OK, here we go, a little bit.I think dumb a F means hydrogen is dumb as fuck.
Which it kinda is.
We are going to decarbonise our world economy. Fastest wins, looser is a cunt, and probably a poor cunt.
Right now, wind and solar prices are dropping and will continue to drop, whilst the tech becomes more efficient, more powerful and finds more applications. Great stuff. However:
a) A large and particularly CO2 heavy section of the economy — thermal power reliant industry — Think steel manufacturing, concrete manufacturing, industrial gas and feedstock manufacturing, aluminium etc etc — that is hard to decarbonise with electrons, at least with current tech and ideas.
b) Despite the increase in national grid tech, it is partially true that ‘The wind is not blowing and the sun isn’t shining, oh no!’. Battery storage is not a good long-term energy storage solution, in fact it’s kinda pants in the medium term even. We need a long-term energy carrier that can effectively store energy that is created insert for situations. At the end of the day great big carbon fibre tanks are a lot cheaper than batteries too.
c) Particular classes of transport, especially those which are heavy, large, and long distance, or those which require very rapid refuelling, which are unsuitable for battery tech. Ships, coaches, planes, locomotives, those massive crane at the docks.
Hydrogen is it incredibly efficient energy carrier and can be stored for long-term losing virtually zero energy. The conversion of hydrogen back to electricity is actually highly efficient. Double the efficiency of burning petrol at least and getting better all the time. It can also be combusted with zero carbon output. It solves all the issues above.
Until recently the cost of producing hydrogen has been significantly higher than natural gas, coal and other classic thermal energy feedstock. It is now clear that this will not be the case for much longer and in fact is already dropping considerably. Allowing for no further increases in the efficiency of hydrogen production, it is already going to be the case that by 2050 green hydrogen will cost less than one dollar a kilo simply based on the falling cost of solar power. At the same time, companies such as BOC, or predicting that efficiencies of scale will lead to similar scale price reductions, and and additionally, governments all over the world, research institutes, and private industry are investing massively in fuel cell and electrolyser technology. Electrolyser technology is likely to become 80% efficient in the near future.
All this adds up to a situation where green hydrogen is very very cheap. It will possibly be cheaper than natural gas by 2030 in most places. Despite what you might think the engineering challenges of transporting and storing hydrogen are not really challenges. They are simply things we are not doing at the moment because hydrogen is expensive. We have the tech to do them in the same way we have the tech to store petrol in the back of your car right now.
So the hydrogen economy is coming. It will help decarbonise the last parts of our economy, such as steel creation and concrete creation, and in combination with photovoltaic power will allow near a 100% clean economy. You can think what you like, but the literal trillions of dollars being invested in it worldwide say your point of view is wrong. At the end of the day it’s thermodynamics and dollars. It’s a simple as that.