Hydrogen—When Free Isn’t Cheap Enough -- Redux
- May 6, 2021 9:01 pm GMT
Should you believe in hydrogen? Well, yes. It’s number one on the periodic chart. It’s abundant. It powers suns. And without it, we wouldn’t have water.
The real question is: which applications would benefit from the use of hydrogen, and which won’t? In business and technology, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. If the economics, thermodynamics, and safety aspects say green hydrogen is not appropriate for the vast majority of transportation and power generation applications, then this is a special interests distraction the world cannot afford.
No breakthrough in technology will do away with the conversion losses associated with electrolysis, compression, or electrical conversion. These are fundamental physical processes.
For transportation and power generation, even if hydrogen is free, it’s not cheap enough. The linked paper shows why.
The Future of Energy Storage study is the ninth in the MIT Energy Initiative’s Future of series, which aims to shed light on a range of complex and vital issues involving energy and the environment.
Section 2 of this post will present a roadmap to decarbonization composed by a major California Utility and others. Section 3 will present major PV and/or storage projects in the U.S. that were announced recently.
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