Germany’s Climate Friendly Hydrogen Strategy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, top candidate of the Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) for the upcoming general elections, gestures as she speaks during an election rally in Regensburg, Germany, September 18, 2017. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Germany has affirmed its climate leadership by announcing a plan to embrace a hydrogen powered future. But nobody can explain where they will get all the hydrogen.

Germany plans to spend billions funding green hydrogen

Up to 2030, Germany’s federal government wants to establish 5 GW in electrolysis capacity, only to be doubled again in the subsequent five years. The country acknowledges that it will also need outside help to achieve the goal.

BY MAZ PLECHINGER Published: 10.06.20 at 13:54

“As the first step in accelerating the market for hydrogen technologies, a strong, sustainable production and consumption – a ‘home market’ – is crucial. A robust national market will also create a signal effect for the use of hydrogen technologies internationally,” the federal government writes in the strategy.

Mainly in its steel and chemical sectors, Germany already uses significant volumes of industrial hydrogen, although the resource is currently derived from natural gas rather than renewable power and water.

Doesn’t cover requirement

Precisely how Germany will build the bridge to economic viability is not revealed in the plan, which does, however, mention that Berlin is considering a tax exemption for electricity used for hydrogen production – not least giving a tax pass to green H2 from the Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz (EEG) fee that’s used to finance the green energy transition and which had EUR 11 billion earmarked in connection with the economic recovery plan as an aid ceiling.

Another top limit is how much green hydrogen Germany will be able to produce itself. When the offshore wind build-out target for 2030 was recently raised by 5 GW to 15 GW, and the 52 GW solar cap was scrapped, green hydrogen production was one factor given consideration.

But even though 5 GW of electrolysis in the hydrogen strategy multiplies current domestic capacity 200 fold, the government says this is grossly inadequate to cover demand. According to the strategy, 5 GW of electrolysis is enough to produce 14 TWh made from 20 TWh of renewable energy – while the requirement for the resource is estimated to be 90-110 TWh.

Read more:

The renewable energy powered hydrogen economy takes expensive renewable electricity, and discards 60% of the energy in the form of conversion losses. Ignoring compression, storage and transport losses;

electrolysis (80% efficient) x Fuel cell (50% efficient) = 40% (60% lost)

40% efficiency end to end hydrogen conversion makes hydrogen at least 2.5x more expensive than the original renewable energy used to produce the hydrogen (1 / 0.4 = 2.5).

There are lots of wild claims these days that renewables are incredibly cheap – but renewables still seem to require a lot of government life support, either directly through subsidies or by forcing distributors to purchase a fixed quota of renewable energy.

No doubt adding the expense of converting the electricity to hydrogen and back to electricity will make it all better.

h/t HASThe German publication DW understands;

But despite being a promising energy carrier in a low-carbon energy system, green hydrogen is still facing significant technical and commercial challenges. Its disadvantages like weak energy efficiency and huge infrastructure requirements could be overwhelming outside a few core uses.

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June 15, 2020 10:12 am

Not to forget the millions of E-cars they hope to sell in Germany that also will be charged.
They are daydreamers full with wishfull thinking.
And no one with a simple pocket calculator, or persons able to use it.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
June 15, 2020 11:15 am

renewables are incredibly cheap ? Next they will being trying to tell us the world is only 6,500 years old ! How dumb do they think we are?

Reply to  Greg
June 15, 2020 11:34 am

Yes, and flat 😀 😀 😀

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Krishna Gans
June 16, 2020 8:58 am

Several years back, I read a long and rigorous article in Technology Review that looked carefully at hydrogen, and hydrogen powered cars.
The inescapable conclusion reached was that the hydrogen car was in all likelihood the most expensive and least efficient car ever devised, and that hydrogen itself was incredibly impractical, wildly expensive, quite dangerous when used for such a purpose, and overall utterly incapable of solving any problem having to do with energy or renewable resources.
There is a widespread misperception that hydrogen is somehow a fuel source. Of course it is not, in fact it is nothing of the sort, as this article here makes clear. There is no hydrogen resource to be tapped, and production of it is as yet highly inefficient, and likely will be for the foreseeable future, perhaps forever.
Just as some people want to believe that producing fusion power is simply a mater of time or spending money or having the will to do so, so some believe that batteries will someday be able to store enough energy to power our industrial world, and some insist that producing hydrogen efficiently is just a matter of applying work and money towards some inevitable technological breakthrough or another.
But the reality is that things that are not at current possible or feasible may never become possible or feasible…and people have a terrible record when it comes to making predictions of future technological breakthroughs. Really terrible.
Hydrogen is really akin to a sort of battery. A way to store energy in chemical form. Energy that must be derived to begin with from some other source. And like the best batteries, it is wildly inefficient. Using nat gas or electricity to make hydrogen to burn in cars, or whatever, has to raise the question in any rational and thoughtful persons mind, why not just use the electricity or the nat gas to power the car. Every conversion step means losses in the process, and nothing can change that. It is a physical law, one of the laws of thermodynamics.
Irrational fear of the made-up non-problem of human caused global warming has, is, and seems destined to continue to be the cause of many people doing many stupid and illogical things.
This crap about hydrogen is just one more…and even dumber than many of the others.

