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Call For UK Hydrogen Strategy

June 18, 2020
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By Paul Homewood

 There’s going to be a long queue forming for all of these billions of public funds promised to turbocharge growth. Yesterday it was the turn of the Hydrogen Strategy Now group to push their way to the front of the line:

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Needless to say, Hydrogen Strategy Now is made up of the usual group of lobbyists and rent seekers.

Air Products and BOC, for instance, manufacture and sell hydrogen. Energy companies like EDF will no doubt make a fortune selling it to consumers, while businesses such as Siemens, Alstom, JCB and Wrightbus will manufacture the buses and trains planned. There will also be plenty of money to be made by infrastructure companies like ARUP.

So what are they all hoping for from Rishi Sunak. There will certainly need to be some initial public funding, without which their promised £1.5bn is unlikely to materialise.

But the most important they are looking for is a firm strategy, which effectively locks public policy into a hydrogen future, whether for transport, heating or industry. This is because hydrogen is not a commercially viable solution, without government intervention.

Put simply, the production of hydrogen is a complex, expensive and highly inefficient process, and one which is extremely wasteful of energy.

Most experts, including the Committee on Climate Change have already dismissed electrolysis as no more than a niche application, totally incapable of producing the quantities of hydrogen required to replace oil and gas.

As for steam reforming, this involves taking natural gas, and using  steam to produce a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and some carbon dioxide. The production of steam of course involves a waste of energy, and the resulting carbon dioxide still needs to be somehow captured and stored. Unsurprisingly the whole process is extremely expensive, not least the cost of building all of the new production plants needed.

On top of that, there would be the massive cost of converting household appliances and distribution networks to handle hydrogen. The Committee on Climate Change reckon this could cost up to £100bn, while the costs of producing and storing hydrogen would add £10bn a year to current household energy bills.

Clearly we are talking about huge amounts of money here, so it is little wonder that these companies are so keen to get their hands on a share of it. But, as with the rest of the renewable boondoggle, someone else ends up paying the bill.

70 Comments
  1. Phillip Bratby permalink
    June 18, 2020 10:31 am

    The main problem we have is that the politicians are all totally ignorant of anything technological and ministers like Rishi Sunak are surrounded by advisers and bureaucrats (the greenblob) who are all in favour of promoting anything said to be “green and clean” (brown envelopes anyone – reference the housing minister).

    • Gerry, England permalink
      June 18, 2020 1:54 pm

      I don’t think the word ‘technological’ is required.

  2. Thomas Carr permalink
    June 18, 2020 10:36 am

    I’m fairly sure that the sums have been done which show that hydrogen creation requires more energy than the calorific value of the fuel it generates. Not even a zero sum game.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      June 18, 2020 11:45 am

      And H2 is a leaky, sneaky explosive little gas.

      • johnbillscott permalink
        June 18, 2020 12:15 pm

        … and it burns very hot making extinguishing difficult.

      • Joe Public permalink
        June 18, 2020 6:45 pm

        CWT:

        Comparisons of properties:

    • Curious George permalink
      June 18, 2020 5:21 pm

      Beside the point. Hydrogen is a storage medium for intermittent generators. You have to compare it with batteries, or heavy trains pulling upslope, or liquid air storage.

      • Joe Public permalink
        June 18, 2020 8:09 pm

        “Hydrogen is a storage medium for intermittent generators.”???

        In Britain, intermittent renewables generators have priority access to market, so there is no surplus to store.

        Heck, in Britain intermittent generators can sometimes perform so p1ss-poorly we need to even use 30x as much fossil fuels to make up for intermittents’ shortfalls.

        https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/06/16/no-wind-no-sun-but-plenty-of-gas-nuclear/

        That’s before the millions of EVs we’re told will occupy our roads need recharging.

