September 28, 2021

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HOPE THE BLUE PROBLEM OF HYDROGEN FUEL

HOPE THE BLUE PROBLEM OF HYDROGEN FUEL

The day before yesterday, the British authorities presented their idea. They want the hydrogen investment to translate into 5 gigawatts of environmentally produced energy by 2030. The source, therefore, is to replace natural gas in supplying nearly 3 million homes, as well as parts of industry and transportation.

The government wants to spend about 900 million pounds on projects that use the new technology. Thus, it intends to attract another 4 billion pounds of investments and create 9 thousand job opportunities. Jobs in the newly created sector by the end of the decade. In the next twenty years, the plans will be more ambitious, because by 2050 investments will reach 13 billion pounds, and employment will exceed 100,000 people.

Hydrogen is primarily intended to support projects that cannot fully rely on electricity from batteries – such as for steelmaking, home heating or trucking. The government also wants to partially support the commercial development of hydrogen power plants.

The strategy assumes that so-called green hydrogen (and thus generated thanks to fully renewable energy sources) is to replace at least 20 percent. Gas today, and its share will continue to increase in the future. Until then, the government’s plans depend largely on using the cheapest so-called blue hydrogen produced from natural gas that then captures carbon dioxide.

However, plans to reduce hydrogen emissions may thwart the results of recent research. According to data published last week by researchers from Cornell and Stanford in the pages of Energy Science and Engineering, the carbon footprint of blue hydrogen production is larger than that of conventional fossil fuels such as gas or coal by up to about 20%. .

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The reason for this is the fuel production process that requires large amounts of energy. In addition, during its course, methane is released, which also has a negative effect on the environment. According to the scientists, this calls into question the expected environmental impact of such hydrogen in the planned investments.
Published research has the potential to increase the concentration of blue hydrogen in political debates.

Especially since some of the more environmentally minded parties are calling for stronger pressure only on the green type of gas. This is what the German Green Party is already doing. And their actions could put more pressure on existing natural gas producers who have high hopes for blue hydrogen. Such intentions were recently revealed, for example, by the BP concern.

Britain is another country that recently presented its ambitious hydrogen plans. Last year, the European Commission announced that hydrogen, also blue, would be an important fuel during decarbonization. US President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, recently passed by the US Senate, envisages spending $8 billion on hydrogen. – However, it does not specify exactly what kind of fuel the money will be spent on.

At the beginning of August, Sergei Komleo, Head of Gazprom’s Export Department, announced that the company, along with the Green New Deal being implemented in Europe, would switch to zero-emissions solutions, such as blue hydrogen, which would allow Russia to maintain its position as an energy leader. According to forecasts of the local Ministry of Energy, in the future Russia may export to other countries up to 33.4 million tons of hydrogen, worth 100.2 billion dollars, which will account for up to 20 percent. Global market in 2050

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In turn, at the end of last year, Canadian authorities announced that hydrogen can save up to 30 percent. The energy you need by the middle of this century. And although the country will develop fully green capabilities, it also intends to use blue hydrogen during the transition phase. According to the researchers, this solution “will control production until more renewables are built, and lowering the cost will accelerate the overall transition to renewable energy.”

Grzegorz Kowalczyk
19.08.2021

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