conned and very many of those in authority deluded by the manmade climate change story, an unconvincing, unproven scare, especially since the proportion of CO2 from the UK is negligible. A rethink by politicos and audacious courage are essentially needed. The US president, China, India and many others, responsible for most of the greenhouse gases, are right too, but UK could safely end the CCActs (2008,9).
    Poor old David Cameron’s most useful pronouncement was “cut out the green crap”, but insufficient people have done so. Group think and hysteria prevail.
    By accepting his advice, the vast sums saved could be put to useful purposes, like health and welfare, education, scientific/industrial research, infrastructure and, especially, defence.

  14. August 26, 2019 5:54 pm

    Wouldn’t it be a good idea to wait until someone produces some evidence that CO2 is causing harm?

    • cajwbroomhill permalink
      August 27, 2019 7:01 am

      Absolutely, since apart from our impoverishment, its biological effects are constructive, to greenery for example.
      Fear of it are making its proponents rich, like the exquisite Greta T’s parents and fraudulent business people like wind turbine pushers.
      It is the marker of tne biggest scam since Communism and only a bit less deadly.

  15. Ian Phillips permalink
    August 26, 2019 5:58 pm

    Hydrogen is certainly squeaky clean as a fuel gas. But where is the energy needed to split off the hydrogen molecules supposed to come from without using some existing source of much dirtier energy? You can’t get more energy out of a system than you put in…is about the most basic law of nature.
    I can’t see how this is not just kicking the energy can down the road…..like strutting about praising the renewables industry, but round the corner keeping the diesel and gas generators primed and ready to go when the wind and sun don’t happen.
    Also please let me know where the hydrogen is going to be stored, it being the most dangerously explosive gas on the planet, so we can find somewhere else to live. Or is this a cunning plan to begin reducing the world’s population?
    I hope Nat. Grid has a few physics graduates on board to check this out.

    • Joe Public permalink
      August 26, 2019 7:03 pm

      “Hydrogen is certainly squeaky clean as a fuel gas.”

      It’s product of combustion might be just water vapour, but that doesn’t mean it’s non-hazardous.

      It has far wider Flammability and Explosion Limits (in air) than natural gas; and it needs far less energy for ignition.

      http://www.hysafe.org/science/eAcademy/docs/1stesshs/presentations/Ireland_hydrogen_safety.pdf

      We all remember the Hindenderg; fewer are aware the roofs of Fukushima’s Containment Buildings were blown off not via a nuclear explosion, but by hydrogen explosions.

      • A man of no rank permalink
        August 26, 2019 8:36 pm

        ‘On combustion hydrogen produces water vapour’
        Like CO2, water vapour is a greenhouse gas. which is the origin of this Climate Change fiasco.
        I think we are assuming that 1000 H2O molecules will absorb a lot less of the IR from the Earth’s surface than do 1000 molecules of CO2.
        Is this correct?

      • Joe Public permalink
        August 26, 2019 9:59 pm

        AMONR

        NOAA provides this short article on water vapour as a greenhouse gas:

        https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-references/faq/greenhouse-gases.php?section=watervapor

      • Vic Hanby permalink
        August 27, 2019 11:56 am

        Burn it in air and you’ll still get NOx

    • Jongo permalink
      August 27, 2019 1:06 am

      The most dangerously explosive gas on the planet is oxygen. Nothing, apart from nuclear fission/fusion, can produce any explosive effect without it. ‘Explosion’ is in effect rapid oxidation of some substance other than oxygen, the more rapid the substance is able to oxidise, the more violent. Hydrogen is not regarded as a primary explosive. The Hindenberg example is misleading: ignition commenced due to static electricity igniting the paint on the envelope fabric, the hydrogen contained in the envelope then burned, it didn’t explode. If you assemble enough gas and even more oxygen and confine it to increase its’ pressure then an explosion is inevitable, as it is with any flammable gas produced from any source – oil apours particularly.

      • Jongo permalink
        August 27, 2019 1:21 am

        Addition to above.
        The last point is in relation to the Fukushima story.

  16. Vernon E permalink
    August 26, 2019 6:13 pm

    Ian Phillips: hydrogen as the main component of town gas was stored for over a century in gasometers dotted all over the country – certainly every town had one. They are now landmarks (Lord’s cricket ground) or being turned into luxury flats. Most of the remaining ones are listed (don’t know why, personally I think they are grotesque. More commonly today hydrogen is stored at pressure on a smaller scale – especially for motor vehicles. So nothing new there – we don’t have to abandon Earth just yet.

    • Bertie permalink
      August 27, 2019 6:46 am

      I think you mean The Oval.

  17. Stonyground permalink
    August 26, 2019 6:13 pm

    I’m sorry to be OT but I think that this is really interesting. I am reading a book by a guy called Anthony Warner which is about debunking the claims of various health gurus and about the harm caused by diet fads. In it I found the following quote which made me think immediately of climate science.