H Hunter Paalman
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
June 16, 2020 10:08 am

Quite so !! Fifty years ago there was an energetic effort spin up hydrogen fuel as a winner. Never got close then and thermodynamics won’t allow it now either.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
June 17, 2020 2:31 am

Nicholas McGinley: Any chance of finding the link to that article? (I looked but didn’t find)

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mike Jonas
June 17, 2020 7:55 am

I will look. It was a while back.
It is possible it was another publication, but I think it was that one.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mike Jonas
June 27, 2020 9:22 pm

Was not able to find the exact one I am thinking of. Sorry.

June 15, 2020 10:16 am

Isn’t Hydrogen an unwanted byproduct of a nuclear reactor facility? If Germany kept their nuclear reactors, couldn’t they make green electricity to deliver to homes and businesses and hydrogen fuel for transportation?

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  MikeH
June 15, 2020 10:41 am

I believe that’s tritium and it’s produced in the core, but not in very large quantities. I believe it’s usually vented. You might have a marketing problem selling this to Greenies.

Bryan A
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
June 15, 2020 6:11 pm

Didn’t that infamous German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin try Hydrogen in the past?

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Bryan A
June 15, 2020 8:03 pm

No, his ships used diesel for fuel.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  MikeH
June 15, 2020 11:33 am

Water decomposes to hydrogen at high temperatures. It is not a normal by-product of nuclear reactors. Thermal dissociation is what caused the hydrogen explosions of the reactor buildings at Fukashima. The loss of coolant flow allowed exposed core temps to soar as water was being boiled away and produce hydrogen and oxygen which accumulated within the building leading to a subsequent explosion.

Tritium is intentionally produced in heavy water reactors using neutron bombardment of deuterium. Tritium has applications in biomedical research as a tracer in animal experiments. Tritium is a vital component of the US nuclear weapons stockpile due to its ability to substantially boost fission yield by releasing an enhanced flux of neutrons into the compressed fissioning pit.
Due to its steady beta- radioactive decay, tritium and must be replenished regularly in deployed weapons for them to be able to achieve a designed set-yield at detonation. The beta decay of tritium is also useful in making permanently luminescent phosphorus-based paints, albeit a radioactive paint. These tritium-phosphorus paints are useful in military’s personal weapon sights and field compasses for night use.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
June 15, 2020 11:59 am

Yup. Tritium night sights on pistols (for example “SigLite” brand on Sig/Sauer pistols). Good for about 10-12 years before they have to be replaced.

William Astley
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
June 15, 2020 12:57 pm

Pressure water reactors operate at a maximum core temperature of 315C. at 150 atmospheres. Water does not disassociate at 315C.

The nuclear fission reaction produces very, very, high energy photons, called gamma radiation.

Gamma radiation and the high speed particles that the nuclear fission reaction also produces….

… breaks the water molecule bond, thereby producing hydrogen and oxygen.

When the hydrogen content reaches around 17%, in the hot reactor vessel, the hydrogen explodes.

When there is emergency electrical power and always in normal operation, there is a pressure water reactor, required subsystem…

….that recombines the hydrogen with oxygen, to avoid a hydrogen explosion in the reactor.
Terrestrial Energy

The Pressure Water Reactor design is obsolete because there is a naturally fail safe design that is much cheaper and more fuel efficient.

The US built and tested the optimum fission reactor design (best theoretical fuel efficiency, walk away safe, and competitive with coal on both capital costs and all in operating costs….. Rough 50 years ago and then hid absolutely perfect test results…

Because this new reactor design would obsolete the Pressure Water Reactor design.

The Liquid Fuel Simple Burner Design is six times more fuel efficient and it produces Nine times less waste than a pressure water reactor….

…. And more importantly the Liquid Fuel, no water reactor, operates at atmospheric pressure rather than 150 atmospheres…..

And as it has no catastrophic failure modes. It cannot melt down. It does not produce hydrogen gas. It does not require a containment building.

The nuclear fuel, in a liquid fuel reactor, is mixed in with a molten salt that melts at 400C and boils at 1400C. The Ionic Salt (Fluoride) is the most stable chemical bond possible and it is not affected by the nuclear fission gamma radiation and high speed particles.

The Ionic Salt also tightly bonds with all of the solid nuclear fission reaction byproducts.

The Molten Salt Reactor….

Canadian/US Design (Terrestrial Energy): Operates at 600C and is walk away safe.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
June 15, 2020 1:12 pm

Thermal dissociation? No. The most likely and fully predicted source of hydrogen in the Fukashima event is the chemical reaction between the zirconium cladding of the fuel and water at very high (fuel melting) temperature. Its a chemical reaction, not a dissociation. The products of the reaction are zirconium oxide and hydrogen gas. The hydrogen gas escaped from the reactor vessel by way of a melted hole, broken pipe or other means and mixed with air in the building. Once the hydrogen content exceeded 4%, the mixture became explosive. That is what blew up the building. Fukashima was a textbook example of the zirc-water reaction, as it is called.

Charles Higley
Reply to  DHR
June 15, 2020 7:06 pm

The high neutron flux from the runaway core knocks H off water, creating hydrogen gas. Sue, there are other side reactions but this is likely the main one. It was the explanation for the 3 Mile Island hydrogen bubble.

