Is Hydrogen The Answer?

By Paul Homewood


h/t Ian Magness

Sky News has a layman’s guide to hydrogen. I think most of us are familiar with the topic, but I wanted to highlight a few segments:




The article makes the very sensible point that although it is technically possible to use hydrogen for transport, heating and so on, that does not mean that you should use it:



The cheapest way to make hydrogen in bulk is steam reforming gas, known as grey hydrogen. But this process emits a lot of carbon dioxide, and is also much more expensive than just using gas in the first place.

Which leads us on to green hydrogen, made by electrolysis using some sort of low carbon electricity. But as Sky point out, it is phenomenally expensive, and very energy inefficient.

Sky reckon that green hydrogen is five times as costly as grey hydrogen, before gas prices spiked. (And grey hydrogen itself is maybe three times as expensive as natural gas).

Gas prices are now about five times as high as they have traditionally been, so the gap is closing with green hydrogen. But a green hydrogen future would tie us into permanently high energy prices.




And that is before we consider the cost of upgrading the country’s gas infrastructure to handle hydrogen, which Sky describe as “an incredibly expensive exercise”.

Sadly the article goes on to argue that the government should start to commit to hydrogen in a big way, which would mean spending tens of billions in the next few years. The author, Ed Conway, apparently is not aware that the government does not have any money to spare to throw at these silly ideas.


October 29, 2022 at 12:24PM

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