Tag Archives: hydrogen

Households face £2,300 bills under net zero plans

Lower CO2 emissions to limit global warming and climate change. Concept with manager hand turning knob to reduce levels of CO2. New technology to decarbonize industry, energy and transport


By Paul Homewood

h/t Philip Bratby

Just one more cost burden from Net Zero:

Households face £2,300 bills under net zero plans (telegraph.co.uk)

The cost of decommissioning the grid could reach a total of £65bn, according to a draft National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) report.

It is the first time a public body has examined the future of the 176,000-mile network of buried pipes, which serves eight in ten homes but risks becoming obsolete under plans to reach net zero carbon emissions. Unused pipes must be removed or they risk decay and experts fear the potential collapse of roads.

Households could be left to foot the bill through higher energy bills or taxes since there is no provision for decommissioning in current government budgets, and energy companies are not obliged to cover the costs.

The NIC did not dispute the figures when contacted, although an insider insisted the report was a draft and could change before final publication next month.

The NIC believes the grid could theoretically be converted to carry hydrogen, which is cleaner, but that would also come at cost of “tens of billions of pounds” and there are doubts over the suitability of hydrogen as a mass heating solution.

Senior Conservatives said the figures raised serious questions about the Government’s plan to reach net zero by 2050.

Craig Mackinlay, a Tory MP who chairs the Net Zero Scrutiny Group in Parliament, said: “Bit by bit, the true astronomical cost of net zero is being revealed, and it’s far from clear the products we are being forced to switch to are any better than their forebears.

“The forced conversion from gas boilers to heat pumps appears to be a case in point; it will also leave the country with a vast network of redundant infrastructure that will take tens of billions of pounds to decommission.

“I’m worried the command and control approach to net zero that the Government is taking will leave us with a cost of living crisis that stretches far into the future.”

The prospect of hydrogen heating looked “dead in the water”, Mr Mackinlay added, after Grant Shapps, the former energy secretary, appeared to rule it out in July.

Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, the former business and energy secretary, said the Government’s net zero plans were “stuck in cloud cuckoo land”.

He said: “The Government cannot decommission the gas grid, because it can’t afford to.

“They have got to look very seriously at whether the legal obligation to reach net zero is realistic.”

However, Kwasi Kwarteng, another former business and energy secretary, said the costs of decommissioning was “hypothetical”.

He said: “Given the infrastructure we’ve got, it doesn’t make sense to decommission the whole grid at vast expense. I cannot see a government doing that.

“It’s unrealistic to expect that all household heating in this country will be electrified.”

Under current proposals for households and businesses to “stop unabated burning of natural gas”, ministers are backing electric heat pumps as the main replacement for gas-fired boilers.

But if most households ditch their boilers, the existing gas grid cannot just be switched off and left in the ground due to safety concerns.

One industry source said: “We’ve got large-diameter pipes criss-crossing major cities. If we were to just turn them off and not maintain them, they would decay – and roads could start falling in.”

Shutting down the gas grid would be a complex but gradual process as people switch to alternative technologies, requiring engineers to safely close off certain areas while allowing gas to keep flowing in others.

The ultimate fate of the network, which was privatised by Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1986, will depend on how much is repurposed to carry hydrogen.

At least some of the grid is likely to be used to supply hydrogen to heavy industry, which cannot easily decarbonise, in future. But ministers are waiting until 2026 to decide whether hydrogen will also be used for home heating.

Many experts have also poured cold water on that idea, pointing out that hydrogen is energy-intensive to produce and must be burned in much higher quantities than natural gas to produce the same amount of heat.

In the meantime, the monopoly owners of the gas networks continue to invest billions of pounds in upgrades, replacing metal pipes with plastic ones, in a programme that stretches into the 2030s.

These investments will be paid for by consumers through their bills – in addition to any future cost of decommissioning.

