Skip to content

The Trouble With Hydrogen

February 13, 2023

By Paul Homewood

While the government wants to add a hydrogen levy to energy bills, this sobering video explains why hydrogen is a dead end technology:




  1. February 13, 2023 10:10 am

    ‘Clutching at straws’ is my take on government enthusiasm for hydrogen, which is both uneconomic to produce by ‘green methods’ and is a difficult gas to store, handle and utilise. Similar is the idea of ‘Carbon capture and storage’

    • Chris Phillips permalink
      February 13, 2023 10:21 am

      Carbon capture is difficult enough to achieve, but after you store it by pumping it into old underground workings, how do you prove it does not slowly seep out again? Or does this not matter? That is, storing it is enough to satisfy the eco zeolots and no-one will ever know if it seeps out again.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        February 13, 2023 4:53 pm

        Lake Nyos…

    • February 13, 2023 10:40 am

      I think it is hard to rule out the ‘ignorant morons’ factor when it comes to government.

      • February 13, 2023 10:52 am

        Exactly so, which is why they are such fervent believers in hens’ teeth and unicorn farts

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        February 13, 2023 12:06 pm

        Dev…even moreso if they can earn money from it for themselves. PPE taught us that.

  2. lordelate permalink
    February 13, 2023 10:26 am

    Like many things. It sounds great in theory. But in practice…….
    I remember watching a programme in the 1970’s. Ford had if memory serves had a large hydrogen experiment going and I was amazed at watching a chap drink the water from the exhaust.

    • Devoncamel permalink
      February 13, 2023 11:00 am

      I remember something similar being shown at school in the late 70s. It was in the US somewhere.

    • 1saveenergy permalink
      February 18, 2023 12:21 am

      BBC Tomorrows world James Burke ???

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      February 18, 2023 9:49 am

      How’s about this- found it!

      • lordelate permalink
        February 19, 2023 12:23 am

        So long ago!

  3. February 13, 2023 10:37 am

    As with most things, if it was a good idea we would already be doing it.

    • Devoncamel permalink
      February 13, 2023 10:51 am

      Generally this is true but doesn’t explain the mad rush to carpet the landscape with turbines and solar black mirrors. We know they aren’t a good idea but money, ( from the long suffering consumer and tax payer) clouds judgement

  4. February 13, 2023 10:53 am

    Storage of CO2 underground is dangerous, CO2 is heavier than air and will accumulate in hollows and areas of no wind
    . There have been incidents if animals and people found dead around CO2 seeps, who would want this stored near their home, school, hospital?

    • dennisambler permalink
      February 13, 2023 2:40 pm

      Where’s the Precautionary Principle when you need it? Only works when they want to ban something.

  5. Tim Leeney permalink
    February 13, 2023 10:56 am

    Her video on why she still believes carbon dioxide is causing global warming is deeply depressing.

    • dennisambler permalink
      February 13, 2023 2:41 pm

      She even talks about climate change “deniers”

  6. Devoncamel permalink
    February 13, 2023 10:58 am

    The same problem, as with EVs, is made stark by Sabine – rare earth metals are needed. Hydrogen as a viable energy medium for cars is a non- starter, especially when it’s cold. Give us a rest Shapps.

  7. ThinkingScientist permalink
    February 13, 2023 10:58 am

    Burning LPG in cars is pretty clean. And highly efficient. Many politicians (and especially Sadiq Khan) seem to deliberately conflate “emissions”, “clean” and “climate”.

    If you are worried about air quality in cities the cheapest way forward would be the government program of not too long ago – conversion of petrol vehicles to LPG. Practical, not expensive and clean burning.

    Hydrogen fuel cells are expensive, specialised technology. Its been around for a long time so if its not gone mainstream there is a reason – it simply is not commercially viable or practical.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      February 13, 2023 12:17 pm

      The French City of Poitiers used to have a fleet of GPL (LPG to the French) buses. They were very clean compared to the diesel variants. No issues having lunch on the pavement with buses going by.
      I’m not sure if they still have them, it’s quite a few years since the last time I visited.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        February 13, 2023 2:01 pm

        It also requires a lot of refinery hydrogen.

        Octane C8H18 + 2H2 to Butane 2C4H10
        and then at least refrigeration to keep it liquid.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      February 13, 2023 1:42 pm

      LPG was once a problem of oversupply with significant volumes coming from production of North Sea oil and gas when the market only existed for the much smaller volumes produced by refineries. That is why we saw some development of automotive LPG in Europe, with other markets as petchem feedstock also being developed. However, an attempt at a wholesale replacement of gasoline with LPG would not really be possible. The production doesn’t exist on that scale, and cracking the products of crude distillation back to LPG would be energy intensive.

  8. February 13, 2023 11:36 am

    The trouble with hydrogen is that there isn’t any on Earth in a natural state. It has to be extracted in energy-intensive manufacturing processes.

  9. February 13, 2023 12:04 pm

    I like the idea of hydrogen generated by surplus renewable electricity, as it opens up what surely must be the dream of right thinking greens, a completely self contained transport system with no involvement of fossil fuels. They can then travel to planet saving conferences with clear consciences … but with empty wallets, as they will have to pay the full market price. Surely a win-win for both sides of the debate.

  10. Harry Passfield permalink
    February 13, 2023 12:12 pm

    I assume you mean ‘medium’ in as much that H is an energy transport like electricity? (If my reading on it is correct).

  11. Frank Everest permalink
    February 13, 2023 4:04 pm

    She describes hydrogen as a storage medium. I think it is better thought of as a working medium, or fluid, much like steam. Working fluids are generated by converting sources of energy such a coal, etc.
    Luckily, no one is proposing storing steam (which would actually be easier than storing hydrogen!). But the overall conclusion can’t be faulted.

  12. a-man-of-no-rank permalink
    February 13, 2023 4:44 pm

    I run a night-time business stealing Platinum from catalytic converters. Can’t wait for those hydrogen fuel cell cars to get going, nicking Iridium is going to be the future – and its green!

  13. John Hultquist permalink
    February 13, 2023 5:30 pm

    Who thought it a good idea to insert distractions of momentary video clips?

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      February 13, 2023 9:40 pm

      My thoughts exactly – what was the point?

  14. Graeme No.3 permalink
    February 13, 2023 8:45 pm

    The major problem is the claim that burning hydrogen only results in water, but the high combustion temperature means that nitrogen oxides are formed, unless you have an additional supply of pure oxygen, doubling the cost.
    And hydrogen is very low density, which means vehicles carrying much greater volumes are necessary, or a shorter range. I calculated that just switching to liquid hydrogen at the same volume of diesel would result in the truck having only one quarter of the range.

  15. Jack Broughton permalink
    February 14, 2023 11:55 am

    I do not understand how the issue of hydrogen leakage into the atmosphere then up to the ozone layer is not being addressed anywhere. It is claimed that natural gas transfer has at least 6% leakage: that from hydrogen will be much much higher. Ozone layer damage is far more dangerous that a few ppm CO2!

  16. Dave Hidson permalink
    February 14, 2023 1:30 pm

    All you need to know about the hydrogen hoax….

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: