Existing natural gas pipelines will make up 60% of the network, connecting ports, industry, storage facilities and power plants…The hydrogen network, which will run through all federal states, is a core part of that infrastructure and drilling will start next year, Goessmann added…
In expectation of an acceleration in future demand for the green fuel, the network will be about three time larger than the expected demand in 2030 of some 100 terawatt hours, around a tenth of Germany’s annual gas consumption in the years before the 2022 energy crisis.
Another interesting sentence from the Reuters article… The network will be the core of Europe’s hydrogen grid and will be connected to Germany’s neighbours such as Denmark, Norway and Spain as Berlin expects to import up to 70% of its hydrogen needs.
This year, Germany has gone from a net exporter of electricity to a net importer. The Nord Stream natural gas pipelines from Russia are still shut down, as far as I know. And they plan to import most of the future hydrogen from abroad as well. Although, admittedly, Denmark, Norway and Spain are more stable and friendly than, say, Russia is right now.
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The cost of green hydrogen is reported at $7.57 per kg. Hydrogen produced from natural gas (gray hydrogen) costs $3.52 per kg. Let’s compare on a BTU of heat basis.
Which would consumers prefer to buy, natural gas at $3.15, gray hydrogen at $26.13, or green hydrogen at $56.20? Add in the potential metal embrittlement problems associated with hydrogen, and it looks to me that all of these various colors of hydrogen are not ready for prime time.
It might be interesting to introduce one other fuel source to this list.
The cost of fuel for the average nuclear power plant is 0.612 cents per kwh(electric). Also, the average heat rate for a US nuclear power plant is 10,448 BTU per kwhe.
Calculating the cost of fuel per MMBTU…
(0.612 cents/kwh) x (kwhe/10448 BTU) x ($/100 cents) x (1E6 BTU/MMBTU) =
Note: This is the total cost of manufacturing the fuel, not just the cost of raw uranium. The 0.612 cents/kwh includes enrichment of the U-235 isotope, conversion to solid UO2 ceramic, encasing in zirconium cladding, etc. Yes, there is more to operating a nuclear plant than just the cost of the fuel. But there is more to running a natural gas power plant than just the cost of the gas.
To summarize, on a million BTU basis…
Natural Gas: ~$3.00
Gray Hydrogen: $26
Green Hydrogen: $56
If you are going to make green hydrogen to run a power plant, it would be better to just build a nuclear plant to provide the firm, reliable electricity. If the hydrogen is to power a fleet of fuel cell automobiles, that is a separate argument.
Turquoise hydrogen is very new and is still in the process of discovering if it can be used well at a large scale. It’s made using a process called ‘methane pyrolysis’, which produces hydrogen and solid carbon by using heat to break down a material’s chemical makeup. No carbon is released into the air, instead it’s stored in the solid carbon created. If proven to be effective, turquoise may join blue as a ‘low-carbon hydrogen’ if the carbon can be permanently stored in an environmentally safe way.
Ammonia is certainly a possibility for transportation and storage convenience.
I suspect on the Gulf Coast most ammonia is made from blue hydrogen with the CO2 collected and injected especially in oil wells to increase recovery. Green ammonia is possible from solar cells or wind farms but that will probably require huge farms to be practical.
I think ammonia is most of interest for ocean going ships which are required to give up fuel oil. Several ships are being built to try out ammonia or methanol. And then comes the question of international distribution. Local production from green hydrogen may be possible many places but large investment required. Easier to transport ammonia from places with abundant natural gas.
I am working in this field. At current stage it is easiest way to transport Hydrogen. Plus switch to Hydrogen can help to use infrastructure for natural gas after green H2 technology will mature and scale up . Most important we can slowly revamp gas station to meet H2 car demand.
I prefer H2 solution more than electric cars because it can be distributed to less reach countries which don’t have a lot of money to build up infrastructure for electric cars. Hydrogen really can help us really reduce emissions in whole world instead of only Western countries. Current efforts only reduce oil consumption in Western countries but it will reduce oil prices what will trigger oil consumption in less reach countries. Most of them don’t have that tight emissions regulation.
Does it really make sense to produce “green” hydrogen and then ship it to far away places, like we do with oil? Doesn’t sound too green to me. Better to ship them some solar panels and they can make their own green hydrogen locally. But then it would be better to just charge their EVs rather than produce hydrogen.
Earlier this month a German plan for green hydrogen was shuttered.
Founded as part of WESTKÜSTE100 in August 2020, Raffinerie Heide, Ørsted Deutschland and Hynamics Deutschland – working in close coordination with the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), as well as the Project Management Organisation, Projektträger Jülich – have been working together on the planning, construction and commissioning of a 30 MW electrolysis plant to produce green hydrogen using electricity from renewable energy sources.
After intensive examination of all general conditions, the joint venture will not make a positive investment decision. This is due to the increased investment costs and the associated major economic risks.
I understand that regulations in much of Europe will force them to give up fossil fueled vehicles. EVs are the best alternative. Hydrogen was an alternate. If it fails the choices are few. There is a proposal to use green fuels made from fermentation ethanol. Or ethanol itsself could be used. But the alternatives will be costly.
pauleckler- You know about industrial scale chemical manufacture. Don’t those plants usually want to operate 24 hours a day? Making ammonia with the Haber-Bosch process requires reagents at rather high temperatures and pressures, in order to make the reactions go. Once a plant gets the equipment up to operating conditions, the managers usually don’t want to shut down, do they? They don’t want to shut down because the sun set, or the wind died down. Don’t those chemical plants need a more constant source of energy?
Water electrolysis to produce hydrogen is also more efficient at higher temperatures. I would think a large hydrogen production plant would also want to operate 24 hrs a day.