  3. Geoff B permalink
    June 18, 2020 10:36 am

    Steam reforming of natural gas is a waste of time, for every tonne of hydrogen, you make 14 tonnes of CO2. Energy density of hydrogen is low. It makes more sense just to burn the natural gas in your existing boiler.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      June 18, 2020 11:46 am

      You and your facts.

  4. Thomas Carr permalink
    June 18, 2020 10:40 am

    I meant to say that the fuel cost of hydrogen generation starts to look a lot like the speculative economics of CO2 capture.

  5. saparonia permalink
    June 18, 2020 10:52 am

    Haha so the people screaming daily that CO2 is a dangerous threat to the world will be Making and Storing vast quantities of CO2 to produce an unstable substitute for coal and gas. It’s so funny, or it would be if they were on a sitcom and not running our homeworld.

  6. Robert Christopher permalink
    June 18, 2020 10:53 am

    Electrek:
    “Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz is killing its program to develop passenger cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The company has been working on fuel-cell vehicles for more than 30 years — chasing the dream of a zero-emissions car that has a long driving range, three-minute fill-ups, and emits only water vapor. In the end, the company conceded that building hydrogen cars was too costly, about double the expense of an equivalent battery-electric vehicle.”

    Do Daimler know something that the Hydrogen Strategy Now don’t know?

    And Hydrogen isn’t a fuel!

    • Gerry, England permalink
      June 18, 2020 1:49 pm

      Twice as expensive as battery cars – surefire winner with that one!

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      June 18, 2020 2:44 pm

      Well, it’s rocket science. Hydrogen was selected as the fuel for the Saturn V rockets that launched Apollo missions to the moon. The reason is that the low molecular weight of exhaust gases is an advantage. Yet Musk chose RP-1 kerosene for the Falcon 9 rockets. The rocket science actually isn’t that difficult – the essence of it is summarised here:

      http://www.braeunig.us/space/propuls.htm

      Reminds me of browsing the rocketry section of Borders in Houston, just across Westheimer from the Galleria.

  7. Joe Public permalink
    June 18, 2020 10:57 am

    For those envisaging using Britain’s natural gas infrastructure, there are challenges.

    The Gross Calorific Value of hydrogen is just 11.88 MJ/m3 (3.3kWh/m3) vs 37.5 MJ/m3 to 43.0 MJ/m3 (approx 11.1kWh/m3) for Nat Gas, so less than 30% that of Nat Gas per unit volume.

    However, hydrogen’s energy flow-rate capacity per unit volume along pipelines and pipework (at an unchanged pressure) is 80% that of Nat Gas. (Its much lower volumetric energy density is partially offset by a higher volumetric flow rate.)

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

    This means current natural gas storage, line-pack and volumetric metering if re-used would have their energy capabilities reduce by 70%.

    All pipework, including customers’ own pipework in their own premises, would have their energy-carrying capacity reduced by 20%

    • Colin Megson permalink
      June 18, 2020 1:02 pm

      Would the network stand an increase in pressure to get the energy flow rate back up to 100%. I would really appreciate knowing this.

      • Joe Public permalink
        June 18, 2020 6:26 pm

        Nat Grid and all pipeline operators want to keep the grid & pipework at the minimum operable pressure, in order to minimise leaks.

        Hydrogen is the ‘leakiest’ of all gases, so it’s leakage rate will never be less than for natural gas at the same pressure.

        Hence the qualifier “However, hydrogen’s energy flow-rate capacity per unit volume along pipelines and pipework (at an unchanged pressure) is 80% that of Nat Gas.”

        “Hydrogen is lighter than air and diffuses rapidly. Hydrogen has a rapid diffusivity (3.8 times faster than natural gas), which means that when released, it dilutes quickly into a non-flammable concentration.”

        More comparative info here:

        Click to access h2_safety_fsheet.pdf

      • Joe Public permalink
        June 18, 2020 6:30 pm

        Sorry Colin, I forgot to directly answer ” to get the energy flow rate back up to 100%.”