    “If you want to really understand how to spot bad, science, there is one simple rule that overrides all the others I have given you so far in this book. The simplest way to spot false prophets is that they will always be a hundred per cent sure of themselves.”

    So sure in fact than anyone who disagrees with them is by definition anti science, a contrarian and a denier.

  18. Brian Blagden permalink
    August 26, 2019 6:43 pm

    As hydrogen burns with a high flame temperature more Nox is produced than if burning Nat Gas. In a domestic setting this could lead to increased indoor air pollution.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/287430764_NOx_emission_reduction_in_hydrogen_combustion

    “The characteristics of hydrogen diffusion flames were investigated for utilization in residential sector. High NOx emission is expected because of the high adiabatic temperature of hydrogen flame, and hydrogen flames are hardly detectable by the human eyes. Thus NOx emission reduction and flame detection should be recognized as major challenges. NOx emission and luminous characteristics of hydrogen flames were investigated and compared with those of methane diffusion flames. NOx emissions from hydrogen flames increased with increasing fuel input although NOx emissions from methane flames were almost constant to fuel input.”

  19. Michael Adams permalink
    August 26, 2019 6:50 pm

    Increasingly people don’t believe in God and therefore don’t adhere to a religion. Since the basic object of organised religion is to exert power over the people, the “elite” need a new religion to reinstate that power and that everybody can subscribe to. The new religion is called the Climate Change Emergency. It has all the hallmarks of a religion; scaring people in to believing they are doomed if they don’t change their ways, offering them salvation, as the one true religion, if they agree to change their ways and giving them an organisation that will take over the thinking process to come up with ways to said salvation. The last piece of the puzzle is to brand non-believers as evil idiots who are trying to subvert that salvation, such wickedness. What a neat power grab.

    • Philip Mulholland permalink
      August 26, 2019 10:35 pm

      When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.

      G K Chesterton

  20. TedL permalink
    August 26, 2019 7:25 pm

    On a couple of blogs I have posted unfavorable comments on the idea of a “hydrogen economy” because large amounts of atmospheric hydrogen would in fact be dangerous to the climate. Hydrogen gas leaks easily from pipes and valves. If we were to generate enough hydrogen to actually power a significant part of the economy, so much would leak from containment that it could change the climate and endanger life on earth. Because it is the lightest of gases, hydrogen rises through the atmosphere until it reaches the stratosphere, where it encounters the ozone layer. Ozone is extremely reactive, so it will immediately oxidize the hydrogen, creating water molecules while simultaneously eliminating the ozone. In large amounts one would expect the formation of a layer of ice crystals in the stratosphere, altering planetary albedo, while damaging the ozone layer, which intercepts much of the sun’s UV light.

  21. Vernon E permalink
    August 26, 2019 8:11 pm

    I don’t think I have ever read so much nonsense on any subject on this, my favourite, blog.

    • Ken Pollock permalink
      August 26, 2019 9:13 pm

      Vernon E, apologies for being thick, but are you referring to the CCC report or to the blog comments? The two are generally offering contrary views…

  22. Philip Mulholland permalink
    August 26, 2019 9:43 pm

    Is carbon dioxide a problem?

    • Ken Pollock permalink
      August 26, 2019 9:46 pm

      Philip, surely you know that the American Environmental Protection Agency designated CO2 a pollutant, and they could not be wrong, could they??? Maybe they think water is a pollutant as well, probably also a lot more dangerous!

      • Philip Mulholland permalink
        August 26, 2019 10:23 pm

        Ken,

        I have heard that the safest way to store and transport hydrogen is to combine it with oxygen….

  23. August 26, 2019 11:21 pm

    Is Hydrogen a Solution? In a word, “No”. It takes more energy to create, store, and transport than it contains. For the many ways H2 is useless other than as a feedstock for synthetic liquid hydrocarbons or ammonia synthesis, see:

    Energy and the Hydrogen Economy
    https://afdc.energy.gov/files/pdfs/hyd_economy_bossel_eliasson.pdf

    An advice to the Wizards thinking that piped fuel gas for heating and cooking can be replaced with H2, “No, not by any stretch”. This is because of the lower energy content of H2 vs Methane (Nat. Gas). H2 has approx 1/3 the heating value of Nat Gas or Methane.

    Gas kJ/m3 Gross kJ/m3 Net
    H2 12109 10200
    NatGas 35396 31700
    CH4 37669 33900

    The flow of any gas in any pipeline is limited by the Mach number aka: Choked flow.

    Replacing NatGas with H2 would result in 1/3 of the current energy capacity of every pipeline. So, either keep the NatGas or build an additional 200% pipeline capacity just to get the H2 flow equivalent of what you already have.

    Then there are all of the safety concerns over leaks and explosive conditions, economical storage pressures of 350 bar or 700 bar, valve and seal compatibility, etc.

    Politicians and Environmentalists might want to ask some Engineers before declaring that a “solution” has been found. Reality is a harsh teacher. As John Wayne said, “Life’s tough, kid. Its even tougher when you’re stupid”.

