Hydrogen strategy will cost us dear
THE government has published its long-awaited Hydrogen Strategy. Hydrogen is often represented as the answer to all our problems – clean, green, cheap, abundant and so on.
It is in fact none of these things. Indeed, hydrogen is not even an energy source, but an energy carrier, which needs enormous amounts of energy to create it. Much of this energy is wasted in the process.
There are primarily two ways of producing hydrogen:
1) Steam reforming – this involves heating natural gas to 800C in a process which produces vast amounts of carbon dioxide, which rather makes the whole concept pointless. Even if carbon capture is used, which still does not exist as a commercially viable operation, it has been estimated that the upstream emissions of carbon dioxide will still be greater than burning the natural gas instead. This is because you would need to use 25 per cent more natural gas to make hydrogen than if it was used directly for heat .
2) Electrolysis – this uses renewable electricity, but is generally acknowledged to be a small-scale operation, incapable of meeting the UK’s needs. It is also a highly wasteful process, needing twice as much electricity than the equivalent energy produced.
Given the inefficiency of each process and the cost of building and running the plants needed, hydrogen is inevitably much more costly than natural gas. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) estimate that hydrogen from steam reforming will cost three times as much as natural gas, while electrolysis would double the cost of steam reformed hydrogen.
The government hopes that these costs will drop substantially, but this is absurd, given the intrinsic inefficiencies involved.
On top of these extra costs, the cost of converting household appliances could be between £50billion and £100billion, according to the CCC. Then there is the problem of storage, as gas is mostly used in winter.
The government’s new strategy revolves around subsidising the production of hydrogen via Contracts for Difference, the scheme currently deployed for offshore wind. It is likely that the cost of these subsidies will be added to our energy bills, which already include the £11billion a year cost of subsidising renewable electricity. Subsidies for hydrogen will dwarf that figure if it is rolled out in scale, with estimates suggesting that household gas bills could triple.
Naturally the hydrogen lobby has welcomed the new strategy. Companies such as BP, SSE, ARUP and Centrica are queuing up for their share of these subsidies. It is the public, however, who will end up paying the bill.
John Redwood and the BBC
Conservative MP John Redwood had a strange experience with the BBC the other day.
During an interview he had pointed out the inconvenient truth that Germany’s emissions of carbon dioxide were double ours. Shortly afterwards, he received an email from them asking him to prove his statement. Clearly the BBC are so utterly prejudiced that it never occurred to them that he might be right. It is of course true that Germany is a bigger country, but their per capita emissions are still 43 per cent greater than ours.
Redwood took the time to show them the data proving he was right. He was therefore astonished when the BBC insisted it had to write a long ‘factcheck’ anyway. This attempted to show that if you use consumption-based figures, that is the emissions produced on the stuff we consume rather than the emissions we actually produce in the UK, Germany’s per capita emissions were only 25 per cent higher!
However inconvenient the BBC may find it, the UN rules state quite clearly that each country must measure and target its own territorially produced emissions, and not consumption-based ones.
It seems the BBC are aligning themselves with Greta Thunberg, who last week accused Britain of creative carbon accounting and lying about its climate success simply because we are following UN rules. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/climate-and-people/uk-lying-climate-change-progress-says-greta-thunberg/
Of course, 18-year-old Greta wants us all to return to the days of short lives, disease, malnutrition and back-breaking toil which our ancestors endured a few hundred years ago.
Still, maybe we should do what the BBC want, and take a leaf out of Germany’s book. Let’s build a dozen new coal power stations and a natural gas pipeline to Putin’s Russia, and start manufacturing goods again instead of importing them from China.
CBS News: It’s not Biden’s fault – it’s climate change!
According to CBS, the Afghan calamity is not Sleepy Joe’s fault, but – you guessed it – climate change. They report:
‘Rural Afghanistan has been rocked by climate change. The past three decades have brought floods and drought that have destroyed crops and left people hungry. And the Taliban — likely without knowing climate change was the cause — has taken advantage of that pain.’
The official UN data clearly shows that agricultural output in Afghanistan has been booming since 1990:
Source: UN Food & Agriculture Organisation
It is quite astonishing that CBS can get away with such outright lies.
The forgotten flood disaster of North Vietnam
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Red River floods after torrential rain in North Vietnam, which left an estimated 100,000 dead. The disaster has been described as one of the century’s worst weather events, but little news came out at the time because of the Vietnam War.
If such an event were to occur now, the BBC would immediately call for World Communism!