        The answer probably is “No”

        System pressures are *already* reduced every night to reduce leakage.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        June 18, 2020 6:35 pm

        At 300bar, any leak could be quite explosive – three times the pressure is three times the energy. Not sure that the pipes and valves would be rated as safe at those levels. Thickening up the steel pipework would be very expensive.

      • Joe Public permalink
        June 18, 2020 8:21 pm

        Reply to IDAU

        1. “At 300bar ….”

        The 7,600km of national transmission network supplies at 70-94bar. It can’t now be elevated to 300bar.

        2. “Thickening up the steel pipework would be very expensive.” It wouldn’t be thickened up:

        “2.2.1. High-pressure transmission and distribution pipes
        At ambient temperature and pressures below 100 bar, the principal integrity concern for high-strength steel is hydrogen embrittlement. Hydrogen will diffuse into any surface flaws that occur due to material defects, construction defects or corrosion, resulting in a loss of ductility, increased crack growth or initiation of new cracks. These will ultimately lead to material failure [20], [21], [22], [23]. Higher pressures are thought to increase the likelihood of material failure although no threshold value has been defined independently of other factors [24], [25], [26]. Hydrogen can be transported at high pressures using pipes constructed of softer steels that reduce the rate of embrittlement, and there is much industrial experience in this area spanning many decades [27]. This means that existing high-pressure natural gas pipelines are not suitable for hydrogen transport, but that a new national network of high-pressure pipelines could be constructed to transport hydrogen around the UK.”

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

      • Dan permalink
        June 18, 2020 9:09 pm

        If you are talking about the high pressure feeder pipes, forget it. However once you get down local networks you are down to 2 bar or less. It is likely this pipework is all rated 10 bar (pn 10) as it does not save much to make non standard lower pressure piping.

        The network is lengthy and unless it is new plastic, I don’t see the old stuff being suitable.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        June 19, 2020 9:59 am

        There is a mention above of steel pipework. The old mains are cast iron and in the last few years in the City of London there have been lots of gas main repairs going on for months at a time. Suggestion was that the last cold winter saw demand increase so the main pressure was increased leading to the old mains cracking.

    • Colin Megson permalink
      June 19, 2020 1:10 am

      Thanks very much Joe. Link is good; all makes sense now. I thought the gas pressure would have to go up X3 to get the same energy flow rate.

  8. Vernon E permalink
    June 18, 2020 11:08 am

    We see these outrageous claims about “hundreds of thousands of jobs” every time a new venture is proposed. These claims arise from the construction stages of these and such jobs invariably go to cheap labour foreign contractors. It is scandalous for so-called reputable businesses to attach themselves to propaganda like this.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      June 18, 2020 1:53 pm

      Their shareholders might think it remiss of them not to chase whatever cash is up for grabs. I have no stake in any of the listed companies but if I did I would hope that we kept our own cash spend to a minimum.

  9. Mad Mike permalink
    June 18, 2020 11:11 am

    The only way expansion of the hydrogen energy sector will be viable is using the waste hydrogen which is produced in some industries. At the moment most of this hydrogen is pumped in to the air. Fuel cells seem a likely path but its a niche market and certainly not one to fuel a substantial portion of the economy. Once you start having to produce the Hydrogen you run in to reality but when has reality affected our politicians.

    • June 18, 2020 12:22 pm

      Well all the usual suspects and boosters are telling Australia that Hydrogen for Japan is a wonderful employment opportunity for Australia. Of course with all our abundant resources but the most expensive electricity in the world it is hard for a layman like I to fathom out. Some very clever people are working on it so I expect great things but then there are “Overheads” as Arthur Daly famously opined!

  10. jack broughton permalink
    June 18, 2020 11:25 am

    Clearly there are two “Green-blobs” at work; the first, an idealistically misled group who believe that they are saving the world from itself, and that any price is justifiable for their grand vision. The second group is a set of parasitic businesses, as listed above, who will make vast fortunes from half-baked government funded initiatives.

