Some green-minded folks have been betting on hydrogen energy, but a new study shows that heating your house with hydrogen power could cost 70% more than using natural gas. This could present a hiccup on the U.K.’s road to net zero by 2050.
MCS Foundation, a renewable energy charity, commissioned the report. Energy analysts Cornwall Insight carried it out.
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“While hydrogen does have a part to play in the decarbonization pathway, through for example use in the industrial sectors and in the use of surplus electricity, current and forecast costs all show it is simply uneconomical to use 100% hydrogen fuel for heating our homes,” said Jitendra Patel, senior consultant at Cornwall Insight, as reported by The Guardian.
One possible solution is to blend hydrogen with fossil fuel gas, a compromise to reduce carbon emissions while keeping the price from increasing drastically. British Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has promised funds to five hydrogen infrastructure projects.
But some people think the hydrogen mixed with gas route is a way to maintain the status quo when there are much greener ways to go. Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, is one of these critics.
“Heating with hydrogen from renewable energy is six times less efficient than using the same electricity in a heat pump. I don’t know a single serious energy analyst not affiliated with the gas industry who thinks hydrogen heating will be a thing,” Liebrich said in a recent tweet.
Many fossil fuel companies are lobbying hard for hydrogen, from giants like BP and Shell to small startups. They see it as an alternative income source which they could tap into with a few tweaks to their current gas infrastructure. According to the MCS Charitable Foundation, at least 120 paid lobbyists are talking up hydrogen in parliament. Which MCS thinks is a major mistake.
“Hydrogen is a costly and rare fuel to produce at present and although costs will come down in the future, MCS feel as though this fuel is uneconomic for home heating at this time and could drive more people in to fuel poverty,” MCS stated on its website.
Via The Guardian
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