Dave Elliott: ull ahead for hydrogen? With its analysis suggesting that 20-35% of the UK’s energy consumption by 2050 could be hydrogen-based, the government has launched a public consultation on a new preferred hydrogen business model. It is built on a similar premise to the offshore wind CfDs, and is designed to overcome the cost gap between low carbon hydrogen and fossil fuels, helping the costs of low-carbon alternatives to fall quickly. In addition, the government is consulting on the design of the £240m Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, which aims to support the commercial deployment of new low carbon hydrogen production plants across the UK. The Hydrogen Strategy also includes a commitment to a ‘twin track’ approach to supporting multiple technologies including ‘green’ electrolytic and ‘blue’ carbon capture-enabled hydrogen production. That’s controversial. Why back both? Blue Hydrogen maybe cheaper just now, but it may lead to up to 20% more emissions than using gas direct, due in part to fugitive methane losses. Whereas green hydrogen, produced using renewable power, has no associated emissions. The case for Blue Hydrogen certainly suffered a blow when the chair of the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association resigned over what he claimed were ‘false claims made by oil companies about the cost of blue hydrogen’. He said ‘blue hydrogen is at best an expensive distraction, and at worst a lock-in for continued fossil fuel use that guarantees we will fail to meet our decarbonisation goals’. It certainly does not seem popular.
Renew Extra 18th Sept 2021 read more »
Natural gas based hydrogen production with carbon capture and storage is referred to as blue hydrogen. If substantial amounts of CO2 from natural gas reforming are captured and permanently stored, such hydrogen could be a low-carbon energy carrier. However, recent research raises questions about the effective climate impacts of blue hydrogen from a life cycle perspective. Our analysis sheds light on the relevant issues and provides a balanced perspective on the impacts on climate change associated with blue hydrogen. We show that such impacts may indeed vary over large ranges and depend on only a few key parameters: the methane emission rate of the natural gas supply chain, the CO2 removal rate at the hydrogen production plant, and the global warming metric applied.
Chemrxiv 11th Sept 2021 read more »
Britain can overtake its European rivals to take a lead in the hydrogen power race following its departure from the EU, according to the boss of Italian energy giant Snam. Marco Alverà, a prominent hydrogen advocate, said the flexibility of Brexit will give the UK “first mover” advantage. “Here [in the EU] we need to agree on incentives with a lot of people. We need to make carbon border adjustments with a lot of people,” he said. “Here you need consensus on a lot of the big transitional adjustments. My hope is that the UK continues to adhere to a lot of the same kind of approaches [as the EU], so that it doesn’t become completely isolated,” the 46-year-old executive said. “But I think the speed with which the UK can move is very strong, even [faster] than the US.”
Telegraph 18th Sept 2021 read more »