Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

CAElite t1_ivea6oz wrote

Always amazes me particularly in the mass transportation debate over BEV vs HEVs.

A couple of petrochemical companies fund studies being complimentary over hydrogen, that’s the view of it tainted forever.

Government which owns 80% of the worlds lithium reserves constantly hypes up BEVs, must be entirely legitimate!

To anyone with any engineering sense, hydrogen makes sense, it’s lighter, more recyclable (carbon fibre tanks vs rare earth metal batteries), more similar to current usage cases, doesn’t require the rebuilding of power grids and has huge propensity for energy independent production. The only hurdle currently with green hydrogen is it’s energy requirements, which are A. Always falling as innovations occur and B. And relatively easy hurdle to overcome with green energy.


SweetBiscuit t1_ivecz66 wrote

Not just that, but the relentless criticism of hydrogen for not immediately being green.

Case in point, we had a proof of concept tanker ship transport hydrogen from Australia to Japan recently, and most of the comments were attacking it because the hydrogen was made via fossil fuels rather than focusing on the feat itself (and at the same time they're still making posts about it being impossible to transport?)

Redditors seem completely fine accepting that batteries are currently charged with electricity from fossil fuels, and that eventually it will all be renewables - and that's 100% ok, but why is hydrogen not allowed the same grace period?

The money is in green hydrogen, all the big companies know that. But first they need to test the logistics of it all using what we currently have (brown/blue hydrogen).

My other pet peeve is how Reddit will steer every argument back to small passenger cars, BEV vs FCEV. Cars are only one piece of the puzzle, and hydrogen is not competing with your teslas


TG-Sucks t1_ivflzuy wrote

Make a post anywhere, futurology, science, doesn’t matter, that has anything to do with hydrogen technology, and watch the armchair scientists of Reddit gather with their pitchforks and rehashed, tired arguments. You can set your clock to it. It’s absolutely absurd, every year there’s more and more money invested in hydrogen technology, including by some of the biggest companies in the world, yet these idiots think they are sitting on some deep insight that CTO’s and top engineers all over the world are just missing, because they watched some video on YT.

Doesn’t matter, hydrogen tech is coming either way, but 40 years from now these people will still maintain that they’re right and it’s all just a scam.


YpsilonY t1_ived72w wrote

>The only hurdle currently with green hydrogen is it’s energy requirements

Disagree on that. I think this is the major issue with hydrogen and the reason it's not competitive with BEV's and never will be. You speak about the availability of green energy as it that wasn't a major issue that we are already decades behind on. What matters now is that we reduce the amount of fossil fuel usage as fast as possible. There are two tools for that: 1. Increasing green energy generation 2. Reducing demand through more efficient usage. HEV's are, by their very nature, less efficient in terms of kwh/km than BEV's.

There are applications where using hydrogen makes sense. Personal vehicles are not one of them. Using our precious green energy for it is a waste.


CAElite t1_ivee2ow wrote

I simply disagree, we do not have an availability issue with green energy, we have a geographic issue with green energy, in that it simply isn’t produced where people need it. You can see examples of this all over the world.

To cite my home country, Scotland, where our highlands produce over 200% of their energy requirements from wind & hydro. However where these sites are population is extremely sparse, meaning there are massive grid transmission issues getting the power to where it is needed. There’s a great video on this here highlighting Orkney

To cite a larger more relevant example to global warming, China, who currently have both the largest expansion of coal power with the largest expansion of wind & hydro. The problems they are facing is their green energy is situated predominantly in the sparsely populated west, with their industrial power houses being along the eastern coast, needing supplemented by coal generation, as China does not have adequate gas sources for cleaner generation ( here’s a good more in depth documentary on Chinese energy infrastructure). They are experimenting with extremely high voltage transmission lines however they are still problematic with the huge distances involved.

Grid transmission is a massive issue, and one that is being exacerbated by BEV usage, home chargers are already a huge grid issue we are seeing here in Scotland with the stress of substations and dated residential transmission lines, we have seen a 200-300% uptick in localised grid demand in affluent areas here, and that is even with our very small <5% EV adoption.

This is where many hydrogen schemes come in, it can be produced in large volumes at green energy production sites, and shipped or piped out, the same way gas & oil production happen today. Without requiring a near rebuilding of our energy grid. Where there’s losses on on paper efficiency, which is ever reducing with Japanese firms predicting an 80% production efficiency in the next 5 years (up from 30-40% in the last 5) there is potential to save billions on grid infrastructure. If you want a good video on Japans hydrogen development I think this is a good one: although it’s focusing in a big way on the nuclear production of hydrogen, which is a fairly new concept, conventional production is being helped lately with the advent of carbon nano fibre filters & catalyst bases.


