Is blue hydrogen green? 🧵

New study shows blue hydrogen would be associated with large residual emissions even with 90% capture & low leakage.

Paper by @ThomasLongden3 @Fiona_J_Beck @frankjotzo @Richard06434290 @MousamiPrasad @ANU_ICEDS @ANUCrawford

sciencedirect.com/science/articl…
1) A paper by @howarth_cornell & @mzjacobson asking the same question was widely discussed last year. They concluded that blue hydrogen would be worse than using fossil gas and even coal directly. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.10…
2) This study coming out of Australia uses IPCC emission factors for fugitive emissions and longer Global Warming Potential time horizons (100 year not 200 years) than the Howarth & Jacobson study. It also provides estimates for up to 90% capture.
3) "Government strategies foresee ‘low-emission’ hydrogen production from fossil fuels with CCS. We find that these ‘low-carbon’ production methods create significant emissions when realistic carbon capture rates and fugitive emissions are taken into account."
4) "The extent of the emissions is often downplayed or ignored in governments’ public statements about future hydrogen supply chains, with many treating 'low-emission' and 'zero-emission' production as functionally equivalent or interchangeable."
5) The authors make the point that CCS and fossil fuel-based facilities have long lifetimes, early investment in fossil fuel-based hydrogen production creates a risk of lock-in. This is a point I and @heatpolicyrich made before in @OneEarth_CP sciencedirect.com/science/articl…
6) "Fugitive emissions are the second largest source of methane pollution and rates are rising. [...] Developing a new, large-scale, low-emissions hydrogen industry based on natural gas ignores the dangers that fugitive emissions pose to our environment." cecs.anu.edu.au/news/serious-t…
7) On costs the authors highlight the rapidly falling costs of green hydrogen from renewable electricity and the risk of high blue hydrogen costs. And the analysis was done before the current gas price crisis.
I meant 20 years - typo!

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More from @janrosenow

14 Jan
I'm sick and tired of people claiming "Heat pumps don't work in Britain" such as @CalumDouglas1 commenting on my LinkedIn Post.

Heat pumps can work in any building if designed and installed well. They don't care much about national borders. Image
1) Summary of ongoing @beisgovuk heat electrification trial:
-"most homes are technically suitable for a heat pump"
-"running costs [...] generally [...] have been similar or lower than previous fossil fuel heating costs."
-"participants generally satisfied with their heat pumps" Image
2) The @EnergySysCat recently published a report finding that all housing types are suitable for heat pumps in Britain. es.catapult.org.uk/news/electrifi…
Read 10 tweets
14 Dec 21
People often ask me whether I’m for or against hydrogen. But that is the wrong question to ask.

Instead the question should be “In which use cases can hydrogen deliver decarbonisation where other solutions are either not available or more costly?”

linkedin.com/pulse/hydrogen…
1) @gnievchenko @AgoraEW have systematically looked at answering this question. agora-energiewende.de/en/publication…
Read 7 tweets
20 Nov 21
There’s a risk that blue hydrogen will lock us into fossil fuels.

How credible are the promises around blue hydrogen? Ä

And how should policy makers respond?

New paper by me and @heatpolicyrich @RegAssistProj on these and other questions.

THREAD

authors.elsevier.com/a/1e6LW9C%7EIt…
1) Hydrogen appears to be currently peaking on a “hype cycle” i.e., the current expectations are inflated far beyond its likely impact.
2) Clearly, the fossil fuel industry has a vested interest in maintaining its existing business model, and its strong support for blue hydrogen is primarily driven by self-preservation rather than climate protection concerns.
Read 18 tweets
19 Oct 21
And here it is! The long awaited UK Heat and Buildings Strategy. 202 pages long plus annexes. What’s in it? The good, the bad and the ugly.

@beisgovuk

THREAD

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl…
1) Banning fossil fuel heating by 2035: The document is not entirely clear what is being planned. It talks about setting an 'ambition' but it remains unclear whether this means setting an outright ban of installing new fossil fuel heating systems.
2) The document also talks about the 'aim' to phase out new natural gas boilers by 2035 and highlights the potential for further policy. Further detail needs to be seen before we can be confident that 2035 is a hard regulatory stop.
Read 14 tweets
18 Oct 21
After a long time waiting for it it’s finally out - the UK’s Heat & Buildings Strategy. What’s in it?

🚫Ban of installing fossil heating systems in 2035

💷£450m grants for heat pumps

⚡️Reform of electricity levies

THREAD

gov.uk/government/new…
🚫Ban of fossil heating systems to be installed after 2035

This is a huge step. The UK is the first country in the world doing this and it replicates what we have already for petrol and diesel cars. Details to be seen yet but a big step forward.
💷£450m grants for heat pumps

The current funding policy for heat pumps will run out next year and has been generous. £450m over 3 years translates into 30,000 heat pumps per year. That’s not enough to get us on track to 600,000 per year and supports current installation levels.
Read 7 tweets
16 Sep 21
In the UK heating with fossil fuels is often the cheapest alternative. But how can we change that and make clean heating a more attractive option?

New piece for @GreenAllianceUK by me & @heatpolicyrich @RegAssistProj. THREAD greenallianceblog.org.uk/2021/09/16/reb…
1) It is widely accepted that heat pumps will play a major role for decarbonising heating. But their running costs are usually higher than gas boilers. This is because we put most of the climate policy costs on electricity and almost none on fossil fuels.
2) This issue is well-understood also thanks to the great work of the @CommonsEAC led by @Dunne4Ludlow. telegraph.co.uk/environment/20…
Read 11 tweets

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