Dr Richard Lowes, an expert in heating at Exeter University, said the Government should review whether the upgrade programme was still good value for money or would make energy bills unnecessarily higher.

He also warned that as more households abandon gas, those still using the network could be forced to shoulder an ever-larger share of decommissioning costs – raising the risk that those who cannot afford a heat pump become financially “trapped”.

Dr Lowes said: “It’s a huge issue and no one [in the Government] has got their head around this properly.

“Fundamentally, there’s two options: You pay for it through bills, or via the tax system.”

One way to ensure the burden is spread fairly would be for the Government to nationalise the network, which is valued today at about £20bn, he said.

A government spokesman said: “This claim is simply untrue. Our gas network will always be part of our energy system and therefore any such estimations are wrong.

“We have and will always put affordability at the heart of our approach to improving it. We will continue to work with the industry to explore if using hydrogen offers value for money for consumers and meets the required safety standards.”


The govt response is the usual head in the sand one.

“Our gas network will always be part of our energy system “

Seriously? What will it be carrying then – certainly not gas! And not much in the way of hydrogen either by all reports.

For all of the promises of a golden Net Zero future in thirty years time, the harsh and undeniable reality is that there are enormous costs to be paid for, both now and in the next decade or two. It is no consolation to be told we might be a bit better off long after we are dead!

This story also highlights a very serious dilemma.

As more and more households stop using gas, per govt plans, the increasingly small number still using gas will have to pay a much bigger share of the overheads associated with the gas network, and not just these decommissioning costs. As this very good article outlines, the alternative will be for government to assume responsibility for the gas grid and its costs.

A further problem, also outlined, is how we will be able to gradually decommission the gas grid, district by district. If, say, there are a few homes in a street still using gas, will their gas supply simply be cut off regardless?

End of the line: first adopter of hydrogen trains last year opts for all-electric future

From Tallbloke’s Talkshop

 August 5, 2023 by oldbrew

German hydrogen train [image credit: Euractiv]

Being known as the misery line didn’t help the case for hydrogen trains, with a third of the train drivers resigning amid various operational difficulties. One German state estimated hydrogen trains would be 80% more expensive to run than electric over a 30-year period.
– – –
The state-owned public transport company responsible for introducing the world’s first hydrogen-only railway line last year has effectively ruled out using any more H2 trains, saying that battery-electric models “are cheaper to operate”, reports Hydrogen Insight.

LNVG, which is owned by the government of Lower Saxony, had invested more than €93m ($85m) in 14 hydrogen fuel-cell trains, which began operating in August 2022.

The federal government also contributed a further €8.4m — €4.3m of which was spent on the world’s first H2 train refuelling station, built by Linde in the town of Bremervörde.

Two Alstom Coradia iLint hydrogen trains had been tested on the line — between Cuxhaven and Buxtehude — since 2018, when they became the first ever H2 trains put into commercial operation.

However, the Lower Saxony government has now announced that it will replace the remainder of its diesel trains by 2037, not with any hydrogen models, but with 102 battery-electric “multiple units” — a tender for which will be held this year — and a further 27 non-battery electric trains on one particular route that will be completely electrified (Osnabrück – Oldenburg).

The state’s Ministry for Economic Affairs, Transport, Building and Digitisation explains that battery trains can be powered by overhead electricity lines (ie, catenary systems), or be charged by what it calls “charging islands” — and can operate without constant contact with the overhead cables.

“The basis for the purchase of the new battery-powered is market research into alternative drives, which LNVG carried out,” the ministry said in a statement. “In particular, trains with hydrogen drives and batteries were considered. Result: battery trains are cheaper to operate.”

Full report here.

The U.K. Is Banning Gas Boilers by 2035, but Are Heat Pumps Really the Answer?

From Daily Sceptic


Heat pumps are being hailed as the solution to the U.K.’s decarbonising its homes by 2035 when a ban on the sale of new gas boilers kicks in. But their expense, noise, high costs and installation challenges are just some of the hurdles they need to overcome if they are to meet the Government’s ambitious targets. The BBC has more.

