For any regular readers, you would have seen my article from a few days ago. When people are writing articles comparing the emissions from generating electricity to the tailpipe emissions of the combustion engine – any one with a brain is asking why? Given you are not comparing like for like. We estimate that our carbon emissions reductions from replacing our car may reach 10 tonnes a year. Each fill up of our petrol car meant about 40kg of petrol, which took 110kg of emissions to dig it out of the ground and transport it (often around the world).
So from an environmental position, yes it certainly makes sense.
Montpelier had set aside $33 million for this project, over 2 years. This decision was made, after local officials realized that electric buses would be 6 times cheaper to run. This price included the building of a plant to make the hydrogen.
In terms of cost, it was estimated that the buses (for which the council was given help buying but not for running costs) would cost 3 million euros to run, yet only 500,000 for electric. The per mile price was 0.15 euro instead of 0.95.
Although they were going to be helped in purchasing, the hydrogen buses are also between 150000-200000 euros more to buy in the first place.
The myriad reasons that hydrogen is not a good idea have been obvious for some time. Green hydrogen (much of hydrogen is taken out of gas- obviously a nonstarter if your aim is reducing carbon emissions) requires a great deal of electricity to split water, and it would be far more efficient to just put that electricity in batteries and use them. Another issue is the compression of the gas. The only possible place where hydrogen might be useful is in aeroplanes.
The average UK household has a footprint of around 20 tonnes. Now it is true, that this is well below USA emissions as that is for 4 people – so average emissions of around 5 tonnes per head.
However, with relatively small adjustments, this can be cut dramatically. 12.3% of emissions come from heating, and a further 10.4% comes from electricity.
Furthermore, a significant cut can be made through replacing beef mince with Turkey mince. This can reduce your food carbon footprint by as much as 50%, and given that most mince is eaten in dishes with other foods, it is often unnoticeable