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Charley Rattan's picture
World Hydrogen Leader Charley Rattan Associates

UK based offshore wind & hydrogen corporate advisor and trainer; Faculty member World Hydrogen Leaders. Delivering global hydrogen and offshore wind corporate investment advice, business...

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  • May 17, 2020

Early movement with steel production involving hydrogen.




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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on May 18, 2020

Charley, some perspective:

Global primary energy supply: 157,599 TWh
Total energy required to reduce emissions by 1/3 with renewable hydrogen (1% of above number, per Forbes article): 1576 TWh
Global annual wind generation: 2,067 TWh
Hydrogen energy available after conversion (10% roundtrip efficiency): 20.7 TWh
1576 / 20.7 = 76.1
We'd have to erect 25,575,000 (75 x 341,000) new wind turbines then use them, together with the 341,000 existing wind turbines, just to make hydrogen from water, then steel from hydrogen.


  1. Where would they be built? Would making steel not be impossible in areas with little wind?
  2. What will generate the other 99% of global primary energy?


Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on May 19, 2020

Bob raises a good point. Steel making is a process that goes poorly if interrupted. Also, creating hydrogen from natural gas is much more cost effective.

The hydrogen-from-renewable feel-good-craze is an example of very shallow thinking that fails to examine the broader picture in terms of practicality and cost. Clearly, just more propaganda from the green religion.

A better approach is to use ill-timed green energy to produced hydrogen for use with a combined-cycle power plant. Specifically, use electrolysis to create hydrogen, store the gas and use it with duct burners used routinely with the boiler through which gas turbine exhaust flows. Combined-cycle power plant duct burners are routinely used to increase steam production to meet grid peaking needs. 
The process outlined above produces no CO2.

The green energy folks need to get beyond the 100% renewable mindset and look at the bigger picture. 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on May 19, 2020

"Also, creating hydrogen from natural gas is much more cost effective."

And here, Michael raises another good point: it's altogether conceivable oil majors view green hydrogen as only a means to "greenwash" electricity generated by burning fossil fuel gas - much more profitable.

Charley Rattan's picture
Charley Rattan on May 19, 2020

Maybe but some serious steel producers are actively engaged in the process.

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