The way we heat our homes is changing.

As the world moves away from fossil fuels, we will be saying goodbye to our gas fires and boilers – and instead electrifying the heating systems in our homes

Extinguishing the fires in our homes is a big change, human beings evolved around the comfort of a campfire.

So, what will this mean for you – and the systems that deliver the energy we depend upon?

In just 12 years’ time you won’t be able to buy a gas boiler any more.

The Government has ordered that sales of new ones will be banned from 2035.

Heating our homes accounts for as much as 16% of the U.K.’s planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions.

The front-runner in the race to replace our boilers is undoubtedly the heat pump.

There is a very simple reason why – they are extraordinarily efficient.

They cost more than gas boilers, but for every unit of energy you put in, you get up to three units of heat out.

Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, it is not quite as simple as that.

Heat pumps produce hot water at lower temperatures than gas boilers.

That means to get the heat into your home, it is a good idea to have bigger radiators.

And you will keep more of the heat in if your home is well-insulated and has double glazing. But doing that additional work can massively add to your costs.

Typically it costs £10,000 to buy and install a heat pump.

And there is another issue.

Unit for unit, electricity typically costs three times as much as gas.

That means even though your new heat pump is three times as efficient as your gas boiler it costs about the same to run.

There’s a £5,000 grant to help householders with the costs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland is more generous, it offers £7,500.

But critics say that is not enough and that people need more help if the Government is going to get anywhere near its target of 600,000 new heat pump installations every year by 2028.

At the moment it is way below that.

There were just 60,000 heat pumps installed in the U.K. last year, making it one of the slowest adopters of this new technology in Europe.

At current rates of installation, it will take more than 400 years before every British home has a heat pump.

So far fewer than 12,000 grants have been cashed – perhaps because it only covers the cost of the pump itself, and not the installation.

And even if households are able to pay, there is another barrier to hitting the Government’s heat pump targets.

The U.K. only has 4,000 trained heat-pump installers – it is estimated we will need 33,000 by 2028.

There are other electric heating systems – immersion boilers, electric fires, fan heaters and infra-red radiators, for example – but none of these is as efficient as heat pumps.

An alternative could be hydrogen-powered boilers.

They are just like your existing gas boiler – so no need for a new set of radiators – except that they burn hydrogen instead of natural gas.

But using hydrogen has its problems – for a start, where would it all come from?

Most of the readily available hydrogen is locked up in the water of our oceans.

The cleanest and greenest way to produce it would be to use electricity, through a process called electrolysis – but most of the time it would be more efficient just to use that electricity to heat our homes with heat pumps.

We could produce hydrogen from the natural gas we currently use, but we would then have to find a way to stop all the carbon dioxide (CO2) the process produces from going into the atmosphere.

The CO2 could be captured and pumped underground – but that is expensive and has never been done at scale before.

What is more, hydrogen boilers have not proved popular with the public.

trial scheme in Ellesmere Port has just been cancelled after residents refused to have new boilers installed in their homes.

Whatever choices we make about how we heat our homes in future one thing is certain, we are going to need a lot more electricity.

And it all needs to be green.

Worth reading in full.

Hydrogen, no matter the colour, cannot stop the looming renewable energy train crash


By Paul Homewood

h/t Paul Kolk

What a delight to read an article written by an actual energy expert, instead of some dopey environmental reporter!

The Royal Society of Chemistry describes hydrogen as “a colourless, odourless gas”. It’s up there at the top if the Periodic Table: Group 1, Period 1. It is the most abundant gas in the universe, but on Earth it is mostly found bound with oxygen in the form of water – very little hydrogen gas is present in the atmosphere as it quickly escapes the Earth’s gravity and floats away into outer space.

