Is hydrogen the answer to climate change?

15 July 2020

Hydrogen is the fuel of the future

 

A clean energy source, it can be easily transported and transformed into electricity to power homes, industries, trucks, planes…the list goes on. Given the opportunity, hydrogen can replace fossil fuels and drastically and positively impact climate change. And our wind and solar farms can produce it.

According to the definition by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), “Hydrogen is the most common chemical in the universe. It can be produced as a gas or liquid, or made part of other materials, and has many uses such as fuel for transport or heating, a way to store electricity, or a raw material in industrial processes.”

Why is hydrogen a good fuel source?

Unlike fossil fuels which pump carbon emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere, hydrogen is a ‘clean fuel’. When consumed, it produces only water, electricity, and heat. Due to these qualities, adopting a hydrogen economy would drastically reduce the greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change.

What can hydrogen be used for?

Since its inception in 1958, NASA has been using hydrogen as its rocket fuel. If that doesn’t show the power of this magic element, then nothing will.

Unfortunately, Australia is a little behind NASA when it comes to hydrogen, and our nation’s main use is in its raw form in industrial processes (source: ARENA). But, given the opportunity and correct investment, this clean energy source can be used in power stations, pumped into the natural gas grid, to heat homes, or used to fuel hydrogen-based vehicles.

Hydrogen vehicles are electric cars, but with a fuel tank. They boast the performance and torque of battery-powered electric cars but provide greater range than an electric-only vehicle. Refuelling times are also comparable to gasoline cars, which removes the need for lengthy charging stops. And importantly, hydrogen vehicles produce zero carbon emissions. Toyota, Hyundai and a brand new Australian startup called H2X are all investing in hydrogen technology.

 

How can renewable energy sites create hydrogen?

Although it’s one of the most common chemicals in the universe, pure hydrogen – not mixed with other elements – is very scarce within the Earth’s atmosphere. Which is why we need to make it.

At wind and solar energy sites (such as those built by the Global Warming Solution), excess electricity not supplied directly to the power grid can easily be turned into hydrogen. A process of electrolysis is performed, which splits water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen is then stored for later use, or transported via pipes or ships in its liquid form.

We’re committed to creating hydrogen

Here at the Global Warming Solution, we believe that hydrogen has the greatest potential to replace fossil fuels, to heat homes, to provide fuel for transport and plenty more. It’s why we will be investing in creating hydrogen as a product of the energy produced by our solar and wind farms.

Electrolysis to create hydrogen is not a cheap process, but our unique people-funded business model means it is a financially viable option for us, whereas it is a far less financially viable option for traditional renewable energy companies.

The Global Warming Solution is a three-dimensional concept, Planet, Profit and Revolution, unlike traditional renewables which are two-dimensional; Planet and Profit, without any direct link to the public.

This allows The Global Warming Solution to make a modest profit from the Revolution (the people directly contributing) while running its wind and solar farms at break-even after capital cost replacement.

This results in much cheaper clean energy at around A2.5c/kWh. This much cheaper clean energy is the silver bullet to producing green hydrogen for less than A$2.0/Kg and will ensure hydrogen has a viable future.

Want to play your part?

 

Become a contributor today.

Written by: Roger Bain

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