The Pure Evil of Hydrogen Hyping

Guest post by David Archibald

In energy policy, the Australian government is compounding stupidity upon stupidity. Hundreds of millions of dollars are now to be spent on the dead end that is the hydrogen economy. To put that stupidity into context, let’s go back a few years and look at the missed opportunities to put things to right.

After Trump’s election win in 2016, Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington was given the job of finding a director for the Environmental Protection Agency. Instead of taking the job himself as he should have done, the job was given to Scott Pruitt who was more interested in decorating his office than reform. Mr Pruitt left the position in 2018. Dr Will Happer came into the administration for a while and was expected to write a paper debunking global warming. This was to be the first government report on the planet to say that global warming is a nonsense.  That effort was apparently killed off by Jared Kushner and Dr Happer left. Consequently tens of billions of dollars continue to be wasted fighting the phantom menace of global warming.

In fact the global warming misinformation campaign keeps ratcheting up. In 2017 the globalists of the World Economic Forum, based in Geneva but best known for their annual meeting in Davos, created an offshoot called the Hydrogen Council. This is based in Belgium, which is also the birthplace of Dr Evil.  The promoters of hydrogen must know it is a non-starter. Their market research on selling global warming would have told them that they needed a positive story about a future nirvana that would be free of the evil carbon. So they go through the charade of promoting the hydrogen heaven to come.

Why is hydrogen no good? A succinct paper on the whys and wherefores was published by Baldur Eliasson and Ulf Bossel in 2003 – “The Future of the Hydrogen Economy: Bright or Bleak?” From that paper, energy lost in power transmission, operation of oil refineries and transport is usually less than 10% of the energy traded. The losses in hydrogen manufacture and transport are much higher and inherent to this element.

Hydrogen has a heating value of 142 MJ/kg compared to methane at 55 MJ/kg. But in terms of volumetric heating value, hydrogen is less than a third of methane at 11.7 kJ/litre. Methane’s value is 36.5 kJ/kg.

Figure 1: Heating value per litre.

Hydrogen has to compressed or liquefied for storage and transport. As figure 1 shows for an equivalent amount of low pressure storage and transport, facilities for handling hydrogen are three times larger than the same energy content of methane. At 800 bar or in the liquid state hydrogen must be kept in hi-tech pressure tanks or cryogenic vessels whereas liquid hydrocarbon fuels are kept at atmospheric pressure in simple containers.

Hydrogen can be made by electrolysis of water, which is 75% efficient, or by steam reforming of natural gas, 90% efficiency. But as the religious compulsion is “clean hydrogen”, no fossil fuels or nuclear energy is allowed.

Producing 1 kg of hydrogen (which has a specific energy of 143 MJ/kg or about 40 kWh/kg) requires 50–55 kWh of electricity.

Solar panels made in China using power priced at US$0.04/kWh can produce power priced equivalent to power from diesel engines at about US$0.15/kWh under ideal conditions in a desert, for eight hours per day. So at best clean hydrogen could be produced for US$8.00/kg, not including the capital costs of the electrolysis segment.

Ten times as much energy is required to compress hydrogen as the same weight of methane.  To compress one tonne per hour of hydrogen to 200 bar (natural gas pipelines operate up to 150 bar) takes 7.2% of its heating value.

Liquefying hydrogen is highly energy intensive. At a plant capacity of 100 kg of liquid hydrogen per hour, about 60 MJ of electrical energy is used per kg of hydrogen. Plant efficiency increases with plant size but with a theoretical minimum of about 40 MJ, equating to 28% of the contained energy of the hydrogen produced. By comparison liquefying methane takes 6% of the contained energy of the methane feedstock.

Storing hydrogen as a metal hydride of alkali metals is comparable to compression in terms of energy consumption. External heat is needed to release hydrogen from the metal hydride storage material. The amount of hydrogen that can be stored per cubic metre of metal hydride is about 60 kg, approaching that of liquid hydrogen of 72 kg per cubic metre. But it is well short of the 100 kg contained in a cubic metre of methanol.

Distribution of hydrogen by pipeline would require a new system. It is well established that existing pipelines cannot be used for hydrogen, because of diffusion losses, brittleness of materials and seals, incompatibility of pump lubrication with hydrogen and other technical issues. That hasn’t stopped Australian gas distributors from spiking their gas supply with 5% hydrogen. No doubt one day they will wake up to find their pipes and valves embrittled and leaking like a sieve.