Reply to  Charles Higley
June 16, 2020 8:38 am

Nope, DHR had it right – zirconium, a major component of most Western power reactors due to its low neutron capture cross section, will react with high-temperature steam to produce zirconium oxide and hydrogen, and considerable additional heat. This was the source of hydrogen in the “bubble” at TMI, and what caused the explosions at Fukushima.

There was no runaway core reaction, the reactors in both TMI and Fukushima had already been shut down, but the residual heat from radioactive decay of fission products is enough to melt the core if coolant flow gets interrupted, and boil off any coolant remaining in the core.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Charles Higley
June 16, 2020 9:03 am

Thermal dissociation, gamma ray photons, neutrons, or zirconium cladding as a catalyst.
Seems to be a difference of opinion.
We are gonna need a rulin’.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
June 16, 2020 5:54 am

There is a description in Wikipedia:

What’s funny (not), is that no matter which “green” energy is brought up, whether it’s solar, wind, hydro, there is a “green group” that will oppose it, but all of the ‘green’ groups are opposed to nuclear, which would actually solve the problems they believe are occurring. And since they have a political stranglehold on the approval process for this industry, it restricts the development of innovative processes that would be beneficial, like LFTR.

It loos like a reactor facility could be designed to produce clean electricity and hydrogen fuel, a win/win. I’m sure there would be some negative side to a hydrogen fuel economy, most likely the copious amounts of water vapor being expelled from tailpipes, but how would that compare to reduction in pollution we currently get from tailpipes?

I heard an interview with the author of a book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, he had an analogy on how the left describes the use of fossil fuels. He likened it to having a doctor describe all of the side effects of a medicine, bloating, diarrhea, headaches, blurred vision, thoughts of suicide.Who wold ever want to deliberately take a pill that could cause part or all of that list? But never informing the person on the fact that this will save your life by eradicating the cancer, or it will cure the chronic pain and it will allow you to walk again. The green left only tells people of the possible negative effects of fossil fuels, and never tells of the fact that it betters the lives of billions of people. I can assure you, if fossil fuels were banned, billions would eventually die either from starvation or from exposure, the green left never brings that up.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  MikeH
June 16, 2020 9:06 am

“The green left only tells people of the possible negative effects of fossil fuels…”
What they do is invent all of the possible negative effects and consequences thereof, and then use it for their scaremongering campaign of outright lies and confabulations.

June 15, 2020 10:18 am

Application-specific, right? Fitness to purpose, without Green, green discrimination.

Few transportation fuels surpass the energy densities of gasoline and diesel

Gaia knows that you can’t beat oil for optimum solar power storage.

Oil, organic, renewable, green, high-density energy storage, and what excess the sun doesn’t break down, the bacteria will digest.

Reply to  n.n
June 16, 2020 3:58 am

But what about Concentrated Organic Astral Light ?

Stephen Richards
June 15, 2020 10:33 am

The extra cost added to their additional contributions to the Brussel Luxury club will bankrupt them. Apparently they will be asked to contribute nearly 50€ Billions a year to keep the champagne flowing in brussels

June 15, 2020 10:34 am

Actually, the headline should be….
Germany Triples down on government stupidity !

June 15, 2020 10:36 am

Yay, “green” hydrogen from “green” renewables, what is not to like about such a self-contained system. The best part is that greenies will have to pay full price for it. Just imagine the benefit to the grid if all renewables were removed to generate hydrogen, genuinely “pure” energy.

Passer by
Reply to  climanrecon
June 15, 2020 11:24 am

Oh no. They will be exempt from taxes. Look at the pie chart here:,tax%20-%204.86%20ct%2FkWh.&text=A%20tax%20on%20the%20consumption,Germany%20-%202.05%20ct%2FkWh.

By manipulation of the taxation system you can easily make a 4x more expensive energy source “competitive” in Germany. Any excess costs can then be pushed onto the people who pay taxes.

With this system in place any ideological fever dream can be made to look good by adjusting fees, taxes and subsidies.

Al Miller
June 15, 2020 10:49 am

Just a stupid question from a non-scientist…wouldn’t somebody already be doing it if it made sense?
It just never seems to end with the government jumping in to support these wonderful schemes that are economically unworkable. How about the Hydrogen Highway we were supposed to get on the west coast of NA? Yeah, not so much.
Much like the ethanol program- now an intractable subsidy to farmers at great cost to our arable farmland.
Government involvement – what could go wrong? (sarc- as though I needed to add).

Reply to  Al Miller
June 15, 2020 11:16 am

Scandinavia also is planing the Hydrogen Highway, as Australia, California. But I never read about any success.

Curious George
Reply to  Krishna Gans
June 15, 2020 4:07 pm

Remember the Solar Highway in France? Government ministers came to open it.

Anders Valland
Reply to  Krishna Gans
June 17, 2020 12:37 am

“Scandinavia also is planing the Hydrogen Highway, as Australia, California. But I never read about any success.”

That should be “was planning”. And it should be Norway. And it did not happen. Strangely, cost was considered to be too high.

We did get a few scattered hydrogen filling stations, though. Last year one of them blew up, after what seems to be negligent maintenance. The 900 bar tank system developed a leak, and this formed a gas cloud which ignited and exploded. Fortunately, the leak was big enough that the result was an explosion. A little less of a leak and you would have had a detonation.