Yet this ephemeral gas is touted as the solution to the great looming problem of renewable power – carbon free energy storage at scale. The obvious issues with relying on intermittent wind and solar energy can be solved by using excess renewable energy on sunny, windy days to produce hydrogen gas. This can then be stored for use on less windy days, whether that be by direct combustion to generate heat, or to generate electricity, or in other industrial uses.

The different ways in which this invisible element can be produced have been assigned different colours: green, blue, brown, yellow, turquoise and pink hydrogen. Also, white hydrogen. Helpfully, there is no universal naming convention so hydrogen colour definitions may change over time, or between countries.

Green hydrogen is the “best” hydrogen, made by using that surplus renewable energy to electrolyse water, splitting it into its components of hydrogen and oxygen, emitting zero carbon dioxide. Some say yellow hydrogen if solar power is used. This is currently a very expensive way to make hydrogen and represents less than 0.4 percent of current hydrogen production.

Blue hydrogen is produced from methane – the “natural gas” currently piped to our homes for heating and cooking – using a process called steam reforming, which combines the methane with steam to produce hydrogen but also carbon dioxide which then needs to be captured and stored. The carbon capture part is the difficulty, with only one percent of existing projects including this capability.

Grey hydrogen is essentially blue hydrogen but without the carbon capture part. Almost all the hydrogen currently produced is made by this method.

Black and brown hydrogen are made from coal (black) or lignite (brown) and these methods emit even more carbon dioxide than grey hydrogen. This type of hydrogen is obviously not going to form part of the net zero pathway.

Pink hydrogen is generated through electrolysis powered by nuclear energy – this is also referred to as purple or red hydrogen. Like green hydrogen, this is zero-carbon but expensive.

Turquoise hydrogen is made using a process called methane pyrolysis to turn natural gas into hydrogen and solid carbon. This relatively new process is yet to be proven at scale, but the production of solid carbon would obviously reduce the challenges associated with carbon capture and storage.

Finally, white hydrogen is naturally occurring hydrogen, found in underground deposits. It might perhaps be extracted through fracking, a process already effectively banned in many places. It has been talked up for decades but, according to the National Grid, there are still “no strategies to exploit this hydrogen at present”.

Apart from the black and brown hydrogen this all sounds lovely. Quite literally, one can picture a gleaming future where horrible, sooty, carbon dioxide (because we all picture it as being sooty despite the fact it’s also colourless and odourless) is replaced with a beautiful rainbow of lovely, clean hydrogen, whose only byproduct on combustion with oxygen is water.

However, it is far from being that simple, or that clean. To begin with, hydrogen is one of the most explosive and flammable gases – the airship Hindenburg was filled with it – but its real challenges relate to the fact its molecules are very small and as a gas it has very low density. This means that hydrogen is hard to contain and large volumes of it are needed to generate much energy. You need around three times the volume of hydrogen as compared to methane to get the same amount of energy.

Tiny hydrogen molecules fit through tiny gaps, so structures designed to contain methane such as pipes, joints, boilers and cookers, and gas storage facilities such as tanks or geological formations (salt caverns or depleted gas fields) allow hydrogen molecules to escape where methane molecules would not. Tests suggest that the safety concerns this creates are mitigated by the lightness of hydrogen which means it quickly dissipates, but leakage also worsens the economics of using hydrogen as an energy store.

In other words, you need to use up almost a third of your gas just moving it from A to B.

Hydrogen is also hard to move around. To get gas to move through pipes it has to be compressed and pushed along using compressors. This process requires energy: the losses in moving hydrogen through pipes are ten times greater for hydrogen than for methane: up to thirty percent. In other words, you need to use up almost a third of your gas just moving it from A to B.

Hydrogen can also cause the metals in pipes and storage equipment to become brittle leading to material degradation and potential safety issues. Special materials or coatings may mitigate these effects, but they add further complexity and cost to an already complex and expensive system.

