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  1. #1
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    The Future is Hydrogen

    The Hydrogen Economy's Time Is Approaching

    Governments should use some of the trillions marked for post-coronavirus stimulus spending to advance this green technology.
    By David Fickling
    May 9, 2020, 7:00 AM GMT+7
    https://www.bloomberg.com/asia



    More than hot air. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg/Getty Images David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.

    What sort of green stimulus does the world need?

    Technologies that reduce carbon emissions
    are one of the most effective targets for the trillions of dollars of spending tied to coronavirus relief programs, more than 200 central bankers, Group of 20 finance ministers and top academics concluded in a study released this week.

    There are three sets of clean power technologies that policymakers can focus on, each at varying stages of development. Most advanced are wind and solar, which are already cheaper to build than conventional energy almost everywhere in the world and in many places are even cheaper than operating existing fossil-fired generators.

    The best way for governments to increase the share of wind and solar generation is probably to encourage the build-out of transmission networks and reform power markets to reduce the advantages of fossil fuels, while leaving actual financing and construction to private investors.

    Next there are lithium-ion batteries. These are at an earlier stage of development and not quite competitive with existing technologies. In most places it still costs more to provide peaking power to the electricity grid with a back-up battery than with a gas turbine, and the cost of an electric car is substantially more than a gasoline-driven equivalent.

    Even there, though, they’re making inroads: Electric vehicles are far cheaper to operate than conventional ones, and batteries big enough to capture peak evening power demand can already compete with gas when integrated with wind and solar generators. As a result, batteries are well on the way to undercutting conventional technologies by the middle of this decade.

    It’s tempting to conclude that the fundamentals for clean energy are so positive that it barely needs support. That overlooks the fact that power generation and passenger cars are a surprisingly small share of the world’s emissions.

    If both sectors were fully switched to zero-carbon power tomorrow, we’d still have eliminated only about 40% to 50% of our carbon output. Another 25% comes from land use and agriculture — but the place where governments could make the biggest difference is the 20% of emissions that come from industrial activities.


    It’s the third technology that has the most potential here. Green hydrogen — produced by splitting water molecules apart with a renewable-powered electric current — is at a similar stage of development to wind and solar in the mid-2000s.

    Hydrogen has potential in an array of industrial uses where traditional renewables are unsuitable, such as steelmaking, cement and heavy trucking. If stored underground, it could even provide back-up power for electricity grids.

    BloombergNEF estimates that hydrogen could meet 24% of the world’s energy needs by 2050, with annual sales of $200 billion to $700 billion. At the higher end, that’s almost half the size of the current oil market, where turnover is typically in the region of $1.5 trillion or more a year. 1

    There’s just one problem: the vast amount of power needed to produce it. BloombergNEF estimates it would take 31,320 terawatt-hours of electricity to hit its 24% target. That’s more than the roughly 26,000 TWh that the entire world generated from all sources last year, of which just 10,000 TWh came from zero-carbon sources. Wind and solar make up less than 3,000 TWh.

    If that seems impossibly ambitious, it’s worth remembering that renewables competing with fossil fuels on cost also seemed pie-in-the-sky until quite recently. Economist Nicholas Stern’s influential 2006 review of climate economics argued it shouldn’t be expected to happen until the 2030s at least.
    What changed is the array of government-backed demand-inducing policies through the 2000s and 2010s, which gave strong incentives to build more wind and solar capacity, such as Germany’s feed-in tariffs for solar and the U.S. renewable portfolio standards for wind. These were probably more important than research and development spending in getting renewables off the ground. Once a technology is relatively mature, the best way to bring down costs isn’t to make laboratory breakthroughs, but to just build much bigger factories.

    What would such a policy look like for H2? Governments should provide subsidies to bring the cost of green hydrogen below conventional sources of energy. The trucking, steel and cement industries should be given mandates forcing them to switch, say, 30% of production to hydrogen power by 2030. Subsidies over the next decade will need to total $150 billion, according to BloombergNEF — but that’s relatively small in the context of trillions of stimulus spending.


    BloombergNEF

    If such policies can set green hydrogen on the same virtuous circle of demand increases and cost declines, it will start making inroads into other sectors, such as fertilizer manufacturing, grid energy storage and shipping fuel. It might even offer a way out for the world’s stricken oil companies, whose infrastructure and expertise could be transferred from a sunset industry to a new growth field.

