Dashed Hopes: Wind & Solar Acolytes Horrified by Great Renewables-to-Hydrogen-Gas Hoax

Delusional, sure, but wind and solar worshippers are not altogether stupid. At least some of them have worked out that the ‘renewables-to-hydrogen’ story is an enormous hoax.

The true eco-loon wants to do away with fossil fuels, and the sooner the better. However, it’s just dawned on them that hydrogen gas is just another fuel to burn in the same way that natural gas is used to power us.

And that leaves fossil fuels as the incumbent power generation source, for decades to come, simply because there is no such thing as a hydrogen gas generation industry; and the cost of developing such an industry would be astronomical.

Eric Worral takes a look at the hydrogen hoax through the eyes of The Guardian, with surprising results.

The Guardian Finally Wakes Up to the Climate Friendly Hydrogen Economy Joke
Watts Up With That?
Eric Worral
9 May 2021

Hydrogen bubbles forming on the negative terminal of a battery in a glass of salt water. Do not try this at home – if you do this for more than a few seconds, things can get very messy, as the battery package can rapidly corrode and rupture, and spill chemical nasties. The salt contaminated battery is also a fire hazard.

The Guardian grudgingly admitting that, unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy cannot be relied upon to produce affordable hydrogen for the foreseeable future. Now if only they would take that thought a little further.

Using hydrogen fuel risks locking in reliance on fossil fuels, researchers warn
The Guardian
Damian Carrington
7 May 2021

Using hydrogen-based fuels for cars and home heating risks locking in a dependency on fossil fuels and failing to tackle the climate crisis, according to a new analysis.

Fuels produced from hydrogen can be used as straight replacements for oil and gas and can be low-carbon, if renewable electricity is used to produce these “e-fuels”. However, the research found that using the electricity directly to power cars and warm houses was far more efficient.

Renewable electricity production is increasing rapidly as costs tumble. But it still makes up a small proportion of all energy used, which is mostly provided by coal, oil and gas. Using the electricity directly is efficient, but requires investment in new types of car and heating systems.

Using the electricity to create hydrogen from water and then using carbon dioxide to manufacture other fuels can produce “drop-in” replacements for fossil fuels. But the new study concludes this cannot work on a large enough scale to tackle the climate emergency in time.

“Hydrogen-based fuels can be a great clean energy carrier, yet their costs and associated risks are also great,” said Falko Ueckerdt, at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany, who led the research.

“If we cling to combustion technologies and hope to feed them with hydrogen-based fuels, and these turn out to be too costly and scarce, then we will end up burning further oil and gas,” he said. “We should therefore prioritise those precious hydrogen-based fuels for applications for which they are indispensable: long-distance aviation, feedstocks in chemical production and steel production.”
The Guardian

The abstract of the study;

Potential and risks of hydrogen-based e-fuels in climate change mitigation
Nature Climate Change 11, 384-393 (2021)
Falko Ueckerdt, Christian Bauer, Alois Dirnaichner, Jordan Everall, Romain Sacchi & Gunnar Luderer
6 May 2021

E-fuels promise to replace fossil fuels with renewable electricity without the demand-side transformations required for a direct electrification. However, e-fuels’ versatility is counterbalanced by their fragile climate effectiveness, high costs and uncertain availability. E-fuel mitigation costs are €800–1,200 per tCO2. Large-scale deployment could reduce costs to €20–270 per tCO2 until 2050, yet it is unlikely that e-fuels will become cheap and abundant early enough. Neglecting demand-side transformations threatens to lock in a fossil-fuel dependency if e-fuels fall short of expectations. Sensible climate policy supports e-fuel deployment while hedging against the risk of their unavailability at large scale. Policies should be guided by a ‘merit order of end uses’ that prioritizes hydrogen and e-fuels for sectors that are inaccessible to direct electrification.
Nature Climate Change 11, 384-393 (2021)

Using electricity to produce hydrogen is easy – just drop two electrodes running a DC current between them into sea water, and collect the hydrogen bubbles from the negative electrode.

But producing hydrogen this way using renewable electricity is impossibly expensive, compared to the cost of producing hydrogen using fossil fuel.

However renewable energy prices are plummeting, right? So to kick start the hydrogen economy, all we have to do is start the transition by producing hydrogen using fossil fuel or nuclear energy, then wait for the falling cost of renewables to drive a free market switch to producing the hydrogen using renewable energy.