    I think that most of our politicians, their advisers and the UK media qualify for the first group (innocents to the slaughter), but am sure that the brown-envelope culture is not dead either.

  11. Harry Passfield permalink
    June 18, 2020 11:29 am

    When, in the letter, they talk about ‘…the opportunity to achieve the maximum economic benefit’, they mean, of course, for themselves.

  12. June 18, 2020 11:37 am

    Utterly pointless to spend this money on replacing stuff like buses and trains that we already have.

  13. TonyN permalink
    June 18, 2020 11:39 am

    Then there is the problem of diffusion arising from the very small size of hydrogen atoms;It will leak through metals. Imagine leaving you car for a week to find all your fuel gone. How will you refill it? Spare cans in the garage are a no-no. Hydrogen also causes metal embrittlement and the consequent risk of fracture. Storage in a reasonable space requires very high pressures, which if suddenly released in say a collision would cause an awesome blast, let alone the subsequent Hindenburg-style fire. BTW you can’t see burning hydrogen; only the flames from the surrounding stuff it burns. If it were to be stored as a liquid, requiring ultra-low temperatures, then the accidental release would also be highly dangerous with people freezing and burning at the same time.

    What exactly is this lobby asking for? .. the taxpayer to fork out for Hydrogen filling points at every garage forecourt?

    If it can be done for say £1 per litre, best would be to combine it with CO2 to form Petrol. But why not start with making methane a.k.a natural gas? We’ve already got all those LPG points, and they aren’t that popular,

    …. so WUWT?

  14. tim leeney permalink
    June 18, 2020 12:08 pm

    “Drive progress to net zero”. At last, some truth, net zero progress is indeed where it’s at.

  15. A man of no rank permalink
    June 18, 2020 12:20 pm

    The entire Climate Change scam comes about because CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Hydrogen combusts to form Water Vapour – another greenhouse gas!
    Then imagine a crowded city with hundreds of engines producing water vapour, will the dew point not be exceeded? If so we can look forward to more mist, clouds and rain. Coming to think of it this WILL stop global warming.

  16. AaronH permalink
    June 18, 2020 12:24 pm

    Why use hydrogen when you can use air?

    http://www.highviewpower.com/

    World’s largest liquid air battery project will create at least 200 jobs

    https://www.thebusinessdesk.com

    • andrewgreen1234 permalink
      June 18, 2020 1:26 pm

      Looking at their website, that looks very interesting.
      Any comments from those who know more than me about these things?

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        June 18, 2020 6:32 pm

        When I looked at their technology before, it transpired that it is fairly easy to scale up, but the round trip efficiency is poor. The real efficiency is under 50% (it can be as low as 25%), and declines if the energy stored isn’t used promptly, as the store gradually heats up and liquid air boils off, which has to be topped up with added cooling. They like to ignore “free” heat used to rewarm the liquid air derived from e.g. a power station cooling water supply, and “free” coolth e.g. from regasifying LNG in presenting apparently better figures.

        It’s basically a technology looking for subsidies from one source or another.

    • dennisambler permalink
      June 18, 2020 2:09 pm

      “Our CRYOBattery can deliver anywhere from 20 MW/80 MWh to more than 200 MW/1.2 GWh of energy and can power up to 200,000 homes for a whole day.”

      I’m always bothered by “up to”. How much energy to compress it in the first place. Why this necessity to use primary energy to make secondary energy? Why not just use coal oil and gas in the first place?

      CO2 is not a control knob for the planet. The planet is not heating up.

      • andrewgreen1234 permalink
        June 18, 2020 3:18 pm

        I completely agree with you on all counts!
        Nevertheless, since the government seems hell bent on going to the absurd, consumer-subsidised wind route, I wondered if this would be a better option for storage than Li-ion batteries, full of minerals kindly mined for us by neo-colonially exploited poor people (including, in Congo, children) in the 3rd World?