Because of the low volumetric energy density of hydrogen, the flow velocity must be increased by over three times in a pipeline delivering hydrogen as compared to methane.  In a natural gas pipeline 0.3% of the contained energy of the transported gas is used every 150 km to run the compressors. In a hydrogen pipeline this rises to 1.4% every 150 km.

If delivering hydrogen by pipeline is energy-intensive, distributing it by road transport is far more problematic. By Eliasson and Bossel’s figures, a 40 ton truck could deliver 25 tons of gasoline, 3.2 tons of methane but only 320 kg of hydrogen. This is a consequence of the low energy density of hydrogen and the weight of the pressure vessels.

In their parable of the gasoline station, a mid-size filling station on a freeway sells 25 tons of fuel each day. This can be delivered by one 40 ton truck. But it would need 21 hydrogen trucks to deliver the same amount of energy to the station. About one in one hundred trucks on the road are gasoline or diesel tankers. For hydrogen distribution by road that would rise to 120 trucks on the road with 21 of these transporting hydrogen with one out of six truck accidents involving a hydrogen truck.

What if hydrogen was generated at filling stations by electrolysis and then compressed to 200 bars? Eliasson and Bossel calculate that at a station servicing 1,000 vehicles per day the efficiency of conversion of the electric power required would be about 50%, in turn requiring power generation capacity to be tripled.

The problems of hydrogen are innate – its physical properties are incompatible with the requirements of the energy market. As Eliasson and Bossel state, most of hydrogen’s problems cannot be solved by additional research and development. If hydrogen is irredeemable, what would be the ideal energy carrier? It would be a liquid with a boiling point of at least 60°C and a solidification point under 40°C. It would stay liquid under normal weather conditions and at high altitudes. Even if oil had never been discovered, the world would not use synthetic hydrogen but a synthetic hydrocarbon fuel.

All the above is known to the promoters of the glorious hydrogen economy to come. Theirs is a cynical exercise in duping the public in order to advance the globalist agenda. Australia’s politicians are either foot soldiers in that globalist putsch or easily deluded simpletons.

We rational people can dream too. Economic modelling gives President Trump a 90% chance of winning the election a few weeks away. Soon after Dr Happer will be recalled and sign off on the report that drives a stake through the heart of the global warming monster. The globalist rent-seekers will be forced to get real jobs. Scientific truth will be pursued as an end in itself. We can dream.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare

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September 24, 2020 10:27 pm

Methane’s value is 36.5 kJ/kg ??

I think you meant per litre.

Reply to  PCman999
September 25, 2020 2:25 am

No, because otherwise you’d need to specify the pressure.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Disputin
September 25, 2020 5:22 am

The comparison is to hydrogen on a per liter basis, and it’s taken from the table where the pressure is specified at 800 bar. So yes, it should be 36.5 kJ/liter. That said, the units are wrong, in that the table is in MJ/liter. I don’t know off hand which is correct.

Jim Whelan
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
September 25, 2020 10:44 am

Disputin is correct. The measure per Kg is independent of temperature. The paper also gives a value of 11.7 kJ/litre for normal atmospheric pressure. The table than shows values for 200 and 800 times atmospheric pressure so MJ/litre is appropriate.

Reply to  PCman999
September 28, 2020 12:40 am

It’s a typo I’d say. They do mean per litre for the figure you quoted, which is referring to the chart. The per kg figures are also quoted.

Reply to  Nigel
September 28, 2020 12:49 am

Sorry, the chart is another measure again – MJ/litre figures @ 200 bar.
The point is that methane holds more energy for the same PV.

September 24, 2020 10:31 pm

Australia is determined to commit economic suicide. RIP, Australia. I guess the plan is that the Chicoms just roll in and repopulate it.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Zane
September 24, 2020 10:51 pm

See Tibet for example on how that cultural re-programming will happen.
With the way some parts of Australia are handling the COVID restrictions on free speech and movements, the People are already being programmed for a Chi-comm level of Central authority control of everyday lives. Including the Big Brother-like snitching on non-compliant resisters.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
September 25, 2020 4:39 am

The UK too.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
September 25, 2020 6:28 am

Well BoJo did walk that back to snitching on “animal parties”.

The culture of “animal parties” is rather decadent. I’ve seen one too many.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
September 29, 2020 6:38 am

Don’t forget Canada!