The Potsdam study, and this Guardian article, is a grudging admission that this predicted transition to cheaper hydrogen produced using affordable renewable energy is not going to happen for decades, if ever.
Watts Up With That?

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Rosemary Howe-Mackay says:

    Please can you expose the parlous state of the National Electricity Grid and the proposed massive 500 kV transmission lines and huge transmission towers being inflicted on landowners across the Eastern Board, including NSW and Victoria.

    HumeLink (TransGrid) being one, Maragle to Bannaby (NSW) cutting across fertile agricultural properties and closely settled areas such as Bannister NSW.

    As you are aware, the Bannister District has already suffered the coming of the Gullen Range Wind Farm. It is circled by wind farms generally, Biala, Crookwell 2, Cullerin, Gunning, Collector – all can be viewed from the hills of Bannister.

    Resist-HumeLink Bannister is working to persuade governments and TransGrid to put HumeLink underground. Resist-HumeLink Bannister is informed that such technology is used extensively in Europe.

    There are similar active groups opposing or seeking to move the HumeLink corridor all along the line.

    There appears to be contradictory information being publicised about HumeLink ie collecting renewables (wind/solar) along the line when it appears, for the most part, to be a dedicated line for the transmission of power generated by Snowy 2.0.

    Meantime, landowners lives are placed on hold with the continuing delays by TransGrid.

    Landowners were first informed that they would be notified of the 200 metre corridor Dec 2020-Jan 2021. Then it was to be June 2021 and now it appears it may be August/September 2021. Landowners are not holding their breath.

    Landowners have been informed informally that the 80 metre corridor may be announced sometime in 2022. Again, landowners are not holding their breath.

    There are ageing landowners who want to sell their properties for a lifestyle change and, despite the current healthy rural market, these landowners plans are being held up by TransGrid.

    There are other landowners who were planning to build homes on their land. Such plans are also on hold.

    The stress for many landowners is enormous. Such uncertainty is a form of cruelty especially towards those wishing to retire from the land for many and varied reasons, including health issues.

    (Happy for you not to publish under this thread understanding it is not addressing the subject matter, but I am not sure how else to contact Stopthesethings. Rather than deleting my comment please can you start a new subject matter on the imposition of high voltage power lines on landowners.)

  2. Historical debate pro or con Wind and solar is NOT based on science and technique, but between those who $ benefit and those who pay. Astronomical profits are piling up in accounts of the very few who benefit, allowing them to corrupt media and politicians.
    It will never stop, dishonest public funding will explode, legal coertion will soon be implemented upon families (ref Boris infraction penalty scheme under preparation about gas burners mandatory replacement…) by law.
    It will collapse only when gigantic grid collapses will repeatedly
    occur in large countries, preferably Europe opening the eyes to fully discredited journalists and politicians who should be prosecuted for irreversible damage to property and economy.

  3. The plan is to let the wind and solar create energy to pump water up the hill where Jack will fetch water when the wind is still & Jill will be on the phone texting him about any obstacles on the way up. They will be the only two in the entire village below that have decent jobs anymore in order to ‘save the planet’ of carbon which is what the planet is made of. That water stored behind a dam then powers generators that make electricity non-intermittant. We take that energy and charge batteries the size of Mount Everest to keep back up power there for when wind and solar does not power the grids but there are days the wind does not blow for long periods so those back up systems only function for a few days, so we create more solar and wind farms to double the output, make more dams, pump more water up hill, so we can make more hydrogen. No one notices the water shortages starting to occur, eventually some do and suggest the solution is new pipelines from Canada and Mexico bringing in salty ocean water that the hydrogen power will desalinate. We will then have to add more hydrogen, wind, solar, and uphill energy storage dams and store that new hydrogen energy in massive containers that will float above the wind farms as there is no land left as solar and wind used the rest of the open spaces up. Problem solved.

  4. John Shewchuk says:

    There is nothing magic about green energy — except it’s illusion of promises … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5r0WPmbG2s

  5. Marc deroover says:

    Hydrogen storage is just a special kind of battery: energy needs to be created before it can stored.
    This article is about the cost of trying to make wind power work with batteries:

  6. I used to think that when the halfwits wrote “Renewable electricity production is increasing rapidly as costs tumble.” that they knew it was a lie (noble cause corruption).. now I know they are just too stupid to understand that subsidies/tax breaks and Renewable energy certificates help make them appear cheaper to the chattering classes..

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