Essay by Eric Worrall
h/t rhs; I was so wrong – if every business gets a government grant, then everyone can take advantage of subsidised green hydrogen /sarc.
Australia Goes All-in on Green Hydrogen > Juggernaut or boondoggle—it’s too soon to tell
Juggernaut or boondoggle—it’s too soon to tell
25 DEC 2022
Today, 28 heavy-duty diesel-powered trucks operate at the Townsville refinery. When ships arrive at port with zinc concentrate, or tie up to take on zinc ingots, the rigs haul triple-trailers and loop the 30 km from port to plant and back nonstop for as many as eight days. Time is money, says Kim, because occupying a berth in port can cost a whopping AUS $22,000 (US $13,800) a day. Even if a battery-powered truck could handle the refinery’s 140,000-tonne loads, Kim says his company couldn’t afford to wait for batteries to recharge.
In 2021, Ark Energy took a stake in Hyzon Motors, one of the few firms working on ultraheavy trucks powered by fuel cells. Hyzon, based in Rochester, N.Y., agreed to equip some of its first extra-beefy fuel-cell rigs with the right-hand drive and wider carriage required in Australia—something other developers couldn’t offer until 2025 or 2026. “We’re bringing forward the transition of Australia’s ultraheavy transport sector by several years,” says Kim.
To fuel the trucks, Ark Energy ordered a 1-MW electrolyzer from Plug Power, based in Latham, N.Y. Kim anticipated that construction of the electrolyzer facility would start around the end of 2022, and vowed that five fuel-cell trucks would be looping to port and back on hydrogen gas in the third quarter of 2023 or sooner.
Kim says these vehicles will cost “a little over three times” that of an equivalent diesel-fueled hauler, up front, but the overall project should break even or even save money over the trucks’ projected 10-year operating life. Government grants and loans and high diesel prices help make hydrogen competitive. The trucks’ unchanging route was also a plus: The relatively flat loop enabled use of a smaller, cheaper, fuel cell. “This is a dedicated truck for a dedicated purpose,” Kim notes.
I’m going with boondoggle on this ridiculous exercise.
If green hydrogen could stand on its own, without government grants and loans, it might make economic sense. But so long as companies which take advantage of green hydrogen have their losses covered by taxes on everyone elses income, the green hydrogen push will be a net drag on the Australian economy.
via Watts Up With That?
December 27, 2022 at 12:55PM