September 24, 2020 10:34 pm

What think using Ammonia (NH3) [or “NH4 (ammonium) is a nontoxic salt”].
Someone hyping it- and mentions Australia:

[I thought of it and then searched it- because recently thinking of it because wondering the propane heated refrigerator [which it involves NH4??}. Anyhow wondered if could it be could be split easily {and not sure}.

Reply to  gbaikie
September 25, 2020 12:02 am

Ammonia is being touted as the “new” way to store and transport hydrogen.

Just don’t bother to look up the current cost ofAmmonia production or the amount of H2 that you can get out of a kilo ofNH3.

Reply to  PeterW
September 25, 2020 1:52 am

Ah around $250 to $530 per ton:
So $.50 per kilogram and 14 + 3 or 1/6 so +$3 per kg
hmm: NH4OH
From china: US $280.00-$300.00 / Metric Ton
25 Metric Tons (Min. Order)
N = 14 and O = 16
get 4 H? so 35 so 1/9 so $2.70 per kg
$3 per kg plus whatever cost to split it.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  gbaikie
September 25, 2020 9:27 pm

Hydrazine (N2H4) is arguably the best way to transport hydrogen. It is room-temperature storable, and gives 60% higher hydrogen density than liquid hydrogen. Further, it breaks down exothermically, providing energy without any combustion – subsequent combustion provides even more.

Daihatsu has been working on a hydrazine fuel cell for vehicle purposes, and has also developed an encapsulation scheme for hydrazine which renders it non-hazardous in the event of an accident, and spill.

It can be produced without any carbon at any step of the way, asynchronously with any kind of electric energy (including “renewable” energy).

Will we ever see it? Not a chance in hell. The Left will endorse any “sustainable, zero carbon” energy source as long as it doesn’t work. As soon as one does work, they’ll politic it out of existence – as they have already done with nuclear fission.

Their goal is not to “save the earth.” It is to extinguish humanity.

Flavio Capelli
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
September 26, 2020 1:20 am

Uhm, hydrazine is not exactly a benign substance. I’d rather avoid it.

Joel O'Bryan
September 24, 2020 10:45 pm

” Australia’s politicians are either foot soldiers in that globalist putsch or easily deluded simpletons.”

Why are those mutually exclusive? I would argue they go hand-in-hand and are tightly coupled traits.
And not just Australia by any stretchr, but most of the Leftists in the Western world are easily deluded simpletons willing to be foot soldiers in a Marxist revolution.

We can avoid that future by knowing how it happened in the past in other cultures. And those people really weren’t much different from us. We can learn from the many millions upon millions of deaths at the hands of Bolshevik-Marxists in the 20th Century. If we don’t, then we too will be sent to the Gulags.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
September 24, 2020 11:51 pm

climate science and renewable energy is nothing to do with leftists and especially not to do with Marxists (those guys haven’t noticed the 20th century ended)

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 12:42 am

Oh dear. “Marxists (those guys haven’t noticed the 20th century ended)”
Just like climatetards.

Reply to  Leo Smith
September 25, 2020 8:22 am

Is griff honestly trying to argue that there are no Marxists out there?

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  MarkW
September 25, 2020 9:37 am

I think griff is trying to say Climastrologists aren’t Marxists (because Marxists are so 20th Century, while Climastrologists are Children Of The Future, or something).

Yet, here is a Venn Diagram of Climastrologists and Marxists: O

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 12:47 am

And yet, every single ‘solution’ to CAGW is almost pure socialist reforms. Every single one.

More government.
More taxes.
More control.
More socialism.

Explain that one, if you can.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
September 25, 2020 3:54 am

Zig Zag Wanderer September 25, 2020 at 12:47 am
More government.
More taxes.
More control.
More socialism.

Explain that one, if you can.
If people are told mask wearing prevents 50+% of covid cases what happens – ‘They want to throw God’s wonderful breathing system out’
if the government tell people you WILL wear a mask or get fined £10000 people tend to comply.

Thus it is with AGW – tell people to travel less/travel more efficiently has no effect the gov must give incentive to cut back on fossil burning. – higher fuel prices – taxes?

Taxes are meant to tax the wealthy and it is the wealthy who will not notice a few £ missing from their salary. Unfortunatel reducing CO2 and other pollutants will cost more. But what are the alternatives?

