UK prepares to make ‘big bet’ on hydrogen power. Boris Johnson set to lay out plans for a ‘green industrial revolution’ to tackle climate change.
FT 16th Nov 2020 read more »
It seems everyone wants to get in on the ground floor when it comes to green hydrogen. Utilities and oil majors both have a head start with their mixture of renewable power capacity, gas transmission assets and an existing set of end users. But chemical manufacturers could be a third class of big green hydrogen players. AkzoNobel began investigating a 20-megawatt electrolyzer as far back as 2018. U.S. industrial gases firm Air Products is planning what would be the world’s largest green hydrogen complex, a 4-gigawatt facility in Saudi Arabia. On Tuesday, chemical giant Ineos joined the green hydrogen fray, announcing that its Inovyn subsidiary will launch a business unit aiming to hit the lowest production costs yet recorded for the zero-carbon fuel. It will be headed by Wouter Bleukx, who is transferring over from Inovyn’s chlor and alkali business.
GTM 13th Nov 2020 read more »
Desert energy is back. As the European Union sets its sights on a green hydrogen boom as part of its plans to meet decarbonization pledges and rebuild economies ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, North Africa has emerged as a possible source for a significant chunk of Europe’s future hydrogen supply.
GTM 16th Nov 2020 read more »
Dave Elliott: Trade body RenewableUK wants the UK to become a global leader in the development of green hydrogen. It says the UK government must publish a hydrogen strategy detailing how the fuel will evolve from a niche alternative to a central driver of the net zero transition. RUK’s report Renewable Hydrogen – Seizing the UK Opportunity calls on the government to back green hydrogen, produced using renewable energy, by supporting the renewable sector as it attempts to replicate the success of the UK’s offshore wind industry: ‘The Strategy should include a clear plan to deliver the first gigawatt of electrolyser capacity in the UK, identifying potential projects and funding where appropriate to drive innovation and investment, including “at scale” demonstrations for production and storage’. However not everyone is on side! The Times ran an editorial (24/9/20) under the heading ‘fuel’s gold’ calling for caution; there was a big gap between aspirations and tangible actuality. It pointed to the fear that ‘a premature rush to hydrogen, as advocated by fossil fuel giants with vested interests in keeping fossil fuel burning, will compound rather than solve Britain’s emissions problem’. That’s fair enough, many environmentalists are against fossil- derived blue hydrogen, but the Times also came out against green hydrogen: it was ‘prohibitively expensive’ and there wasn’t a sufficient renewable surplus to make it. As I noted in an earlier post, a similar pattern of response had already emerged from Leeds Trades Union Congress. It came out against blue hydrogen for heating, as in the H21 gas conversion/CCS project proposed for Leeds: ‘Projects such as H21 inevitably mean massive diversion of resources away from genuine decarbonisation and into infrastructure that locks in fossil-fuel dependency for years to come’. However, the Leeds TUC were also uncertain about ‘green’ hydrogen- produced via electrolysis using renewable electricity: ‘The capacity to produce a “green” hydrogen from water at the scale and cost required is a distant prospect, in part because it would require a huge input of renewable-produced electricity – making it nonsensical as an alternative to electrification of home heating’.
Renew Extra 14th Nov 2020 read more »