According to the safety & risk philosophy at the time, pressurized gas leaking into open air would just rise up and dilute thus at worst presenting a flame above the installation but no explosion hazard. It turns out, however, that a hydrogen leak may actually self-ignite and this is now believed to be the ignition source for the explosion in Norway. The mechanism is that the 900 bar pressure driving gas through a crevice will set up a local supersonic jet. This jet will have pressure pulses, and some of these may compress the gas to achieve local self-ignition temperature.

All the stations were closed after the incident and as far as I know the remain closed.

Now, to alleviate the risk of fire and explosion we are happily moving towards using “green” ammonia instead. No problems there, I am sure…..

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Al Miller
June 15, 2020 4:04 pm

It’s just embezzlement made possible by the useful idiots.

June 15, 2020 10:56 am

Don’t forget the new Russian pipeline.
It is going to transport hydrogen instead of natural gas.
That is gonna be a lot of hydrogen to still the demand.

Reply to  Alex
June 15, 2020 11:14 am

Wow. Hydrogen causes steel embrittlement, causing a steel pipeline that wasn’t originally designed for it to fracture. This has been known for a long time. If even an old hydrographic surveyor knows that, what do all those terribly clever greenies do for their money?

Reply to  Disputin
June 15, 2020 11:33 am

Apparently, they planned for hydrogen from the very beginning.
At least, Gazprom claims, the pipeline is suitable for H2
Who knows.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Alex
June 15, 2020 11:37 am

It will not transport hydrogen gas. It will transport natural gas (methane).

No one transports hydrogen as a gas over long distances by pipeline. It is chilled to a liquid state and transported in cryogenic containers for use in industrial and space vehicle launch activities.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
June 15, 2020 11:52 am

According to specifications, North Stream 2 can transport a gas mixture with up to 70% H2.
The safe percentage will be aroud 20%.
On the other hand, they have 50% capacity free for H2.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Alex
June 15, 2020 12:05 pm

Transporting H2 in gaseous form thru long-distance pipes has special problems that must be engineered for. Special steels and welds and interior lining coatings on the inside of the pipe to minimize embrittlement. It is much more efficient and cost effective to simply transport it as methane then use a CO2 capture process during the steam reforming process to make it “green.”

If the Russians are sending the Germans substantial amounts of hydrogen gas mixed with the methane, this is simply a virtue signaling shifting of the CO2 emissions. A shifting CO2 emissions from Germany (where their is COP emissions accounting thus capture becomes necessary and costly) to Russia where there are no requirements under the Paris COP to be “green.”

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
June 15, 2020 1:47 pm

How did pipes deal with the various manufactured gases that used to be used for municipal gas supply in some places? Such as coal gas, water gas, and “town gas”? Along with producer gas, which might not have been used for municipal gas supplies but had industrial usage? (There seems to be more names for such gases than there are actual different kinds of gases along these lines.) These are generally almost 50% carbon monoxide, almost 50% hydrogen.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
June 15, 2020 11:57 am

What will be done to make a LH2 (liquid hydrogen) transportation fuel is steam reforming of the pipeline gas from the supplied Russian Gazprom natural gas (methane). Steam reforming produces “syn gas” composed of H2 and carbon monoxide. The CO is then further oxidized with water to make more hydrogen and CO2 in a process called a “water-gas shift reaction”. Then using a substantial fraction of the original available energy from the natural gas, carbon dioxide capture will be employed by the Germans to make the conversion of methane to H2(g) (and then more electricity to chill it to LH2 for transport) a “green” process where the captured CO2 is then long-term sequestered in underground formations.

Steam reforming to make hydrogen from methane:

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
June 15, 2020 12:03 pm

The old “town gas” used widely in the UK prior to being phased out for natural gas was about 50% hydrogen, IIRC. It was in use a long time. Did they use iron pipes rather than steel?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 15, 2020 12:52 pm

It was syn gas, a mixture of H2 and CO. Syn gas was made by coal gassification.

Dr. Bob
June 15, 2020 11:01 am

It is hard to imagine a fuel distribution infrastructure based on H2. Pipelines seem out of the question as leaks could lead to fires that have no visible flame as hydrogen only produces water upon combustion (a potent GHG, Dihydrogen monoxide). Distribution by truck also seems untenable as so many trucks would need to be on the road that this alone would pose a significant risk let along accidents involving these trucks.
Generation at the point of use seems pointless as you would need a portable source of feedstocks (NG, most likely) which could only come from biological sources to be “Green”. And reforming NG loses way too much energy to be efficient and cost effective.
So in my view, there is no viable route to a “Hydrogen Economy”
On the funnier side, when at a renewable conference many years ago, someone pointed out that the Columbia River flows enough hydrogen in a day to power the US. What they forgot to mention is that the hydrogen is in the wrong oxidation state when in the river. Oh well, another good idea down the tubes.

Reply to  Dr. Bob
June 15, 2020 1:55 pm

Hydrogen flames are not much more invisible than natural gas flames. Hydrogen flames are merely dimmer, without the brighter inner cone that blue flames of hydrocarbon gases and vapors and most other organic gases and vapors (mostly only with pre-mixed air or oxygen) have.

