The new hydrogen economy will not just be global, it must be used as a major economic development opportunity for low income nations and promoting shared prosperity, explain Dolf Gielen, Silvia Carolina Lopez Rocha and Priyank Lathwal at the World Bank. They carefully lay out the obstacles and pathways for making hydrogen in developing countries. It’s very capital intensive, but such projects – think of existing fossil fuels, mining, etc. – have … [Read more...]
Can Global Shipping turn talk into action on reducing emissions?
This week the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) member states are meeting to find ways and agree on how to step up their climate goals. Strategies and targets have been presented, but agreement and binding commitments are needed urgently. There are big differences of opinion within the IMO, and it might turn out that regional and industry developments will drive change faster, explains Christiaan De Beukelaer at Durham University. For … [Read more...]
Modelling green Ammonia and Methanol in 2050. It will be expensive
Schalk Cloete starts by explaining that it is unrealistic to expect clean electrification to carry the main burden of energy supply. Even a fast roll out will be constrained by a range of infrastructure and cost limitations. Hence our continued dependence on fuels, with their high energy density and ease of transport. Those fuels will have to be made clean, so he summarises his co-authored papers that model the cost of green and blue ammonia and … [Read more...]
How to ramp up Hydrogen under the new REPowerEU targets
What needs to be done to develop hydrogen as a major fuel in Europe as the continent looks to diversify away from Russian oil and gas supplies? The war in Ukraine has led to the EU substantially raising its hydrogen ambitions. While the earlier “Fit for 55” target for 2030 was set at 5.6 Mt, the new REPowerEU strategy has increased the target to 20 Mt, to replace 50 bcm of Russian gas. That means, for example, the use of hydrogen in industrial … [Read more...]
What will an international marketplace for Hydrogen look like?
Though any nation can in theory make its own hydrogen, some will be able to do it much more cheaply than others. Herib Blanco at IRENA summarises their study that looks at the factors that determine the difference, along with the hydrogen transport costs that will influence the global trade that should emerge. By 2050, those transport costs could reach levels below $1/kgH2 once economies of scale are reached and supply chains are fully developed. … [Read more...]
Renewable Ammonia’s role in reducing dependence on Gas
Today, IRENA and the Ammonia Energy Association (AEA) released its “Innovation Outlook Renewable Ammonia” which updates in detail the current state and prospects for green ammonia as an energy carrier. Here, Dolf Gielen, Francisco Boshell and Gabriel Castellanos at IRENA and Kevin Rouwenhorst and Trevor Brown at the AEA summarise the findings. Worldwide ammonia production, though fossil-based, is already at-scale as a feedstock for fertiliser. So … [Read more...]
What’s best for Hydrogen transport: ammonia, liquid hydrogen, LOHC or pipelines?
The ability to transport hydrogen in bulk will mean clean energy can be taken where it’s needed, as easily as fossil fuels are today. But there is a cost involved in converting the hydrogen into something easy to transport (and un-converting it at the destination). Herib Blanco at IRENA summarises the findings of their paper that looks at those costs: a better understanding will enable us to choose the right pathways today fit for the next 30 … [Read more...]
Europe must simultaneously replace Russia’s fossil exports and accelerate its clean energy deployment
The Ukraine crisis has had an immediate impact on Europe’s strategy for energy supply security. And this week’s sudden halting of gas supplies by Russia to Poland and Bulgaria only emphasises the urgency. Dolf Gielen, Ricardo Gorini, Luis Janeiro and Seán Collins at IRENA look at the best options, basing their findings on their latest “World Energy Transitions Outlook”, published in March, that lays out a routemap for the next eight years for … [Read more...]
E-fuels for cars are expensive, and pollute the air as much as petrol
MEPs and governments are currently deciding on an EC proposal for all new cars sold from 2035 to be 100% zero-emissions. Here, T&E present test results that show e-fuels should not be allowed to replace petrol. T&E are concerned that e-fuels are being promoted as a way to prolong the life of ICE vehicles. But their tests show that e-fuels produce just as much NOx, three times more carbon monoxide, and twice as much ammonia. Though e-fuels … [Read more...]
Coal phase-out by 21 nations only accounts for 3.2% of global power. What about the others?
The 21 nations committed to coal phase-out only account for 3.2% of global electricity generation. Three - Belgium, Austria and Sweden – have already done so. The rest hope to by different dates, ranging to 2040. Asia is where the main problem is, and their transition challenges are well known: growing economies, and energy security. Carlos Fernández Alvarez at the IEA spells out their recommendations, and references case studies in Canada, the … [Read more...]
Green hydrogen-based fuels pivotal in decarbonising Shipping by 2050
The international shipping sector’s emission levels are comparable to Germany’s. Like aviation and heavy transport, reaching net-zero will need renewable fuels – direct electrification won’t be sufficient. Existing fossil fuel engines allow for biofuel blends of up to 20% without any modifications, and 100% methanol engines are a proven technology. Making sufficient quantities of clean fuels - without consuming food crops – is the challenge. … [Read more...]
Hydrogen: can gas, electricity and industrial majors agree on the next steps?
Here’s our written summary of our panel debate held on 16th June “Hydrogen: Designing the Net Zero Gas System”. With representatives from BASF, SNAM and ELIA to cover consumption, gas and electricity, there were plenty of differences of opinion. For example, with no end in sight for demand for green electricity for the grid, is it efficient to use some of it for hydrogen? Will subsidies for hydrogen skew markets away from industrial … [Read more...]
EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism lacks the detail to drive industry’s relocation near clean energy
High emissions industries should be relocated to where the cheap clean energy is. So long as the shipping costs (in terms of price and emissions) aren’t prohibitively high, those locations can be anywhere in the world. To get the calculations right, Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms (accounting for the emissions of imported goods) must be harmonised internationally. They must also – crucially – count all relevant emissions. But the EU’s draft … [Read more...]
Where to start building Hydrogen pipelines? Near industrial hubs for steel, ammonia, and plastics
Converting gas pipelines to carry hydrogen is going to be expensive. We don’t even know how much hydrogen we’ll really need in 2050, given electrification – the cheaper and preferred option to replace fossil fuels – will always be the first option. But we do know that certain industries like steel, ammonia, and plastics will always need hydrogen as a feedstock. Writing for WEF, Kevin Tu, Matthias Deutsch and Gniewomir Flis at Agora Energiewende … [Read more...]
Aviation and Shipping emissions: will Biden take on the challenge?
William Todts at Transport & Environment is very worried about the Biden administration’s approach to aviation and shipping emissions. The signals are that the U.S. wants to work through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). But they have neither the ability nor the means to spur technological breakthroughs. That matters, because it’s only the use of alternative fuels that can … [Read more...]