Fossil Gasoline Derived Hydrogen Should be Restricted for Inexperienced Hydrogen to Flourish • Watts Up With That?

Essay by Eric Worrall

Renewable hydrogen will “struggle to compete” unless fossil fuel hydrogen production is restricted.

Only genuinely clean hydrogen can help solve the climate crisis

Malcolm Turnbull

COP28 in Dubai needs to be the moment the world commits to producing hydrogen with near zero emissions by 2030

Thu 17 Aug 2023 12.47 AEST

Today we use nearly 100 million tonnes of hydrogen as a feedstock for chemicals and fertiliser production worldwide. The problem with this is that this so-called grey hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels. Around a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year are associated with this hydrogen production, equivalent to approximately 2% of global emissions.

With demand for hydrogen set to grow up to six-fold in the decades ahead, everyone agrees that the production of grey hydrogen has to stop.

The good news is that it is possible to produce hydrogen using little or no emissions. That hydrogen can then be used as an alternative to fossil fuels in other heavily polluting industries such as steelmaking, shipping or aviation. The bad news is that the notion of “clean” or “low carbon” hydrogen has become ubiquitous and a subtext for promoting fossil-fuel derived hydrogen with emissions which are still too high for our planet to cope with.

As our industry grows from almost nothing today, we will struggle to compete with fossil fuel hydrogen unless strict emissions limits are set. We cannot afford to play footloose with this key part of the energy transition. We call for an end to any talk of undefined “clean” or undefined “low carbon” hydrogen.

Standards, certification, taxation or support schemes which do not include a credible emissions limit for hydrogen production must end.

Read more:

Former Goldman Sachs Australia head Malcolm Turnbull was once Prime Minister of Australia, but his departure was far from cordial, a wrecking ball style exit, with heated accusations on both sides marring an otherwise mediocre prime ministership.

But I think Turnbull’s green hydrogen comments very revealing.

Hydrogen vehicles are uncommon, because quite apart from the obvious dangers of parking 10s of kg of compressed hydrogen next to anything you care about, it’s simply too expensive to be an economically attractive gasoline replacement.

Turnbull’s “solution” is to restrict production of the “cheap” fossil fuel derived hydrogen, to allow his even more expensive green hydrogen a chance to compete.

Can there be any further doubt what an economic horror show greens like Turnbull have in mind for ordinary people? Wealthy merchant bankers like Turnbull might be happy to pay a thousand dollars per tank, or whatever it costs, to fill his hydrogen vehicle with virtue signalling, but what would this do to the transport choices of ordinary people?

And of course, all the industrial processes which use hydrogen as an input to produce life’s necessities would be slammed by higher prices, which would be passed on to ordinary people.

You might be wondering why a green advocate like Turnbull would be so candid.

Perhaps Turnbull thinks we’re all too stupid to understand the implications of the social changes he is attempting to engineer. Breathtaking arrogance was a hallmark of Turnbull’s term as Prime Minister.

Or perhaps in the near future it will no longer matter whether ordinary people object to expensive green artificial monopolies. Maybe political leaders who try to stand up for people’s access to affordable energy will be persecuted and jailed by weaponised justice systems, to prevent them from being elected.

Like this:

Like Loading…

Comments are closed.