Hydrogen flames are invisible in bright daylight, and especially in sunlight. So are the flames of natural gas and methane (when pre-mixed with air so as to burn blue) and methanol. Even the flame of a propane torch is barely visible in direct sunlight, and then only the brighter inner cone.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
June 16, 2020 10:03 am

Nevertheless, for several reasons, hydrogen is much more dangerous and far less practical than nat gas.

mark from the midwest
June 15, 2020 11:05 am

They will get the Hydrogen at Hydrogen-Mart, just like you go to Solar-Mart for all your solar energy needs or Fusion-Mart …

Or maybe this is like the Underpants Gnomes, step 2 …. ???

Hari Seldon
June 15, 2020 11:09 am
CD in Wisconsin
June 15, 2020 11:24 am

The Hindenburg was a German airship, wasn’t it? I guess the Germans are bound and determined to have history repeat itself in some way, shape or form……

Harry Butts
June 15, 2020 11:30 am

Meh, if Germany insists on destroying its own economy, I fully support their effort.

I’ll even experience some schadenfreude over it. Couldn’t happen to a nicer country. Perhaps it is time to pull the rest of our troops stationed in Germany and move them to a friendlier nation?

June 15, 2020 11:32 am

Germany will find out that the rest of the world isn’t as stupid as it is. Small modular molten salt reactors is the future of energy. Period

June 15, 2020 11:33 am

They’ll throw money at this latest energy nirvana until it’s realized to be neither economical nor practical. Then they’ll move onto the next fossil fuel replacement scheme until eventually the ideas will be exhausted and nuclear will be the last gasp.

June 15, 2020 11:35 am

4 nuclear reactors can accomplish that. How many did they shut down??

June 15, 2020 11:46 am

I don’t know, if Hydrogen is really climate friendy as it produces H2O….

Reply to  Krishna Gans
June 15, 2020 11:58 am

That’s true, not merely a first-order, but primary forcing of climate cooling… warming… change, which requires people… persons to dehydrate the economy in order to mitigate its progress.

Reply to  n.n
June 15, 2020 1:58 pm

Consider the typical atmospheric lifetime of water vapor. Water molecules that get into the atmosphere usually stay there only for hours to a few months. Adding water vapor molecules to the atmosphere makes it easier for ones already there to condense.

June 15, 2020 12:01 pm

They can now work on re-coding of the diesel cheat software.

Bruce Cobb
June 15, 2020 12:21 pm

Germany is just virtue signaling. And apparently they are willing to throw away $billions to do it. When did they get so stupid? And the kicker is, it won’t make a bit of difference to the climate. They sure are putting the “dumm” in “dummkopf.

Walt D.
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 15, 2020 1:38 pm

und die Scheiße im Scheißkopf

June 15, 2020 12:23 pm

Em, hydrogen as the answer to all our energy ills? Apart from the expense and safety implications inherent in the manufacture, safe transportation and end use of a derivative of a product that works quite well, safely, efficiently and cheaply already, all I can say is, ‘Boom!’. Hasn’t anyone thought of harvesting sunshine and breezes yet?

Michael in Dublin
June 15, 2020 12:31 pm

Simple solution:
Everyone who comes up with a great green idea should be allowed to develop and then market it out of his own pocket – with no subsidy or tax breaks. If it works and is cost effective, he will have a huge market that will handsomely pay him back for his investment. If it fails it will not cost the hard pressed tax payer a single Euro. Somehow I do not think even a single person will take up this kind of offer. 🙂

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
June 15, 2020 2:39 pm

Interesting idea Michael, one that seemed to work quite well from the advent of the industrial revolution until ‘climate change’ became a mental disease that has driven Western Civilization in to reverse.

Nowadays, any idea that is more expensive and more damaging to the environment but isn’t obviously ‘fossil fuelled’ is fantastic. My favourite, is chopping live trees down in America, chipping them and transporting them by fossil fuelled trucks and processes to a port on the coastline, loading the chips with fossil fuelled machinery on to fossil fuelled container ships, transporting them 4,000 miles to a UK port, unloading the ships with fossil fuelled machinery on to fossil fuelled powered trains, and transporting them to a wood chip burning plant that sits on top of one of the largest seams of ancient, fossilised trees in Europe (i.e. coal) then burning them to provide electricity that is almost 3 times more expensive, half the calorific value and has a greater co2 output than the stuff on which the power station is sitting on. Oh, and not only does the power station benefit from selling the electricity it produces by burning the ‘green’ chips in its’ furnaces it also troughs @£800 million per year in subsidies for being so green. And, declares the whole sleight of hand, co2 neutral. Welcome to ‘Climate Insanity’.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Mack
June 16, 2020 1:35 am

+10 🙂

William Haas
June 15, 2020 12:44 pm

The burning of hydrogen produces a so called greenhouse gas that molecule per molecule is a stronger IR absorber than is CO2. There efforts will have no beneficial effect regarding any change in the global radiant greenhouse effect and hence no beneficial effect on global climate.

Reply to  William Haas
June 15, 2020 2:02 pm

Molecule for molecule, H2O is not a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2. H2O vapor has more greenhouse gas effect than CO2 because our atmosphere has so much more H2O than CO2, about 12 times more.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
June 15, 2020 3:00 pm

12 times? CO2 is 0.04% of the atmosphere, whereas water vapour is usually around 2-4%. So try 50 to 100 times more.

Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
June 16, 2020 6:46 am

Check some air saturation charts at lower temperatures and pressures. You will find at the lower temperature and pressure of increased altitude, water saturation of air is much lower…..and by the time you are at the temperature and pressure of the top of the troposphere, the CO2 concentration of 400 ppm exceeds the declining possible H20 concentration. This causes IR radiation to outer space at that altitude to be more a function of CO2 concentration than H2O is. Yes, IR to outer space actually increases with increasing atmospheric CO2, like 280 to 400 ppm. Greenies start to quiver when you describe this to them, and will actually deny it is true….so strong is their indoctrination…..

David Dibbell
Reply to  William Haas
June 15, 2020 2:35 pm

Good point. It astounds me that so many otherwise highly capable scientists and engineers cannot see that for the same reason massive emission of water vapor is accepted as harmless, so also emissions of carbon dioxide are harmless in respect to surface temperature. How so? Because the atmosphere exhibits its own operation as a heat engine so powerfully, especially in thunderstorms. Carbon dioxide just incrementally strengthens the radiative coupling between the surface and the dense atmosphere near it on the “hot” side of the heat engine.

Reply to  David Dibbell
June 16, 2020 2:44 am

It is climate neutral, if made from water, provided you do not use fossil fuel for processing or transport.

Gordon A. Dressler
June 15, 2020 12:53 pm

“Synthesis gas, a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and a small amount of carbon dioxide, is created by reacting natural gas with high-temperature steam. The carbon monoxide is reacted with water to produce additional hydrogen. This method is the cheapest, most efficient, and most common. Natural gas reforming using steam accounts for the majority of hydrogen produced in the United States annually.
“A synthesis gas can also be created by reacting coal or biomass with high-temperature steam and oxygen in a pressurized gasifier, which is converted into gaseous components—a process called gasification. The resulting synthesis gas contains hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which is reacted with steam to separate the hydrogen.”— source:

Well, there you have it . . . the cheapest, most efficient, and most practical way to get to a “hydrogen-powered future” is by using fossil fuels. Of course, if money and time are not important, there are other options . . .

Sal Minella
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
June 15, 2020 1:51 pm

Why not just use the methane directly?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Sal Minella
June 15, 2020 5:21 pm

Why? . . . because it is readily associated with “fossil fuels” and being a “bad” greenhouse gas, even though copious quantities are produced annually via the natural digestion of food cellulose by various animals and termites and bacteria, and by anerobic bacteria naturally present in rice paddies, swamplands and animal waste.

And here is a related chuckle for you: many so-called “environmentalists” consider that producing ethanol from corn is a great way to “save the planet” because ethanol (up to 10% or so by volume allowed in the US) can partially replace gasoline and it burns “much cleaner”.

Well, “once fermentation is complete, a 56 pound bushel of corn will produce about 2.8 gallons of pure alcohol, 18 pounds of dried distillers grains, and 18 pounds of carbon dioxide. Roughly, it is one-third alcohol, one-third distillers grain, and one-third carbon dioxide.”—source:,and%20one%2Dthird%20carbon%20dioxide.

The CO2 from the big ethanol fuel producers is not immediately vented to the atmosphere, but it is sold to gas product plants where it is cooled down to make dry ice, which . . . no surprise here . . . is almost always is used for temporary refrigeration via solid CO2 sublimation directly into Earth’s atmosphere. Of course, you will never hear a “greenie” mention this outcome, as they prefer instead to focus on the “clean” ethanol part of process.

Bottom line: about 0.9 pound of CO2 eventually goes into the atmosphere for every pound of ethanol produced from corn to be used as a fuel . . . and that is on top of the 1.8 pounds of CO2 generated with every pound of ethanol that is combusted.

What a joke!

June 15, 2020 1:10 pm

As the Earth’s magnetic field wanes in the coming years, a lot of the O2 in our atmosphere may be leave Earth and we will be gasping for air so to speak. My proposal is 2H2O -> 2H2+O2 and bingo. The Germans are on to something.

Reply to  rbabcock
June 16, 2020 9:00 am

Green plants produce O2 also. Every lot should have an algae vat, fed with CO2.

June 15, 2020 1:34 pm

Germany average yearly air temperature is about 9 C
Spain is 14 C
Is something wrong with Germany having average yearly air temperature of 14 C
It seems Germany is more worried about the world, than thinking of Germany, first.
Or seems German would prefer the average air temperature closer to Spain, then closer
to Germany.
And India average temperature is about 24 C and they are having problems due to their
high average temperature- which they had for thousands of years.
If wanted do something for rest of world- which be bad idea has NAZI plans were also making the world better when no one needed their help. But i want to do something useful for the world in terms it being too hot, then focus on problem of Urban Heat island effect. UHI effect makes places where most people live, quite a bit hotter.
In terms issue like polar bears, they were existing in time periods of much higher global temperature then we have in our +million year Ice Age.
And I think we need a study of how many polar bears we should have, it seems there be could problem with over population. But maybe if they double their population it will be ok. Need study to try to determine upper limit for polar bear. Or humans have been the top predator of the planet and have been killing bears for long time- so shouldn’t remove the main bear predator from the environment without any kind of a plan.