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      June 18, 2020 2:57 pm

      https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/06/liquid-air-energy-storage-the-latest-new-battery-on-the-uk-grid/

      It looks like with work they could get it up to about 75% efficient – about the same as the Dinorwig pumped hydro set up.

      The plant in the link is 15MWh whereas Dinorwig stores up to 9.1GWh, more than 600 times a much.

      Scaling it up to be grid scale useful would certainly be ferociously expensive and probably impractical – but less so than batteries?

      ATEOTD it’s just another pointless Heath Robinson addition to the grid caused by the wrong-headed obsession with wind and solar power.

  17. Jackington permalink
    June 18, 2020 12:50 pm

    The only way to counter this ambush is to second either Peter Lilley and/or Matt Ridley from the Lords or to persuade Graham Stringer to cross the floor of the house. There is no one in government ( or on the Tory back benches) that has any technical nous.

  18. Colin Megson permalink
    June 18, 2020 12:58 pm

    “…Most experts, including the Committee on Climate Change have already dismissed electrolysis as no more than a niche application, totally incapable of producing the quantities of hydrogen required to replace oil and gas…”

    Tell that to the Germans. Their determined to lead the world in green hydrogen production. No other nation does engineering better than Germany and the UK would be well advised to develop green hydrogen as a manufacturing sector and get a slice of Germany’s action:

    https://www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/DE/Dossier/wasserstoff.html

    • mikewaite permalink
      June 18, 2020 2:08 pm

      That announcement is being discussed over at WUWT :
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/06/15/germanys-climate-friendly-hydrogen-strategy/
      Majority opinion seems to be that it is a fatuous ambition , with probably a subsidy gouging motive. Check out the contribution from Anders Valland who pointed out that Norway started out on the Hydrogen Highway only to give up because of cost and after one of the H2 gas filling stations blew up ..

    • Iain Reid permalink
      June 19, 2020 10:48 am

      Colin,

      “No other nation does engineering better than Germany”

      Competent, certainly but better that is a very questionable statement. Even Mercedes Benz’s F1 team is based in the U.K. and at on etime used English designed and built engines . Even the fiercely nationalistic Italians at Ferrari were so desperate to have John Barnard (I think it was) design their F1 cars some years back that they allowed him to work from the U.K. at a small fcatory they bought. There are few indistries with higher engineering standards than F!.
      The real disgrace is that we have lost a large chunk of manufacturing and engineering design due to short sighted policies and insufficient incentives at educational levels to promote science and engineering.

  19. TonyN permalink
    June 18, 2020 1:57 pm

    Colin,

    “No other nation does engineering better than Germany and the UK would be well advised to develop green hydrogen as a manufacturing sector and get a slice of Germany’s action:”

    A mixed message? Their engineering may be OK but their business acumen, not so great.

    After their wholesale rush into wind and solar renewables,they are having to build coal-fired power stations again. Good news for us, as we could get them to build some for us… after all their engineering is good as you say

    However, I’d prefer Rolls- Royce’s small-scale nukes …

  20. Gerry, England permalink
    June 18, 2020 1:59 pm

    I am surprised the Co-operative is not listed as they provide funeral services and would surely gain from the increase in gas explosions. When working on explosive atmosphere approvals hydrogen was the gas used to measure the peak explosion pressure in an enclosure for a 1.5 proof test. Gives the biggest bang.

  21. Colin Megson permalink
    June 18, 2020 2:27 pm

    You’ve got a day left to have your say. Hydrogen production is going to happen big style in the UK. The GW of renewables being recommended do not work without it:

    https://committees.parliament.uk/work/295/technological-innovations-and-climate-change-hydrogen/

    • June 18, 2020 3:29 pm

      So more tax payer funded BS no doubt with the word “sustainability” in every sentence of the sales blurb. What kind of a “sustainable” non marxists economy functions with tax payer funded subsidies? We are being dragged in every which way to an impoverished marxist segregated society, and here are the Conservatives, spineless as ever being as “woke” as every as if they think that will save them!

