Claim: Hydrogen from Green Energy Electrolysers is Cheaper than Fossil Fuel

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to John Mathews, Professor Emeritus of Macquarie Business School, green hydrogen will be cheaper than fossil fuel when the process is scaled up with billions of dollars of government money. Of course the money must not be seen as a cost burden for ordinary people.

Australia’s clean hydrogen revolution is a path to prosperity – but it must be powered by renewable energy

October 27, 2021 6.16am AEDT
John Mathews
Professor Emeritus, Macquarie Business School, Macquarie University

Days out from the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, the Morrison government on Tuesday announced a “practically achievable” path to reaching its new target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

As expected, the government will pursue a “technology not taxes” approach – eschewing policies such as a carbon price in favour of technological solutions to reduce emissions. Developing Australia’s fledgling hydrogen industry is a central plank in the plan.

This technological shift should not be seen as a cost burden for Australia. Yes, major transformation in industry is needed as it moves away from conventional fossil-fuelled processes. But this green industrial revolution is a potential source of great profit and prosperity – a fact Australia’s business sector has already recognised. 

Acting quickly, and powering the shift with renewable energy, means Australia can be a world leader in green hydrogen technology and exports, particular to Asia.

To bring down the cost of green hydrogen, it must be manufactured at scale. This is consistent with a vision of a global green shift in which clean forms of energy and production become so competitive they displace incumbent fossil fuel industries.

Economics will drive the transition. The costs of green hydrogen will likely outmatch the costs of oil and gas, and so become the inputs of choice in making green fertilisersgreen steelgreen cement and fuel for heavy vehicles such as trucks and ships.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/australias-clean-hydrogen-revolution-is-a-path-to-prosperity-but-it-must-be-powered-by-renewable-energy-169832

Professor Emeritus John Mathews appears to be suggesting that spending billions of dollars to obtain a commodity which is, at best, no different from the commodity we already have, is a good plan which does not add to our cost burden.

I used to train fresh computer science graduates. As the contractor I got the jobs nobody else wanted. I didn’t mind, I enjoy teaching people.

Every one of the new trainees needed to be extensively de-programmed, their professors had sent them into their first industry job with their heads stuffed full of utter nonsense. It usually only took a few weeks to carefully explain, with examples, why half of what they had learned was wrong, and set them on the path to becoming productive junior software developers.

I wonder if people who train fresh business school graduates in their first job have a similar experience?

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October 28, 2021 at 05:02PM

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