Blue Hydrogen Has Larger GHG Footprint Than Natural Gas

By Paul Homewood


AEP is away with the fairies again:



Best is the enemy of good in the ferociously polarised debate over net-zero.

Green purists are waging guerrilla warfare against Britain’s "blue" hydrogen plan, deeming it a sell-out to the fossil industry, a licence to pollute forever, and an unforgivable environmental fraud on the eve of the COP26 summit.

The Government’s strategy to kick start the putative hydrogen economy relies on "twin track" backing for both the blue variant produced from natural gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS), as well as the more saintly "green" variant produced from wind and solar power through electrolysis.

The movement is in uproar over this perfectly sensible compromise. All we need now is an anathema from Greta.

Right now the cost of producing "blue" is roughly $2.50 a kilo compared to $6 for "green", with great global variation depending on region and countless variables. That is why the International Energy Agency and the UK’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) endorse blue hydrogen as a "bridge fuel" out to the 2030s.


You can guess the rest of the nonsense he writes, because he writes the same stuff with boring regularity!


He seems to think it is a sensible idea to take natural gas and convert it in a highly expensive process, while at the same time wasting a quarter of the energy input. But this process produces massive amounts of carbon dioxide, so you then have to spend more money and waste more natural gas in an attempt to capture some (not all) of those emissions, in a process that does not even exist at a commercially viable scale.

No amount of wishful thinking on AEP’s part can alter this physical reality. In short, hydrogen will always cost much more than natural gas.

He whittles on about the cost of blue hydrogen, $2.50/kg, but forgets to tell his readers that the cost of natural gas is a quarter of that. To be fair though, at least he does point out how ridiculous the green hydrogen option is.

But the ultimate irony is that “blue” hydrogen is not carbon free at all. As a new study inconveniently points out, burning blue hydrogen emits more emissions than natural gas, because of the upstream emissions involved in producing and shipping the extra gas needed, which is wasted in the process:




There is naturally some debate about the actual numbers, but what is certain is that any emission savings from blue hydrogen are going to be tiny at best.


August 26, 2021 at 04:00AM

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