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Podcast / Audio

44. Hydrogen... it's complicated - Redefining Energy podcast

image credit: Credit: Redefining Energy
Laurent Segalen's picture
CEO, Megawatt-X

Laurent is a Franco-British financier, founder of Megawatt-X, the London-based global platform for Renewable Energy Assets. For the past twenty years, Laurent has been trading and managing...

  • Member since 2019
  • 174 items added with 154,434 views
  • Feb 15, 2021

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Why are engineers, politicians and financiers talking about Hydrogen all the time? And why are they throwing billions of subsidies or investment in companies in that sector?

Is Hydrogen a problem, with its hundreds of millions tonnes of CO2 emissions per year or a “Swiss Army Knife” solution that will help decarbonise Mobility, Heating and God knows what?

Should decarbonising the current Hydrogen production be the initial goal? Carbon Capture, Electrolysers: do those technologies make sense from an economic perspective, are there technology breakthroughs ahead or does someone will have to foot the bill?

Rather than trying to fix the fuel, should we not instead switch the fuel and electrify everything?

Those are all the subjects that are covered in this long Episode, and answers are… complicated.

Fortunately, we have our friend Paul Martin on the show, to try to make sense of all those options, and dissociate the Hope from the Hype.


Finally, a lot of good material from our friend John Poljack



Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Feb 15, 2021

It's hard to know what hype to believe in and which is a sales pitch-- who has a stake in hydrogen taking off and who would suffer if it succeeded, etc. But having experts like yourselves slices through the tough questions is imperative, so thanks for doing so!

Roger Arnold's picture
Roger Arnold on Feb 15, 2021

Really excellent podcast. One point I'd like to reemphasize: at present, for all practical purposes, there is no such thing as green hydrogen! There's plenty of electrolytic hydrogen, but the electricity used to make it comes from the grid. In almost all cases, the carbon footprint for that electricity gives the hydrogen made a higher carbon footprint even than "gray" hydrogen made natural gas without CCS.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Feb 16, 2021

"One point I'd like to reemphasize: at present, for all practical purposes, there is no such thing as green hydrogen!"

Thanks Roger. I'd like to emphasize your re-emphasis, because it can't be emphasized enough.

And I'll add that all evidence points to green hydrogen being a green illusion, bought and paid for by natural gas interests, to guarantee a market for climate-killing methane - the feedstock of 95% of the world's hydrogen.

That can't be emphasized enough, either.

Laurent Segalen's picture
Laurent Segalen on Feb 16, 2021

Thanks guys for your comments. Feedback is key to help us improve the show!

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Feb 17, 2021

Thanks for bringing up this topic. From everything I have seen and read H2 is mainly a system that is not as efficient as solar and just delays progress in the best true Renewable energy sources . Solar, wind, Hydro and geo thermal are here now and already proven. While green hydrogen is always 10 years away. If made from electrolysis it takes away our clean valuable water like coal, NG and Nuclear do .  

Laurent Segalen's picture
Thank Laurent for the Post!
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