Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Most UK households use natural gas for home heating, largely because green policy inflated electricity costs are so high. But the Carbon Worriers in the British Government have a plan to fix this.
Does the Committee on Climate Change want to blow us all up? by CHRISTOPHER BOOKER.
Some publicity has alighted on the latest brilliant idea from the “greenies” as to how we can comply with the Climate Change Act by “decarbonising” our economy. Ofgem paid £300,000 for a study suggesting that, instead of cooking with CO2-emitting natural gas, we should switch to carbon-free hydrogen. A £2 billion pilot project for Leeds would show how natural gas, or methane, could be converted to hydrogen by piping away all its nasty CO2 to be buried in holes under the North Sea.
This scheme has already been smiled on in principle by the green zealots of the Committee on Climate Change, run by Lord Deben (aka John Gummer), their only real reservation being that it would be rather expensive. But there are one or two other practical problems that would have to be taken into account. One is that the technology to bury the CO2 under the North Sea has not yet been invented, and probably never will be. Another is that, extrapolating from the £2 billion needed to convert 320,000 homes in Leeds by requiring them all to buy new cookers, the cost of extending the scheme across Britain could be a staggering £162 billion.
More details on the plan;
Meeting the Challenge of the Climate Change Act
A practical answer for decarbonising heat presented to date.
Minimal Impact on Customers (85% use gas)
Maximising the use of existing infrastructure.
Understanding lessons of the past and investments of today to influence options of the future
Read more: http://www.praseg.org.uk
Christopher Booker has a point about the risks. Pure Hydrogen is dangerous. In my opinion, Hydrogen is not something you would want to pipe into a normal home. The slightest leak could present a lethal risk of explosion.
Hydrogen possesses the NFPA 704’s highest rating of 4 on the flammability scale because its elemental form of H2 hydrogen gas risks autoignition when mixed even in small amounts with ordinary air; hydrogen gas and normal air can ignite at as low as 4% air due to the oxygen in the air and the simplicity and chemical properties of the reaction. However, hydrogen has no rating for innate hazard for reactivity or toxicity. The storage and use of hydrogen poses unique challenges due to its ease of leaking as a gaseous fuel, low-energy ignition, wide range of combustible fuel-air mixtures, buoyancy, and its ability to embrittle metals that must be accounted for to ensure safe operation. Liquid hydrogen poses additional challenges due to its increased density and the extremely low temperatures needed to keep it in liquid form.
When I was a kid, I went to a party, where someone had filled some balloons with hydrogen – cheap floating balloons. Just popping the balloons, without any flame, was usually enough to trigger an explosion.
Lord Deben, and the other people pushing this plan, must surely be aware of the potential risks.