More controls – I assume means gov control? so same as [1]

People are unwilling to look more than their lifetime ahead and consider their family only. This should not be the case we have a duty to think of future generations and global not just local. How many times do people say that they would not mind a 4°C warmer climate. But a rise like this would KILL people where temperatures already to 48°C.

Reply to  Ghalfrunt.
September 25, 2020 8:26 am

IE, government control is good. More government control is better.

Force people to wear masks, for their own good of course.
Force people to gravel less, for their own good of course.
Steal even more from the rich, because that means more can be spent by the Marxists.

Of course, only the Marxists are smart enough and noble enough to plan for the future, that’s why they need total control of everything.

A couple of problems
1) Socialism/Marxism has never solved any of the problems it was implemented to solve, and has always made things worse. Except for those who have appointed themselves to run it. They make out like bandits.
2) I’m still waiting for evidence that the tiny amount of warming that CO2 might be capable of is a problem. Much less one requiring government to take over everything.

Reply to  Ghalfrunt.
September 25, 2020 12:30 pm

Where did you get that BS that “taxes are meant to tax the wealthy”? It’s that moronic socialistic mindset that leads you astray. Taxes are meant to support functions done most appropriately by a government (e.g., defense), and all citizens should contribute in some manner. The fact that most democracies have a progressive tax system is just the first step in the destruction of democracy. As was said, democracies will fail when the majority recognize that they can help themselves to the public trough, paid for by the “wealthy” minority.

Reply to  Ghalfrunt.
September 25, 2020 3:07 pm

Reply to G half runt .
We are being pushed towards socialism and one world government through the imagined threat of climate change .
The proponents do not want to modify their lifestyles but expect and demand that every one else decrease their use of energy .
Temperatures were higher in the 1930s than now and sea levels have been much higher than present .
Despite the constant propaganda from the left wing press and TV stations there no proof that the doubling of CO2 levels in the atmosphere can elevate the earths temperature by more than six tenths of one degree Celsius .
The theory of global warming depends on the tropical hotspot and positive water vapour feed back .
Neither have been proven to exist .
G half runt , Griff and Simon are useful idiots who all believe the lies that are told and never think maybe they are being used .
Don’t come back here untill you can bring some proof that elevated CO2 levels will cause dangerous global warming .

Reply to  Ghalfrunt.
September 25, 2020 10:34 pm

This is the blind debating the deaf.
Socialism/Communism: it has solved all kinds of issues.
It turned a 3rd rate Eurasian power into a world power (Russia).
It modernized and kept China unified.

Equally, the libertarian nonsense:
The rich don’t pay progressively more tax in the US or even Europe. Whatever the titular rates are supposed to be – in reality, the rich in both the US and EU pay far less of their income to taxes – which is the combination of sales, income, import, property and other taxes. Warren Buffet pays less tax per dollar of income than his secretary.

Mainstream politicians in the US hates socialism and communism because that is what the rich fear the most – and for the same reason why progressives gravitate towards it: because ultimately it is a very powerful way to unite the masses against the oligarchs.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
September 25, 2020 5:30 am

Right, the “climate justice” thing.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
September 26, 2020 11:47 am

Reply to c’lue.
You haven’t got a clue glorifying communism .
Millions of Russians were killed by Stalin and other leaders and millions more have been killed by Chinese leaders suppressing opposition and it is still happening in China at this moment with the Muslim minorities .
You never mentioned your hero Fidel Castro and the Cubans that have been put to death by his henchmen.
The politics of envy does not work and the state controlling every facet of a countries citizens does not work .
I was born in New Zealand with nothing and will go to my grave with nothing but through sheer hard work and working on solutions to problems I have enjoyed a bountiful life
.My property will be passed on to my children and grand children .
The right to own property should be every citizens right and also to pass it on to their children .
Communism is based on tribal ideology whether you think so or not .
The ” tribe ” is the state and all members have to be subservient to the “tribe ” or state.
The tribe have chiefs and the chieftain class .The state has the leaders and bureaucrats who enjoy a very good standard of living while the serfs can not even own their own home or farm or start a business .
Wealthy people pay the vast majority of taxes in most countries.

Komerade Cube
Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 3:01 am

Great leftist propaganda Griff! Which are you, foot-soldier or deluded simpleton?

Rod Evans
Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 3:05 am

Tell us what you think about the hydrogen solution to future energy requirements griff.
We are all standing by waiting for your considered opinion on the idea.