June 15, 2020 1:34 pm

Well at least DW understands the problem and seems unconvinced. Read the last para

Reply to  HAS
June 15, 2020 3:34 pm

Reading that:
“Germany wants to become the world leader in hydrogen technology”, I can’t eat as much I have to puke.

Paul C
June 15, 2020 1:51 pm

And I thought that unicorn farts were the greenest source of hydrogen. Sure I read somewhere that if hydrogen were used as the main transport fuel, the leakage of fuel would both damage the ozone layer, and shift the loss of hydrogen from the atmosphere out of geologic timescales and into human timescales – at least that would eliminate any worry about rising sea levels.

Greg Cavanagh
June 15, 2020 2:25 pm

Angela Merkel, top candidate of the Christian Democratic Union Party…
Oh man! They’re going for the full sucker in that name. None of those words belong with one another. They’re going for all the “good feeling” demographics.

Flight Level
June 15, 2020 2:49 pm

Local press and even localized YouTube fills with advertisements on “how to become a hydrogen millionaire”.

As long as tax money is a free resource, some would exploit it.

June 15, 2020 3:38 pm

Just as Germany could not get the Helium it wanted for safety of the the LZ 129 Hindenburg, so also they will not get the Hydrogen they now crave for their Green Dream. It is time to flash up those pictures of the burning LZ 129 Hindenburg at Lakehurst, New Jersey yet again.

June 15, 2020 3:50 pm

The atmosphere of the Earth loses ~3 kg hydrogen per second to empty space. This hydrogen originates from dissociated water in the thermosphere. Hydrogen escaping from the surface of the Earth will not enhance this amount as it is oxidized in the stratosphere where however it can affect the ozone layer.
It is expected that when the Sun becomes 10% brighter than it is now (within ~1 billion years) the ‘waterlock’ becomes less efficient and the Earth will lose its oceans.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Teerhuis
June 15, 2020 4:12 pm

We’re going to need to build a Druidian air shield.

June 15, 2020 4:08 pm

The renewable energy powered hydrogen economy takes expensive renewable electricity,

Two things are wrong with this statement.

Firstly, it is yet to be proven that electricity derived from ambient wind and solar is “renewable”. That term should never be used without qualification as it is misleading and incorrect use of language.

The second point is more complex. As grids strive to increase the proportion of intermittent sourced generation there is a need for massive capacity overbuild depending on the amount of storage available in the system. In a system with little storage, the overbuild often results in producing below the available capacity. The term used for such periods is “curtailment”. If the generator can supply a supply responsive load then the need for curtailment is avoided. That load is then using energy that would otherwise not be generated. In essence the electric energy is truly free of cost. It is not expensive – it is zero cost. The expensive component of intermittent generation is making it dispatchable for an on-demand grid.

So the starting point for hydrogen electrolysis is the growing availability of free electricity; ambient energy that would not be converted to electricity as there was insufficient demand at the time it was available.

The wind generators in South Australia are regularly curtailed. The state has installed wind capacity of 2,142MW and a similar capacity of rooftop solar. When the sun is shining on a balmy spring day the grid emend can drop to 400MW. That does not leave much for all those wind generators to supply. Plus they currently need to have gas plant ticking over with some load for stability requirements.

The grid operator in Australia is forecasting stability issues from excess rooftop solar. It is imminent that new rooftop solar will need some ability to be centrally controlled so the grid operator can reduce output in circumstances of the grid being oversupplied from rooftop generation.
A supply responsive load such as water electrolysis would be beneficial for stability.

What I do not know is how easy it is to make water electrolysis able to cope with variable power supply. Most chemical processes thrive on stability and die on variability.

Reply to  RickWill
June 15, 2020 7:44 pm

It is hard to honestly call the “excess” extra expensive energy free when there is such a large cost to make said electricity useable (without regard to the high cost to produce it in the first place). Considerable expensive infrastructure is required to start to use that electricity, then to store the resulting product, then to transport the product to where it might be useful. All of that also requires constant expensive maintenance.

In economic terms it seems considerably dumber than the plan of selling each apple at a loss so as to generate more sales.

June 15, 2020 4:43 pm

Hasnt Germany failed enough already? apparently not.

June 15, 2020 5:04 pm

The Germans are catching on to the economy-wrecking renewables scam….gotta get them looking over here instead…hey, look at how shiny hydrogen is!

June 15, 2020 8:25 pm

For goodness sake can you guys quit bringing up the Hindenburg? That is like comparing a blunderbus to an AK47. You really weaken your arguments by including such outdated silliness.

The hydride tank has been around since the 80s and is safer than gasoline or propane. See this old video (nice shooting tex 🙂

I’ve been a fan of hydrogen as a carrier due to its clean burning nature but it has huge problems. Safety is NOT one. Storage, while COMPLETELY SAFE, is low density and leaks due to its extremely light nature along with embrittlement of the container.

Don’t worry though. Once you tell the greenies that it outputs the super powerful greenhouse gas (water vapour) they will call it quits on it.

June 15, 2020 8:38 pm

Maybe they got that Wendelstein 7-X fusion reactor close to going online? Talk about a game changer.

From what I understand it runs best at a constant output so use the off peak excess/surplus to generate hydrogen? Just my SWAG.