    • June 18, 2020 3:48 pm

      Colin. But WHY when we have the cheapest form of portable energy readily available in the form of oil gas and coal? The CO2 myth is only an assertion it is NOT an statistically significant empirical data based fact, indeed both physics and geological history indicate CO2 is critical to life on earth and at a much higher atmospheric concentration than the 410ppm today. It may interest you to know in the Cambrian the atmospheric level was 7000ppm and when your salad was evolving it was 2500-2800ppm. The average over the whole of geological time is 2500ppm. The wholesale demonization of CO2 ignores physics and geological history and starts at some convenient recent point without understanding the fundamental problems there are today with the Carbon Cycle which for 160 million years has been totally out of sync. Perhaps you are not aware but during the first half of the current Ice Age ( yes we are in an Ice Age), atmospheric CO2 fell to around 180ppm 20 ppm above the death of plants and consequently all life on Earth. ( CO2 is not present in only two mediums but three, Rock, Water & Air. These three members largely form the Carbon Cycle) , So to recap. there is NO scientific basis for the demonization of CO2. Secondly the current atmospheric level of CO2 is seriously low and that needs to be addressed to get the level back somewhere around 2000ppm. Plants for one thing will be extremely happy and thirdly it will take time for fusion and hopefully Molten salt Thorium reactors can be scaled up. I see nothing “sustainable” about a very expensive and highly pressurised gas being transported around the roads because collisions must happen and one of those cylinders will go pop. The problem with hydrogen is the ability to create it “on demand”. The funny product of combustion however is the main greenhouse gas which no one seems to care about but it has been clear since the IPCC was set up that this was a political exercise not a scientific one. So, whatever happens at whatever cost has nothing to do with science but political hubris and the lure of easy cash by some less than reputable people.

  22. Dan permalink
    June 18, 2020 2:31 pm

    There is another method that rarely gets added, upgrade coke oven gas. Coke ovens take coal and create a coke feed for the blast furnace process. The byproduct, coke oven gas (cog), is 60-70% hydrogen and can be upgraded using steam reforming and processing (benzole, tar, naphta, sulphur etc removal) ( standard technologies). Plants that are not fuel poor (I e. Don’t import coke to supplement use), are steam rich.

    Sections of the gas network, such as Port Talbot, could be isolated from the main gas grid and used as a trial system.

    The main reason against it: cog is a high CV fuel, especially useful for reheating furnaces in the rolling mills, other thermal applications and boiler fuel. This would need to be replaced, along with as the list electricity revenue.

  23. TedL permalink
    June 18, 2020 2:56 pm

    Back in 2017 I posted this comment on WUWT:
    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.

  24. June 18, 2020 3:28 pm

    So more tax payer funded BS no doubt with the word “sustainability” in every sentence of the sales blurb. What kind of a “sustainable” non marxists economy functions with tax payer funded subsidies? We are being dragged in every which way to an impoverished marxist segregated society, and here are the Conservatives, spineless as ever being as “woke” as every as if they think that will save them!

    • andrewgreen1234 permalink
      June 18, 2020 4:24 pm

      I looked at the date of the article – thought it might be April 1st!

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      June 18, 2020 7:29 pm

      Concrete is ~2.4 times the mass of water. To match Dinorwig (live storage of 6.7 million cu m) you’d need (the equivalent of) 2.8 million cu m concrete blocks hoisted ~450m in the air – I think! Dinorwig can supply ~1.7GW for ~5 hours flat out, which isn’t much in the scheme of things – but that’s not its main purpose.

  25. MrGrimNasty permalink
    June 18, 2020 4:31 pm

    The R101 was a grandstanding government funded hydrogen project. Many of the bigwigs involved died in the crash – you don’t seem to get that immediate sort of accountability for waste and failure these days.

