Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Hydrogen Revolution

As countries progress towards getting a smaller percentage of their energy from fossil fuels, hydrogen fuel is one of the least discussed alternatives. But Marco Alvera believes it may make up 25% of our energy uses by 2050, as he discusses in his very recent book, The Hydrogen Revolution.

The key insight is that hydrogen can work well to bridge the gap between the energy sources we already have. Hydrogen as an energy source on its own is not so useful; it takes a lot of energy to separate hydrogen and thus create H2 . But, when you consider the role it can play between our existing systems, it suddenly becomes a game changer.

Solar and wind can offer a great deal of power when conditions are just right, but when they're not, they need to be backed up. Currently, they are backed up by fossil-fuels, because batteries are just too expensive (resource intensive) to do the job. Hcan act as a sort of battery. The intermittent renewable sources can be used to create Hwhen they are abundant, and the H2 can be converted into energy when they are not.

Hcan be transported in much the same way as natural gas, through pipeline infrastructure that already exists to carry gas, and through compression and transportation as liquids as currently occurs with nat gas.

But unlike nat gas, the byproduct from burning His not a greenhouse gas, it's water! The technology is already there, now what's required is continued improvements and the collective will to make the changes towards net-zero.   

I didn't always understand the scientific explanations in the book, but otherwise I enjoyed it. It goes into detail on the history of our usage of hydrogen, the latest technologies available, the use cases of these technologies and how hydrogen can help do the job better than renewables on their own. Enjoy!

1 comment:

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