    Green hydrogen won’t solve all our problems. In the short term, stimulus money is probably best spent on humdrum activities that get less-skilled labor moving, such as insulating houses and installing them with solar panels. In the long term, though, hydrogen offers a way out of our triple crisis of weak post-coronavirus demand, a foundering energy sector, and climate change.
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  2. #2
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Thailand Expat VocalNeal's Avatar
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    You need electricity to produce hydrogen.

    It all boils down to energy per cubic volume. How much energy can be crammed into the smallest place and how long a refill takes. Supply chain logistics.

    Base source of electricity

    Can all existing vehicles be refitted to run on hydrogen.

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    It has been the future now for 50 years at least. I observed it for that time. It will remain the future forever.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    You need electricity to produce hydrogen.

    It all boils down to energy per cubic volume. How much energy can be crammed into the smallest place and how long a refill takes. Supply chain logistics.

    Base source of electricity

    Can all existing vehicles be refitted to run on hydrogen.
    Some future generation might realise we don't need to produce anything at all for a clean, unlimited source of energy that we're sitting on.

    The worlds deepest borehole is the Kola Superdeep Borehole, and goes almost halfway to the mantle. It started in 1970, and aside from interesting stuff like fossils of microscopic single-cell marine plants found at four miles down, and rocks over 2.5bn years old, drilling finally stopped at 40,230 feet in 1989 due to the earth's core radiating temperatures of more than 500 degrees centigrade. The project was formally abandoned in 2005 and the 9" hole was sealed 3 years later.

    30 years of tech could probably take us a bit deeper, and there will be other issues and logistics to consider, but even 7.5 miles should be deep enough to begin harvesting unlimited natural energy.

    Sure it'll cost, everything does nowadays, but the potential rewards are exponential, and if the Russians could do it with eighties tech I reckon it's worth a serious stab. Doesn't bother me, would be nice, or leave it to the next lot.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    It has been the future now for 50 years at least. I observed it for that time. It will remain the future forever.
    indeed, if it could happened before, it would have happened already

    there was also that nice project running cars with compressed air and it worked, the IP was bought by oil companies, and the technology disappeared

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat lom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    there was also that nice project running cars with compressed air and it worked, the IP was bought by oil companies, and the technology disappeared
    It was an inefficient way of converting one type of energy to another, air is a poor energy storage medium.
    You'll need a lot of it so you have to compress it highly which takes energy to do..

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lom View Post
    It was an inefficient way of converting one type of energy to another, air is a poor energy storage medium.
    You'll need a lot of it so you have to compress it highly which takes energy to do..
    it was compressed air, something used already in a lot of industries, so nothing wasted

    could be plugged in into a power outlet, low powered compressor et voila

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat lom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    it was compressed air, something used already in a lot of industries, so nothing wasted

    could be plugged in into a power outlet, low powered compressor et voila
    What is it you don't understand with that it has to be higly compressed in order to get some volume into a car tank?
    The pressure of compressed air used in the industry is not enough and it was not free, it took energy to compress it and you'd still have to use more energy to compress it for car usage.

    This is science DF, stay away from it and concentrate on something non-scientific like economy where you can redefine rules whenever suitable.
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  10. #10
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    I think Hydrogen storage and leaks are still a problem. I vaguely remember a hydrogen car being shown at school many moons again. Was it a 30's or 40's design with a hydrogen tank on the roof? Anyway, I realise things have come further along since then but detecting a gas leak and it's consequences? How do you control the gas production from the tank(s) on the way to the ignition chamber and how much space will the tanks take?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jabir View Post
    Some future generation might realise we don't need to produce anything at all for a clean, unlimited source of energy that we're sitting on.

    The worlds deepest borehole is the Kola Superdeep Borehole, and goes almost halfway to the mantle. It started in 1970, and aside from interesting stuff like fossils of microscopic single-cell marine plants found at four miles down, and rocks over 2.5bn years old, drilling finally stopped at 40,230 feet in 1989 due to the earth's core radiating temperatures of more than 500 degrees centigrade. The project was formally abandoned in 2005 and the 9" hole was sealed 3 years later.

    30 years of tech could probably take us a bit deeper, and there will be other issues and logistics to consider, but even 7.5 miles should be deep enough to begin harvesting unlimited natural energy.

    Sure it'll cost, everything does nowadays, but the potential rewards are exponential, and if the Russians could do it with eighties tech I reckon it's worth a serious stab. Doesn't bother me, would be nice, or leave it to the next lot.