  26. tom0mason permalink
    June 18, 2020 6:04 pm

    I demand that this ‘hydrogen strategy’ be fully debated in parliament!
    But only allow each each politician to speak when they have inhaled a full lung capacity of hydrogen! Maybe then they might see how ridiculous is this idea.

  27. Dav permalink
    June 18, 2020 6:20 pm

    We don’t need it. Problem solved according to the guardian..

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/18/worlds-biggest-liquid-air-battery-starts-construction-in-uk

  28. Joe Public permalink
    June 18, 2020 6:38 pm

    Factoid of the Day:

    This video shows the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant explosions in 2011.

    They weren’t nuclear explosions, they were hydrogen explosions. H2 proponents rarely mention that; nuclear opponents inevitably mention ‘Fukushima’ + ‘Nuclear plant’ + ‘Explosion’

  29. David permalink
    June 18, 2020 7:05 pm

    I understand Mercedes abandoned their hydrogen car because after years they could not make it safe, On the subject of hydrogen release, I always understand that its free kinetic energy was so great that it simply harmlessly escaped into space.

  30. Is it just me? permalink
    June 18, 2020 8:26 pm

    I’m sure if we could harness & store hot air out of corporate lobbyists & the invertebrate politicians who serve them – that would keep us all warm and cosy for many decades to come..

    • Vic Hanby permalink
      June 19, 2020 1:36 pm

      I think only helium can reach escape velocity. Invest in it now.

  31. Mack permalink
    June 18, 2020 9:40 pm

    Don’t worry guys, it’s not going to happen. There’s no money left to spunk up the wall on yet more fantasy energy projects. In fact, there’s no money left at all and the UK credit card is already maxed out. Fortunately, the reality of our economic peril, following our Covid meltdown, will soon become apparent to our political masters who write the cheques and some kind of political and financial realignment is inevitable. It won’t be pretty. In short, the hydrogen future is just so much…hot air!

  32. Gamecock permalink
    June 18, 2020 11:05 pm

    ‘dismissed electrolysis as no more than a niche application, totally incapable of producing the quantities of hydrogen required to replace oil and gas’

    Should you produce enough hydrogen from electrolysis to power the world, you will get 8X the weight in pure oxygen, an extremely corrosive gas. It will have to be dealt with.

  33. Steve permalink
    June 19, 2020 9:06 am

    The CCC also expects industry to be rearranged into ‘clusters’ in order to use hydrogen. Ships and trucks will need to be converted to fuel cell +electric motor or hydrogen combustion engine. No costing is apparent in their technical report.

  34. Mike Higton permalink
    June 19, 2020 10:49 pm

    TedL: the process you describe sounds very like that used to generate town gas, until it was replaced by natural gas. Town gas was 50 – 60% hydrogen and was used for many decades in most industrialised countries. The consequences you anticipate did not occur back then so should not be a concern now, even if this madness goes ahead.

    • Gamecock permalink
      June 20, 2020 10:26 pm

      You assume hydrogen behaves the same as a mix of hydrogen/methane/carbon monoxide/ethylene.

      Maybe it does

      At what pressure was town gas delivered?

      At what pressure would hydrogen need to be delivered?

      What odorant can be added to hydrogen to make it safe?

  35. Andy Pye permalink
    June 24, 2020 12:55 pm

    The demand for hydrogen emanates from the need to reach zero carbon by whichever date you believe. It is not possible from electric vehicles alone because of totl life cycle calculations and the voluome of legacy cars on the road., So you use hydrogen generated by electrolysis from renewable sources to make buifuels. It’s all explained here….https://www.imeche.org/policy-and-press/reports/detail/accelerating-road-transport-decarbonisation

    • June 24, 2020 2:35 pm

      We know WHY they are pushing for hydrogen.

      But that does not mean it will actually work.

      Even the Committee on Climate Change accept that electrolysis can never be more than a small niche operation

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