In fact, all of this is expensive. The infrastructure for hydrogen storage does not yet exist, neither for the most part do the production facilities and they will cost billions of pounds to build. Then the underlying cost of storing hydrogen is probably at least four times that of storing methane. Huge amounts of energy are lost in each stage of the process due to the fundamental properties of hydrogen.

Quite simply hydrogen is one of the worst substances you could choose for this purpose, but, because you can burn it in air without creating carbon dioxide, it has been hailed as the answer to net zero dreams.

Like its cousin, carbon capture, hydrogen energy storage is a backfill technology – a silver bullet that will enable the otherwise unlikely net zero target to be met, but neither actually exists yet. Both are square pegs which people are desperately trying to force into round holes.

Hydrogen of whatever colour is a hypothetical solution to the challenge of net zero, and an extremely expensive one at that. And this goes to the heart of the net zero problem: it relies on developing a range of solutions that are easy to say but difficult and expensive to do.

Who will be left to pay for all of this? We will.

Kathryn Porter is an independent energy consultant. She holds a Master’s degree in Physics and an MBA, and is an associate member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Energy Studies executive council

Is There A Future For White Hydrogen?–John Thorogood


Guest Post by John Thorogood

AEP is the most contradictory correspondent I’ve ever come across.  I’m ashamed to say that, despite the number of Nobel prize winners my old Cambridge college produced, he went there as well!  Sometimes, when he knows what he’s talking about (economics), he writes remarkably good sense and, especially, about Brexit (hahaha)!  However, on climate issues, he’s a sock puppet for the climate vested interested rent-seekers and his normally incisive intelligence totally deserts him. 

Having said that, abiogenic hydrogen is well known and, a few years ago there was an epic fail in Sweden in a drilling project on the Siljan ring led by a Cornell U academic Thomas Gold. 

http://www.geotimes.org/oct05/feature_abiogenicoil.html .

AEP’s article on white hydrogen is, generally, quite sound although from an engineering point of view I will take issue with his comment that “hydrogen has a little understood and incalculable advantage over fossil fuels”.  It plays hell with metallurgy which compromises steel properties (hydrogen embrittlement) and is incredibly dangerous to handle because (unlike town gas, a mixture of hydrogen, methane and carbon monoxide) it is odourless.

The key point he quotes from Prof Gluyas at Durham is “Nobody has yet made a commercial discovery ready for the market. As soon as one happens, there is going to be absolute frenzy”.  The operative word being “commercial”, i.e.: unsubsidised, unlike all other renewables, see above remark about rent-seekers……

Conclusion: academically this source of hydrogen (and also helium) has been known for a long time.  The latter being produced commercially in the USA and other places.  The challenge with hydrogen being the simple economics of exploring for it, being able to drill the resource economically and then design a production system to handle, transport and distribute it safely and at a price which won’t destroy our economies.  

I’ve spent the last week working at the vast Wilton chemical complex and it caused me to reflect just how much of everything we do or use (beyond mere hydrocarbon-based fuels) depends on vast volumes of oil and gas.  When hydrocarbon production ceases, today’s civilisation comes to a full stop.  But then that’s what Pol Pot tried in Cambodia back in the 1970s and see where that ended up.

Ellesmere Port Residents Derail Hydrogen Heating Trial

From Watts Up With That?

BBC News

Residents in Whitby, Ellesmere Port, have managed to halt the controversial plan to turn their village into a trial site for a hydrogen-powered community. The project, spearheaded by gas firm Cadent, has been scrapped after substantial local opposition, with disgruntled residents likening themselves to “lab rats.”

The proposal aimed to test the viability of hydrogen gas for domestic homes, but encountered a storm of resistance from locals. Energy Minister Lord Martin Callanan confirmed the termination of Whitby’s role in the trial, emphasizing that

“there is no strong local support.”


