Germany’s global hydrogen plans could accelerate climate change, UK government study suggests

German hydrogen train [image credit: Euractiv]

The issue is leakage. In any case the notion of part of the supposed cure for ‘climate change’ being worse than the supposed disease is ironic. Germany imagines a future of so-called climate neutrality, a concept lacking any real-world meaning.
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German Economy Minister Robert Habeck plans to import hydrogen from all over the world to satisfy Germany’s hunger for energy despite a new study questioning the climate-friendliness of hydrogen transport, EURACTIV Germany reports.

One thing is clear to all politicians and experts: Germany is an energy importing country.

To move towards climate neutrality, the German government wants to rely primarily on importing hydrogen molecules from all over the world – efforts which have been further accelerated due to the war in Ukraine and Germany’s dependence on Russian energy imports.

The idea is to split water with the help of renewable electricity, then ship the hydrogen to Germany and use it as a raw material and energy source for German industry. For this, Habeck most recently announced a hydrogen partnership with the United Arab Emirates.

The establishment of global “hydrogen supply chains” would serve the “achievement of our climate goals and at the same time our energy security”, Habeck said on 21 March.

The “Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue” at the Foreign Office at the start of April also focused on the global hydrogen economy. Representatives of governments from around the world agreed to initial contracts with each other as well as with German representatives to supply hydrogen.

The global hydrogen trade is supported by the German government foundation H2Global, which will underpin the trade in the gas with €900 million from the national treasury.

Doubts about decarbonisation

Whether hydrogen, which is supposed to decarbonise industrial processes as well as shipping and aviation, will deliver what it promises, however, is now in doubt.

This is because hydrogen could be a lot more harmful to the climate than initially believed, especially if it were to escape and enter the atmosphere before being used.

“We estimate the hydrogen GWP(100) to be 11 ± 5; a value more than 100% higher than previously published calculations,” the UK government study, commissioned by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, writes.

The GWP, or global warming potential, measures the relative contribution that various chemical compounds make to the greenhouse gas effect. Based on CO2, the GWP shows how much worse gases like methane or the now banned chlorofluorocarbons are for the climate.

This would mean that hydrogen is at best six times worse for the climate than CO2 over a period of 100 years. In the worst-case scenario, hydrogen could even prove 16 times more harmful than the widespread greenhouse gas.

Accelerating climate change

According to the study, hydrogen would also contribute significantly to climate change, even within a 20-year time frame.

Full article here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

April 15, 2022 at 06:33AM

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