Hydrogen Not The Answer, Say MPs

By Paul Homewood

Some of us have been highlighting this for years!




Plans to require that all new boilers are able to run on hydrogen within a few years are unrealistic, according to a powerful committee of MPs who have warned that hydrogen is “not a panacea” for cutting carbon emissions.

MPs on the parliamentary Science and Technology Committee say the clean-burning gas is likely to play a limited role in the future energy system, given the practical challenges of producing and handling the gas cleanly at large scale.

They argue huge questions still need to be answered about the potential deployment of the gas, and highlight “conflicting views” on the role it could play in domestic heating, given the merits of electric heat pumps instead.

Hydrogen is currently a niche product used in chemical production and oil refining, but politicians around the world hope it can replace fossil fuels in uses ranging from heating to transport, as it does not produce emissions when burned.

However, the committee argued that in practice this was likely to be limited to uses where other options are unsuitable, or in areas which are close to hydrogen production hubs.

“It seems likely that any future use of hydrogen will be limited rather than universal,” they said. “This limited – rather than universal – use of hydrogen should inform Government decisions.

“For example, we disagree with the Climate Change Committee’s recommendation that the Government should mandate new domestic boilers to be hydrogen-ready from 2025.”

Its report comes as on December 12, the Government set out proposals to require all boilers installed after 2026 to be hydrogen-ready. The Committee said it was “unconvinced” that hydrogen will be able to play a widespread role in heating homes by 2026. 



Quite apart from the fact that hydrogen is horribly expensive to produce and ridiculously energy inefficient, we are still faced with the mammoth problems of storage, distribution and adapting of appliances. The whole idea of relying on hydrogen in bulk, as opposed to a niche application, has always been a non-starter. And if, as the Committee says, it is a worse solution than even heat pumps, it really is not a solution to anything.



December 20, 2022 at 04:27AM

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