    • Steve permalink
      August 27, 2019 10:05 am

      This Bossel Eliasson paper is devastating evidence of the idiocy of the CCC recommendations. It is pity that they are now in the eighties. The conclusion that it would take a Hinckley Point nuke to provide enough electricity to serve 60-90 hydrogen fuel service stations is an eye opener. Obviously the ex HMRC civil servant in charge of Scottish and now UK policy has not read or understood it. Note that in order for the hydrogen to be carried by methanol, the CO2 has to be captured from flues or biomass and this in itself is very expensive and untried at scale.

    • Wellers permalink
      August 27, 2019 12:32 pm

      I work at a petrochemical plant on the south coast which produces pure hydrogen as a byproduct. One safety issue is that, unlike hydrocarbons, if any were to leak the blue flame would be invisible except at night. It also has a lower auto ignition temperature than natural gas.
      In fact a large hydrogen plant is currently under construction and of course this will employ natural gas steam reforming technology. Electrolysis wasn’t even considered of course. The hydrogen will be used to increase production of ultra low sulphur fuels that currently need to be imported from the USA and elsewhere.

    • Joe Public permalink
      August 27, 2019 9:32 pm

      “Replacing NatGas with H2 would result in 1/3 of the current energy capacity of every pipeline.”

      True for its *storage* capacity; but not true for hydrogen’s *energy flow-rate capacity* per unit volume, which is just 80% of that of Nat Gas, according to:

      International Journal of Hydrogen Energy
      Volume 38, Issue 18, 18 June 2013, Pages 7189-7200:

      Conversion of the UK gas system to transport hydrogen

      “2.4. Energy delivery and energy storage capacity of the network

      The energy carrying capacity of hydrogen is about 20–30% less for a pipeline of the same pipe diameter and pressure drop than for natural gas [17], [45], despite the much lower volumetric energy density of hydrogen being offset by a much higher flow rate. This means that the hydrogen energy transmission capacity at an unchanged pressure is approximately 20% lower than the UK annual average calorific value of 39.5 MJ/m3 for natural gas [46].”

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360319913006800

  24. Bruce of Newcastle permalink
    August 26, 2019 11:26 pm

    Convert the hydrogen to methanol: 3H2 + CO2 = CH3OH + H2O

    Then put the methanol in your slightly modified car and drive where you want.

    Just needs heat and a catalyst for the conversion. The methanol can be stored, transported and handled just like petrol with no change in infrastructure.

    No increase in explosion hazard, no expensive gas compression.

    • August 26, 2019 11:59 pm

      Yes, agreed, but the point is that the H2 and the methanol took more energy to create than they deliver in terms of useful energy as a fuel. The process of creating H2 or methanol from H2 has a Negative efficiency.

      If the energy to create the H2 or methanol is absolutely free, you have an excellent point. But it isn’t. The Sun and Wind may be free, but the tech to extract electrical energy from them isn’t free.

    • Steve permalink
      August 27, 2019 8:54 am

      Methanol burns to CO2 and water. So we waste energy to covert captured CO2 and H2 then produce the same exhaust as gas and diesel.

    • August 27, 2019 11:12 pm

      Cars are the least attractive application of hydrogen for transportation. Retail and wholesale sales, maintenance, insurance, recycling are far more problematic than fueling—whose ubiquitous dispensing is a less daunting barrier.

      But cars sell ads and trains and ships don’t; thus the self-serving car coverage hype. Fulton didn’t invent a steam outboard and the Welsh didn’t invent steam buggies. BIG public stuff comes first and is gradually downsized over decades. By constantly hyping and dissing H2 cars, media blocked the hydrogen transition by a decade or more, keeping diesel and 1880s Russian ‘trolley-tech’ on life support long after their natural time had come.

  25. August 27, 2019 2:09 am

    This tends to the notion of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. Irrespective of the relative cost of converting extractibles at a given point in history, the supply is finite so the price will rise and extraction will end. What is the CCC’s take on incremental cost of sequestration? The logic is not persuasive. Nothing is said of closed systems where demand—say, a local truck fleet is deployed with an ad hoc solar or wind complement—mediated by hydrogen. There is an implication that the one-to-many power regime from the days of Edison and Tesla is perpetual, though it is a transient artifact. In fifty or a hundred years, today’s price of hydrogen will be as mute as the cost of firewood for steam engines is today. Stasists may buy the CCC viewpoint but dynamists see right through it. At best it’s wishful thinking; as worst, disegenuous.

  26. Bloke down the pub permalink
    August 27, 2019 9:51 am

    Hi Paul. Here’s a British alternative from The Telegraph. Unfortunately pay-walled, though you can register for free . https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/08/26/british-start-up-beats-world-holy-grail-cheap-energy-storage/

  27. steve permalink
    August 28, 2019 12:35 pm

    This comparison of hydrogen and battery cars is interesting. The losses of the hydrogen process is surprisingly high.

  28. August 29, 2019 4:24 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

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