    That borehole is the subject of some of my science lessons. Apparently, it is located in what is now a corner of a disused car park in Murmansk.........

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43 View Post
    That borehole is the subject of some of my science lessons. Apparently, it is located in what is now a corner of a disused car park in Murmansk.........
    ...a good place for Ladas...the bore hole, not the disused car park...

  13. #13
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    The future is not to be dependent upon them.

    Dull learning curve, apparently -

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    What about hydrogen?

    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD View Post



    For hydrogen-fuelled vehicles, the biggest obstacle is the lack of refuelling stations.

    Fiona Simon, CEO of the Australian Hydrogen Council, says this is key to widespread adoption of the technology, and this can be achieved if industry and government work together.
    "Overseas, governments and industry have collaborated to establish the supporting infrastructure," she says.


    Chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel is leading the development of a National Hydrogen Strategy, which is due to be completed at the end of the year.
    If the plan mandates a national hydrogen refuelling network, this could very quickly lead to HFCEVs becoming viable in the local market.
    Dr Munnings is a strong advocate for a mix of hydrogen and electric vehicles.

    He explains that hydrogen may be better suited to long distance, back-to-base transport such as buses and long-haul trucks, while electric vehicles are a good solution for the light passenger vehicle market.
    "If we want to get to the point where we have clean air in our cities we need both," Dr Munnings says.

  15. #15
    or TizYou?
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    The Future is Hydrogen-hindenburg_disaster-jpg

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    The future is electric. Just gotta stop for 6 hours every 60km.

  17. #17
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    multiple hydrogen plants are being considered for Australia - using solar and wind to create the gas - for both domestic and export

    pilot plants are running or being constructed in most states

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    Quote Originally Posted by armstrong View Post
    The future is electric. Just gotta stop for 6 hours every 60km.

    They go over 300km with a 20 minute charge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baldrick View Post
    multiple hydrogen plants are being considered for Australia - using solar and wind to create the gas - for both domestic and export

    pilot plants are running or being constructed in most states

    Sounds like the always so successful plans fully financed by governments, because governments know best - how to waste money. Like solar mirror concentrating powerplants. Always government sponsored projects, never making it to commercial usefulness.

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    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Dig, it's right there.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabir View Post
    Dig, it's right there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lom View Post
    What is it you don't understand with that it has to be higly compressed in order to get some volume into a car tank?
    The pressure of compressed air used in the industry is not enough and it was not free, it took energy to compress it and you'd still have to use more energy to compress it for car usage.

    This is science DF, stay away from it and concentrate on something non-scientific like economy where you can redefine rules whenever suitable.
    what is it you don't understand that powering an air compressor doesn't take more energy than charging your Telsa or powering your entire house everyday

    stick to bitcoin mining, since you are confusing science with playing with toys

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    Compressing air is very lossy. If you compress it a lot, it becomes hot. That's much of the total energy expended for compression and it is lost as the heat dissipates.

    Besides the energy you can store that way is miniscule.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat lom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    what is it you don't understand that powering an air compressor doesn't take more energy than charging your Telsa or powering your entire house everyday
    Oh, the second coming from DF.
    Read the first law of thermodynamic you fekkin clown and then try to understand about the loss you get when transforming one type of energy into another type and then further into a third type.
    Storing energy efficiently is not a simple problem solved by an economy buff like you who is only used to ever changing floating rules and theories.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by lom View Post
    Oh, the second coming from DF.
    Read the first law of thermodynamic you fekkin clown and then try to understand about the loss you get when transforming one type of energy into another type and then further into a third type.
    Storing energy efficiently is not a simple problem solved by an economy buff like you who is only used to ever changing floating rules and theories.
    holly fuck, what is it you don't understand, you scientific genius, do you have Asperger too? of course it's an economy issue, it's always one. And last time I check, Science wasn't static, floating rules and theories are constantly changing. God, you lab nerds are hopeless!!!

    a small air compressor doesn't take much energy to run, and the point is not how much heat it dissipates (are you a green activist)? who the fuck care it doesn't follow some kind of "scientific optimization" that only lab rats can masturbate on. Most of the tech we used in the world are not "scientifically efficient".

    Do you think the world population efficiently use their laptop when they surf porn all day? how much heat do you think it dissipated when they do? was it scientifically optimized?

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