Making ‘Green’ Hydrogen From Part-Time Wind and Solar = Mission Impossible

The only ‘value’ in weather-dependent wind and sunshine-dependent solar comes from the subsidies they attract. There is, of course, no commercial value in an energy source that cannot be delivered as and when consumers need it.

In plenty of places around the globe, the subsidies are on the wane. But renewable energy rent-seekers reckon they’re on a sure-fire winner with their cunning plan to convert chaotically intermittent wind and solar into hydrogen gas, and to then charge a premium by adding the tag “green” to distinguish it from its competitors.

The first-order fault with that line is that turning those costly and intermittent sources into hydrogen gas is positively insane, on every level. Hence the loud and early calls for massive subsidies for hydrogen gas production, and even more subsidies for the wind and solar needed to produce it.

If producing industrial volumes of hydrogen using electricity were even vaguely economic, then the obvious way of doing so would be to use coal-fired power; the cheapest and most reliable power source, of all. But that’s not the point and purpose of the great hydrogen hoax. This is about corporate greed and rent-seeking.

The rules of physics (not least thermodynamics) mean that, whatever the power source, more energy will be expended than will ever be returned from the process of turning electricity into hydrogen gas, storing and distributing it – which means it cannot ever result in a net energy benefit. In other words, the whole “green” hydrogen thing is an exercise in wasting phenomenal amounts of precious energy, allowing renewable energy rent-seekers to rake in mountains of cash, all drawn from unwitting taxpayers.

Frank Lasee is a former Wisconsin state senator and former member of Governor Scott Walker’s administration. Frank outlines the fact that making so-called “green” hydrogen from part-time wind and solar amounts to mission impossible.

The Expensive Impossibility of Green Hydrogen From Part-Time Wind and Solar
Real Clear Energy
Fank Lasee
10 April 2023

There has been some new thinking from the anti-CO2 religionists. The fact that the world is desperately short of lithium and cobalt for electric vehicle batteries, at the scale they want to force, is dawning on them. There isn’t enough and likely will not be enough in the coming decades to meet the electricity batteries demand. Certainly not enough for grid-scale electric batteries too.

The climate alarmists haven’t let the facts get in the way of their unrealistic green fantasy of averting climate doom with part-time wind and solar. That it could, somehow, replace all the coal, oil, and natural gas we use, which provide us with 80% of our energy.

Except there’s one huge, huge problem: wind and solar produce little or no energy 70% of the time.

Reliable, full-time, on-demand electricity keeps the heat going and the lights on when it is dark, and the wind is not blowing. The new expensive, impractical, and impossible federal $9.5 billion hydrogen subsidies talking point is wasted spending.

Green hydrogen – made from wind and solar – is not practical and is a very expensive form of energy storage and transport.

Hydrogen is not a fuel. Hydrogen must be created; it must be made from another energy source, just as electricity must be made from other energy sources.

No one is making green hydrogen at scale because it is difficult, expensive and requires major factories. Spoiler alert, there isn’t excess “green” energy – wind and solar – to make hydrogen with.

Green hydrogen requires 13 times more water than the hydrogen produced. Sea water must be desalinated first for an added cost. More water is needed for cooling. So, it is a good idea to locate hydrogen facilities near abundant water sources, not in the chronically short of water western U.S.

Then the water must be heated to 2,000 degrees and electrocuted. Then the hydrogen must be super chilled to near absolute zero. Then it’s compressed to 10,000 psi, three times the psi of an average scuba tank. Then you have usable hydrogen-liquid, super-cold, compressed hydrogen. This is an expensive, energy-intensive process.

The insurmountable problem with this process is that it cannot be turned on an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset when solar panels provide the electricity needed. Or turned on when the wind blows and turned off when the wind stops.

In the absence of some other energy storage device to store the “over-produced” wind and solar electricity, “green” hydrogen is impossible. The costs of over-building wind and solar, then adding batteries to provide a steady stream of 24/7 electricity to make “green” hydrogen is astronomical. And in 10-15 years when the wind towers and solar panels wear out, or when the batteries need to be replaced every 10 years, you need to essentially start over.

Green hydrogen sounds good. And there is a well-funded industry of selling it and obscuring the truth. They have to cover up the facts and mislead people in order for the government and investor gravy train to keep them in business.

Don’t fall for the green hydrogen hype. It just doesn’t make sense. Apply a little common sense and critical thinking and you will join me in opposing this waste of money.

The hydrogen lobby duped congress to provide $9.5 billion for hydrogen hubs. Even red states – who know this is a boondoggle – are attempting to land this federal largesse.

Because it will ‘create’ jobs with borrowed taxpayer money. I remind you that the US is $31 trillion in debt, with estimates it will balloon to over $50 trillion over the next decade.

These hydrogen jobs will last only as long as the subsidies do. Then like the Obama U.S. solar revolution, they will go bankrupt.
Real Clear Energy


May 13, 2023 at 02:31AM

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