Why the future belongs to decentralised renewables, not centralised hydrogen and giga-scale nuclear

IIASA building in Austria

What the future of our energy system will look like continues to be a subject of heated debate. According to one well-established tradition, writes Professor John Mathews of Macquarie University in Australia, the route to decarbonisation will run via massive nuclear power systems to the hydrogen economy. But China and to some extent India are emerging as the principal practitioners of an alternative vision of energy growth, underpinning their … [Read more...]

Stephane Quere, Innovation Director Engie: “Hydrogen is a big topic for us”

Engie first CSP project in South Africa

Hydrogen, which can be used to store energy, produce electricity and fuel vehicles, is one of the innovation priorities for French energy giant Engie (€70 billion revenue). This is a company that prides itself on its diversity however, explains Stephane Quere, Innovation Director at Engie, with activities stretching from Europe to Africa and Asia, and businesses from gas distribution to security systems. Some of the main priorities for Engie are … [Read more...]

Biofuels turn out to be a climate mistake

Great Lakes BioEnergy Research Center in 2008 (photo Open University)

Biofuels are usually regarded as inherently carbon-neutral, but once all emissions associated with growing feedstock crops and manufacturing biofuel are factored in, they actually increase CO2 emissions rather than reducing them, writes John DeCicco of the University of Michigan. According to DeCicco, biofuels are actually more harmful to the climate than gasoline. Courtesy of The Conversation. … [Read more...]

Using clean cars as power plants: it can be done in the UAE

Toyoto HFCV

The combined engine capacity of the new cars we build in just one year is more than the entire electricity generation capacity in the world. If we power our cars with fuel cells, we can use them as clean power plants the 96% of the time we are not driving in them, generating all the electricity we need, at competitive costs, with zero emissions. Frank Wouters, Director of the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network, and Ad van Wijk, Professor Future Energy … [Read more...]

100% solar?

solar eclipse (photo NASA)

Some argue that the world can be 100% powered by solar energy, but this is too simplistic, writes David Hone, Chief Climate Change Advisor for Royal Dutch Shell. He points out that solar PV delivers only electricity, which makes up just 20% of final energy use, and argues that other energy demands are better served by other low-carbon options, such as hydrogen and synthesis gas. A recent Shell publication indicates that 30% solar power by 2100 is … [Read more...]

The hydrogen economy is much nearer than we think  

Toyoto fuel cell vehicle photo Toyota UK-slider

For over 30 years promoters of green energy have proclaimed the hydrogen economy is around the corner. Now this could finally become true. While some energy experts claim that hydrogen from renewable energy is prohibitively expensive, companies like ITM in the UK are proving in the market that this technology is already competitive. They produce hydrogen for use in cars and in the form of power-to-gas to be used in the gas network. Energy … [Read more...]

Toyota vs. Tesla – can Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicles compete with electric vehicles?

Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Class B (photo Marlordo59)

Author:  Tony Seba Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs) appear to be making a comeback. But according to author, lecturer and entrepreneur Tony Seba, HFCVs can't compete with electric vehicles. "The hydrogen economy would be a massively wasteful economy that would at best use three to six times more energy than an electric vehicle and solar/wind infrastructure and many times more water than even gasoline uses." … [Read more...]