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  TRM
June 16, 2020 4:03 am

I think it’s fake.

June 15, 2020 10:38 pm

They want to use hydrogen gas to feed into metal smelter processes instead of using carbon. Reversing oxidisation with carbon produces CO2, with hydrogen is produces H2O (water). Both are greenhouse gasses but water is considered net neutral.

Hydrogen is harder to compress and riskier to handle than natural gas.
The other uses, efficiencies and risks are described elsewhere.

Climate believer
June 15, 2020 11:30 pm

That photo was taken as she was explaining when Putin flashed his manhood at her during a summit meeting.


Robert of Ottawa
June 16, 2020 12:17 am

But wait … burning hydrogen produces water vapour, the very worst of all GHGs

June 16, 2020 2:24 am

If energy production can’t be monopolised then you’ll get no funding, and it might just get you killed, as Stanley Meyer found out back in the 90’s.

June 16, 2020 2:26 am

This water car ran in the 1990’s(or even earlier)judging by the quality of the video, why wasn’t it put into production…

Reply to  jmorpuss
June 16, 2020 12:26 pm

Because it’s always been a scam.

June 16, 2020 2:49 am

Official Stanley Meyer Autopsy Report

Reply to  jmorpuss
June 16, 2020 12:37 pm

There are very few poisons that kill in minutes. There are very few poisons that leave no trace (unless you want to conclude that the coroner was in on the conspiracy.)
There are very few poisons that kill via a brain aneurysm.
There are very few poisons that cause one to start vomiting seconds after taking it.

There is nothing “unprofessional” about using the word “supposedly”, the author of the video used it himself a few minutes later. It just indicates a lack of definitive evidence.

There should have been a police investigation of a mysterious death, why not include that document?

And finally, no, voltage alone does no work. For the same reason, I can push on a wall all day long, but if the wall doesn’t move, then I have done no work. I may have spent a lot of energy, but I did no work.

Reply to  MarkW
June 16, 2020 3:27 pm

We store Voltage in a battery to do work on demand. Because when those tiny electrons start to move they are very powerful.

Ever wonder what voltage really is?

michael hart
June 16, 2020 5:06 am

It still seems to me that it should be best to transport the energy via an electrical grid with a few locations producing and consuming hydrogen on a large scale.

Whatever the final efficiency calculations turn out to be, it does at least have the merit of returning to the idea of requiring the generation of huge amounts of cheap electricity. Opposed to that, current anti-human green “thinking” still insists on making energy ever scarcer and ever more expensive. If we are to survive and prosper, nuclear is the only long term option. The sooner greens and governments swallow that bitter pill, the better.

Reply to  michael hart
June 16, 2020 3:16 pm

michael hart
“If we are to survive and prosper, nuclear is the only long term option.”

Maybe Safire can clean up the radioactive waste of the past .
THE SAFIRE PROJECT has become a commercial venture. Based on the discoveries of the last six years, the SAFIRE team is currently developing a nuclear-plasma reactor that will have the capacity to both generate electrical power and remediate radioactive waste.

June 16, 2020 8:44 am

Germany Hydrogen

What’s could go wrong?

Joe Adamus
June 16, 2020 11:23 am

Here is another way of producing hydrogen

From their website:

We’re creating a continuous source of green, clean and affordable energy from deep earth. We’re meeting a huge market need with a rapidly scalable solution. Using our patented technology for ‘Hygenic Earth Energy’, industries worldwide will convert hydrocarbon reservoirs into hydrogen mines and thermal generators, and simply leave the carbon and other pollutants in the ground. All kinds of reservoirs will be converted – new and abandoned, light oil and heavy oil, gas and coal.

John Hall
June 25, 2020 4:38 pm

Germany has two people to thank for this mess it’s in.One is Jeremy Rifkin and his Third Industrial Revolution.
The other is Chancellor Merkel for letting Rifkin talk her into going full speed to make the switch to renewal
energy.When Biotechnology first emerged back in the 1980’s,Rifkin waisted no time attacking it with lawsuits,
protests,and demostrations.He warned that scientists were rushing to use this technology without all the facts.
He raised concerns and issues and warned of unforeseen consequences.But now,Rifkin’s rushing people to make
the switch to renewable energy.The problem is Rifkin’s not raising concerns and issues with renewable energy
like he did with Biotechnology.The problem is Rifkin’s playing favorites.Unlike his opposition to Biotechnology
Rifkin’s in favor of renewable energy.He’s not going to listen to any problems or complaints about it.He’s not
going to care if the citizens in germany get stuck paying sky high taxes to pay for this hydrogen fiasco.
Rifkin can’t understand why other countries like the U.S. aren’t following Germany in rushing to make the switch to renewable energy.Hopefully,the other countries will learn a lesson from this.By the way,that war of
Rifkin’s against Biotechnology was a farce.He was using it as a scapegoat.His REAL beef was with the Nuclear
and Petrochemical(OIL)industries.Rifkin was angry that he couldn’t file lawsuits against them because people depend on these industries for power and fuel,so he took it out on Biotechnology instead.This is why
Rifkin’s rushing people to make the switch to renewable energy.He’s trying to get revenge against the Nuclear
and Petrochemical industries for what they’re doing to the planet.

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