Montpelier a city in France realized its error, and dropped an order for 51 hydrogen buses for electric instead

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.

I wrote about blue hydrogen earlier this year, one current suggestion is to replace gas with hydrogen in heating – bad idea?

It is thought that when you add in all the unaccounted emissions, emissions from using hydrogen could be 20% higher than using gas itself.

We must make sure that current gas and oil producers are not able to move forward their idea of changing to blue hydrogen from gas. Green hydrogen – made by splitting water (if done with clean electricity) is completely clean. There is no point in ceasing to use oil and gas if we still need these things in order to create hydrogen.

Instead we must look to green hydrogen either using electricity, or indeed if progress continues, using catalysts.

There is no point in eradicating the use of fossil fuels if its replacement is worse.

A hydrogen powered world?

Hydrogen is an incredibly energy rich fuel. When Hydrogen is mixed with oxygen, a large amount of energy is released and the only waste is pure water.

The problem for many years has been that virtually all the hydrogen on earth is locked up as water. For a long time, it has been known that by running a current through water you can split the oxygen and hydrogen. Unfortunately, this process is incredibly energy intensive. Indeed it takes more energy than it gives.

Continue reading “A hydrogen powered world?”
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