Ignoring Safety Concerns and Public Consent

The plan, viewed by residents as more an experiment than a viable pathway to decarbonisation, proposed to replace residents’ natural gas supplies with pure hydrogen from 2025. Justin Madders, Labour MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, summed up the concerns of many, stating,

“It is clear that asking people to try experimental new forms of energy consumption for their homes will not work unless basic questions about safety, efficacy and cost can be answered from the start.”


The proposal drew further criticism for being imposed on the local community without their consent. Madders commented,

“leaving people with the impression that this was happening without their consent sent entirely the wrong message out about how we need to tackle climate change.”


A Defeat for Cadent

In the face of the project’s cancellation, Cadent claimed that the aborted plan would still play an “invaluable role in shaping how the UK heats its homes and businesses,” glossing over the fact that its efforts had faced an unequivocal rejection by the residents of Whitby.

Despite Cadent’s insistence that it was likely the government would still progress the trial in Redcar, the whole episode serves as a stark reminder of the pitfalls of pushing experimental energy solutions without adequately addressing public concerns and obtaining local consent. The residents of Ellesmere Port have sent a clear message that they won’t be turned into guinea pigs for unproven and potentially risky energy initiatives.


Aussie Government Admits the Green Energy Revolution will Require Lots of Coal

Watts Up With That?

Essay by Eric Worrall

“… Each new megawatt of solar power requires 35-45 tonnes of steel, which still needs iron ore and coal …”

Critical minerals ‘main event’ in climate change action

By Marion Rae
Updated June 26 2023 – 12:41pm, first published 12:38pm

More mining, not less, is needed to support the world’s climate change targets and avert an energy shortage, a global summit has been told.

The shift to clean energy systems is gaining momentum, and unlike previous transformation it relies on critical minerals and rare earths, Resources Minister Madeleine King said on Monday at a mining symposium in Brisbane.

An onshore wind power plant requires nine times more mineral resources than a gas-fired power plant, Ms King said.

Each new megawatt of solar power requires 35-45 tonnes of steel, which still needs iron ore and coal despite “exciting developments” in hydrogen that may eventually lead to Australia producing green steel.

“That remains distant, so metallurgical coal will remain a necessary component of steel for some time to come,” she said.

Critical minerals are “not a sideshow for clean energy, it’s really part of the main event”.

…Read more: https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/8246914/critical-minerals-main-event-in-climate-change-action/

Its refreshing to see Canberra Times mention some cold hard facts, even if they are mixed with fantasies about the shift to clean energy systems gaining momentum.

The reality is nobody knows where the minerals required for clean energy targets will come from. In 2019 Foreign Policy analysed what would be required, one of the requirements was a 2000% increase in Lithium production: (2050 – 2023) x 2000% = 540 years worth of current Lithium production to hit Net Zero by 2050.

The minister mentions “hydrogen” smelted green steel. For now industrial scale green steel is a pipe dream. Iron ore can be smelted using hydrogen rather than coal, but the process is expensive, because all traces of hydrogen must be removed from the final product. The slightest hydrogen contamination in steel causes embrittlement, which leads to serious and difficult to detect structural defects in the final product.

If you add green regulatory hostility towards industry, spiralling energy prices, a struggling manufacturing sector, and aggressive enforcement of environmental regulations to the gross shortfall of green mineral resources, it is not difficult to see why the world is on track for a big Net Zero miss.

Is Green Hydrogen Being Overhyped? 

From Tallbloke’s Talkshop

May 27, 2023 by oldbrew 

Credit: Scottish Power

Plenty of talk but not very much action, it seems. The author notes that ‘the small size of hydrogen molecules poses safety and greenhouse gas-related risks that must be mitigated’, while most current gas grids can’t cope with more than 20% hydrogen content anyway. Affordability looks at least questionable. Such issues will require years of effort and expense to even attempt to get to grips with.
– – –
The global discourse on addressing climate change, energy transition, and investments is currently dominated by the topic of green hydrogen, says Dr. Cyril Widdershoven @ OilPrice.com.

