In a CleanTechnica Article Michael Barnard tries to answer why there is currently is hydrogen cult madness. He concludes there are many reasons but it comes down to the following reasons. He says there are 6 groups
- Oil companies wanting to transform oil reserves to H2
- Banks and institutions who fund oil companies
- Governments who have little science (STEM) and lots of lobbyists and primary and secondary impacts on GDP
- People and companies who have invested in H2 and already lost money
- Companies who are dead, but still moving around to cash in on Govt handouts
- Credulous fans, who are almost entirely devoid of STEM understanding
Or as Barnard says “So, yes, the hydrogen lobby is a many-headed hydra. It’s a self-reinforcing circle of people whose livelihood depends on hydrogen for energy replacing fossil fuels. There’s some tribalism going on. There are a bunch of obvious cognitive biases that are keeping them from accepting reality, with the prospect theory being key among them. “
It will take until 2030 for the hype to die down, because that’s how long it takes to deprogram a cult.Paul Martin Hydrogen Science Coalition
Critics of the Hydrogen Cult Madness Define H2 Ladder
Paul Martin and Hydrogen Science Coalition
Chemical engineer and co-founder of the Hydrogen Science Coalition Paul Martin provides many explainers on the science and reality of hydrogen. Hydrogen is being sold as if it were the “Swiss Army knife” of the energy transition. Useful for every energy purpose under the sun. Sadly, hydrogen is rather like THIS Swiss Army knife, the Wenger 16999 Giant. It costs $1400, weighs 7 pounds, and is a suboptimal tool for just about every purpose!
- Use 120 million tons of it annually in the industry
- About 30% is used in oil refining and production. Other uses include methanol produced from methane gas
- 90 million tons of pure hydrogen
- 30 million tons of hydrogen in synthetic gases.
- Essential industrial feedstock
- Major climate change problem due to high emissions manufacture
- Have to manufacture low-carbon hydrogen for those purposes.
- Need to make ammonia-based fertilizers a lot greener by replacing black and gray hydrogen with green hydrogen.
But Barnard, Liebriench and Martin all say H2 is nonsense to use in transportation. (see 10 reasons H2 cars are dead in Change Discussion)
Michael Liebriech Presentations
Liebriech’s presentation at the World Hydrogen Congress in Rotterdam in 2022 detailed some of these issues.
94 million tonnes of grey and black hydrogen made from unabated natural gas and coal — the “bad stuff”, were produced each year, emitting 830 million tonnes of carbon, and these figures were still rising.
“Before we position hydrogen as the solution to climate change, we first have to deal with hydrogen as a problem in climate change,” he explained.
Just replacing this dirty hydrogen — used mainly in chemicals production and oil refining — with green H2 made from renewable energy would require 143% of all the wind and solar installed globally to date, Liebreich said.
- Michael Liebriech BloombergNEF Separating Hype from Hydrogen – Part One: The Supply Side
- Michael Liebriech BloombergNEF Separating Hype from Hydrogen – Part Two: The Demand Side
- Michael Liebriech Clean Energy Ladder LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/clean-hydrogen-ladder-v40-michael-liebreich/
- Distilled Thoughts on Hydrogen Paul Martin https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/distilled-thoughts-hydrogen-paul-martin/
- Michael Barnard https://cleantechnica.com/2023/05/16/what-drives-this-madness-on-hydrogen/
- Michael Liebriech https://about.bnef.com/blog/liebreich-the-unbearable-lightness-of-hydrogen/
- Word Hydrogen Congress 2022 https://www.hydrogeninsight.com/analysis/liebreich-hydrogen-is-starting-to-look-like-an-economic-bubble-and-here-s-why/2-1-1334006