CriticalUnit t1_ivf2zj5 wrote

> To cite my home country, Scotland,

Where 5 million people live and little to no heavy industry is.

You might have well suggested that the entire world follow the example of Iceland or Costa Rica.

>we do not have an availability issue with green energy

We have an OVERALL energy availability issue. Or have you been asleep this decade? To say we do not have an availability issue with green energy is just pure ignorance about energy in general


CAElite t1_ivf3p7v wrote

Did you bother reading the rest of my post where I literally said China was a larger more relevant example that experiences the same issues.

There is not an availability issue of green energy in most of the world, however there are geographic and transmission challenges.

I can’t recall a good source of the studies but there was a lot of feasibility studies done on Saharan solar energy to be exported to industrialised Europe/Turkey, but the transmission is an astronomical barrier.


CriticalUnit t1_ivf4kf7 wrote

> China was a larger more relevant example

Yes, they still have blackouts and industry shutdowns due to lack of electricity, green or otherwise.

This dream of shipping hydrogen isn't going to help, because you need 3x the energy to be generated and massive transportation needed to get it where the demand is. (in a situation where there is already not enough TOTAL energy)
You may not think it, but the reality is that it's easier to just build more grid transmission than roll out the rube goldberg hydrogen infrastructure needed.

>There is not an availability issue of green energy in most of the world

Again, this is 100% wrong. There is a massive lack of green energy generation happening. Now there is no lack of green energy POTENTIAL in most of the world, but we are significantly lacking in actual production.

>the transmission is an astronomical barrier.

Transportation of hydrogen is an astronomical barrier too. But you conveniently ignore that.

EDIT: Downvote all you want. It doesn't change the reality.


SweetBiscuit t1_iveepxe wrote

>the major issue with hydrogen and the reason it's not competitive with BEV's and never will be.

Even if this were true (it's not), small passenger vehicles are just a small piece of the decarbonisation puzzle, it's extremely narrow minded to keep coming back to this argument.

>Using our precious green energy for it is a waste.

The fact is, green energy is not precious in some places. We have vast solar and wind arrays in the Australian desert that make green energy out the wazoo, but getting that energy to where it's needed is a different story.

They actually make so much excess green energy that they're mining bloody cryptocurrency with it.

From the above article:

"Renewable energy projects are already not being allowed to connect to the grid due to curtailment and others are suffering heavy losses when they switch off at times of low consumption,” he said. “We keep using the power 24/7 and that’s a huge benefit to the renewables developers, it makes their projects more financially viable. “We are basically like a sponge. We soak up the excess that’s not used.”

What the plan is - is instead of letting crypto grifters use it to make imaginary internet coins, we use it to make green hydrogen on site, which can then be loaded onto ships and shipped anywhere in the world, particularly places like Japan with very little access to their own wind and solar.

And this is what's happening now here in Western Australia. The projects are already underway, the infrastructure is being built, and the contracts with Japan already signed. None of this is hypothetical.

So why fight it? Green energy, exported to the world. Should be right up /r/futurology 's alley.


stu54 t1_ivee4fm wrote

Also, storage is a problem. Natural gas can be liquefied and fed into a distribution system as needed. Hydrogen requires much more extreme pressures and temperatures for that.

You might think hydrogen could just be produced on demand then, but on demand power is already the biggest problem with post fossil fuel energy systems.


SweetBiscuit t1_iveei0r wrote

>Also, storage is a problem.

It's really not, this argument is very outdated. We've shipped hydrogen from Australia to Japan already, and our existing LNG pipelines can handle hydrogen just fine with zero leakage.

The simple solution to the temperature issue is converting to ammonia, which will be happening anyway because we need it for fertiliser.


stu54 t1_iveh0ci wrote

I don't think you are being honest with yourself about the costs of hydrogen compression or conversion to ammonia. Both options require substantial energy. Just because storage and transport has been done doesn't mean it wasn't expensive.


SweetBiscuit t1_ivelf4i wrote

>Both options require substantial energy. Just because storage and transport has been done doesn't mean it wasn't expensive.

That's...pretty much how all new technology works. It's prohibitively expensive until eventually it's not.

The companies funding these hydrogen projects are throwing billions of their own money at the problem. If they thought that the price would always be an issue, they wouldn't even waste their time.

But they've done their homework, hired people much smarter than you or I to do feasability studies, and believe cheap green hydrogen is possible within the next few years.

So what could possibly be the point of attacking them for trying? It seems to be an almost personal issue for redditors on /r/futurology