The media frenzy surrounding the expanding array of projects, subsidy schemes, and international strategies is fueled by the influence of Washington’s IRA plans and the EU’s energy strategic projects.

It appears as if the choice for a post-hydrocarbon world has already been made, with green hydrogen or its derivative, green ammonia, emerging as the favored options. Western parties remain highly optimistic, as large-scale renewable energy initiatives are closely tied to these alternatives.

However, it is crucial to bring realism into the discussion. This aspect should be addressed sooner rather than later.

During the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha, Saudi Ministry of Energy Abdulaziz bin Salman highlighted the skepticism, stating, “People talk about hydrogen as the fuel of the future… but who is going to be the offtaker?”

Abdulaziz bin Salman emphasized that hydrogen lacks a clear market price, which inhibits its development. He questioned the prevailing discussions on various types of hydrogen, such as blue, green, purple, or pink, by emphasizing the need for identified offtakers and clear policies in this regard.

Amin Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco, previously stated that blue hydrogen costs $250 per barrel of oil equivalent (boe), which suggests that customers in the EU, Japan, or South Korea would not be willing to procure it at such prices.

Additionally, Bloomberg reported that despite the exponential growth of the green hydrogen project list, investors remain unconvinced about financing them.

Currently, there is a proliferation of hydrogen projects being proposed, but only a mere 7% of them have secured financing to commence construction. Bloomberg New Energy Finance has highlighted that this financing reality sharply contradicts the expectations set by the IRA and EU strategic plans.

Financial institutions remain highly skeptical about the feasibility of economically and affordably producing large volumes of green hydrogen.

According to some industry insiders who spoke to Bloomberg, while there are numerous project announcements, very few are actually being realized on the ground.

Full article here.

    Saudis Demand Hydrogen Enthusiasts Back their Hype with Money

    From Watts Up With That?

    Essay by Eric Worrall

    “… we will not sanction a project without securing an off-take agreement.”.

    Aramco Weighs LNG Exports as Hydrogen Talks Prove Tough

    May 11, 2023

    Aramco weighs LNG exports as hydrogen talks prove tough. 

    Saudi Aramco is weighing exports of liquefied natural gas instead of blue hydrogen, as talks with potential buyers of the latter fuel prove tough.

    Yet existing technology means blue hydrogen could cost the equivalent of around $250 a barrel of oil, Aramco’s chief executive officer said.

    Amin Nasser, for blue hydrogen said on a call with analysts:

    It is very difficult to identify any off-take agreement in Europe.

    “Even the customers in Japan and Korea are waiting for government incentives. Until they get these incentives, it’ll be costly for them to pursue that blue hydrogen.

    “This is a very expensive program,” Nasser said. “It’s a lot of capital and you need customers. So we will not sanction a project without securing an off-take agreement.”

    …Read more: https://hydrogen-central.com/aramco-weighs-lng-exports-hydrogen-talks-prove-tough/

    Blue hydrogen is produced from fossil fuel, but the CO2 is supposed to be buried via carbon sequestration.

    I wish our politicians were smart enough to wait until there is an actual demand for product, before blowing billions of taxpayer dollars on building infrastructure to produce hydrogen which nobody genuinely wants.

    As for the Saudis, I suspect they will eventually embrace the low risk option of exporting low cost natural gas to countries with hydrogen programmes, so those who claim to support the hydrogen economy can also carry the financial risk of building the infrastructure.

    The Saudi position seems crystal clear and rational. It’s tough to justify building expensive climate friendly hydrogen facilities, when despite all the noisy hype, nobody genuinely wants the product.

    Hydrogen Fraud? The Newest Twist in Australia’s Renewable Energy Insanity

    From Watts Up With That?

    Essay by Eric Worrall

    h/t SteveG; 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.

    …Read more: https://www.miragenews.com/hydrogen-headstart-to-power-new-jobs-industry-1002248/

    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.