Sign Here: Corporate Fraudsters Ready to Cash In On Grand ‘Green’ Hydrogen Plans

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Loose talk about fast bucks to be made in so-called ‘green’ hydrogen has shysters salivating. Much like the characters who have profited from the massive subsidies to utterly pointless wind and solar, the hydrogen huckster knows an opportunity when he sees one.

As Eric Worrall points out below, rebadging hydrogen produced in the conventional fashion (steam reforming or partial oxidation of methane and coal gasification) as “green hydrogen” allows for a substantial uptick in the price charged, with the unwitting consumer none the wiser.

Hydrogen Fraud? The Newest Twist in Australia’s Renewable Energy Insanity
Watts Up With That?
Eric Worrall
10 May 2023

Apparently a $2 billion headstart for the hydrogen economy will solve all our problems, and certification will reduce the risk of hydrogen fraud.

Hydrogen Headstart to power new jobs & industry

The Albanese Government’s second Budget is ensuring Australia can reach its potential as a renewable energy superpower, with $2 billion for a new Hydrogen Headstart program to scale up development of Australia’s renewable hydrogen industry.

This critical new investment is all about making Australia a global leader in green hydrogen, as competition for clean energy investment accelerates around the world.

The net zero transformation is the largest change to both Australia and the world’s economy since the industrial revolution. After a decade of policy inaction, Hydrogen Headstart contributes to the over $40 billion of investment by the Albanese Government to make Australia a renewable energy superpower.

The Albanese Government is helping to unlock clean industry growth through:

  • $2 billion for Hydrogen Headstart, providing revenue support for large‑scale renewable hydrogen projects through competitive hydrogen production contracts. These will help bridge the commercial gap for early projects and put Australia on course for up to a gigawatt of electrolyser capacity by 2030 through 2 to 3 flagship projects.
  • $38.2 million in funding for a Guarantee of Origin scheme, which will certify renewable energy and track and verify emissions from clean energy products – in particular hydrogen. This is critical funding to ensure Australia is seen as an attractive investment destination, to accelerate investment in an Australian hydrogen industry and to support access to future markets for verified renewable and clean products.
  • $2.0 million to establish a fund to support First Nations people and businesses to engage with hydrogen project proponents, planning processes and program design.

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This is going to be funnier than government attempts to contain European carousel fraud.

When you think about it, hydrogen fraud makes a lot of financial sense as a criminal money maker.

There is no way green industries can produce affordable hydrogen which can challenge the cost of producing hydrogen from fossil fuel, so you need a certificate to prove your absurdly expensive hydrogen has the correct green pedigree.

But hydrogen is fungible – nobody can tell post production whether the hydrogen came from steam reforming fossil fuel or renewable electrolysis, or even nuclear powered thermochemical processes. Maybe regulators could cast some doubt using isotopic analysis, but there would likely be enough natural variation for plausible deniability.

My prediction – nations with high levels of corruption and lax enforcement will become the global leaders in certified green hydrogen production, but they will get mad and start slinging accusations of racism when anyone demands to inspect their renewable powered hydrogen production plants.

It follows taxpayer’s money spent on Aussie and US hydrogen production is a complete waste of effort, because if a hydrogen market actually does develop, it will be dominated by hydrogen fraud.
Watts Up With That?