Reply to  Rod Evans
September 25, 2020 6:43 am

It is a good solution for trains, some applications in steel making, supplementing natural gas and energy storage, buses… I don’t think its good for cars, given the level of development of batteries.

There will be many occasions on which renewable energy being produced exceeds demand and producing hydrogen is as good as storing the surplus in batteries. (Oh yes there will be: the plan is to end curtailment of wind power…)

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 12:08 pm

Did you even read the article. Your ignorance of hydrogen chemistry is astounding. Hydrogen makes metals brittle and damages the seals in natural gas pipelines.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 6:42 pm

“chemman September 25, 2020 at 12:08 pm

Your ignorance … is astounding.”

There, fixed it for ya.

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 9:30 pm

Hydrogen in a moving vehicle, with pipes and connections under constant vibration? You’re surely kidding?

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 3:16 am


Marxism is simply the evil and completely failed philosophy of the state controlling the means of production through: rules, regulations, taxation and the barrel of a gun, and the tacit elimination of: private property rights, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, free will, and, well,….freedom of everything…. The state owns yo’ butt…

The free market would NEVER intentionally use wind and/or solar to run power grids because they are far too diffuse, intermittent, unreliable, inefficient, expensive, have laughable energy densities and require 100% immediate backup…. Accordingly, they’ll never rationally replace abundant and dirt cheap fossil fuels, hydro or nuclear energy..

Fossil fuels’ negative externalities are easily solved by technology: catalytic converters, smokestack scrubbers, advanced engines, etc., —-excluding CO2 which is NOT a negative externality, regardless of what lunatic Leftists beliiiiieve…

Rod Evans
Reply to  SAMURAI
September 25, 2020 3:41 am

+100 well said. Samurai

Gregory Woods
Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 4:37 am

WUWT publishes comments by griff for entertainment purposes only. Responding to his idiocies is not required…

Reply to  Gregory Woods
September 25, 2020 6:40 am

I’m here all summer… please see the stage door for autographed photos…

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 7:32 am

For use as toilet paper?

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 6:20 am

Griff, seriously, these impractical episodes of “great idea stuff” are just low-key manifestations put out by people who want to tell you when you’re allowed to use the restroom. Snap out of it, willya?

Every time I read one of these episodes from the Bright Idea Club, I wonder just how long it will be until we’re in the first episode of the “Mad Max” series of movies. Don’t think so, Griff? You’re far too naive. Please snap out of it. Marxism is the goal those bozos want to inflict on you. AOC, our very own squirrelly Democrat in the House of Reps, has made it quite clear that it is what SHE wants, and labels it “climate justice”, an oxymoron if there ever was one. She’s backed by a Marxist group. She’s only one of many like her.

Please snap out of it, Griff. Otherwise, you’ll be running like mad to try to catch the train out of town.

Reply to  Sara
September 25, 2020 6:39 am

I see major govts of the centre and right and major world corporations and financial institutions and insurers and above all scientists in ancient institutions researching ice and climate long before the ‘climate crisis’ all accepting the science and investing in renewables…

I see this resulting in new physical infrastructure and measurable increases in Twh of delivered electricity and measurable reductions of CO2.

I see this in multiple countries.

I say it again: the ‘leftist’ and ‘marxist’ narrative just doesn’t wash outside the climate skeptic/US media/republican like politics bubble

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 8:30 am

Politicians pushing for solutions that mean more money and more power for themselves. Big surprise there.
The politicians that run those “ancient” institutions love the money that comes with the global warming scam. The actual scientists are never asked for their opinion.

Andrew Dickens
Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 12:15 pm

Griff, on the subject of Marxism/socialism and global warming. All my life I’ve been regarded as a person of the left. But because I don’t accept the establishment line on global warming, people call me “right wing”. Why do they do that?

btw, I’m delighted that you keep posting, in spite of the fact that your views put you in a minority on this site. You help to generate debate, always a good thing.

Malcolm Carter
Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 2:31 pm

Been to the meetings and talked to the climate challenged professors. Surprising how an hour long presentation has 5 minutes of settled science and 55 minutes of ways to take over the establishment. I used the word socialist to describe their opinions then ramped it up to Marxist. Karl isn’t mentioned by the professors but I use his name to describe the far radical left of socialism.

j t
Reply to  Sara
September 25, 2020 7:52 am

True, Sara…and we appear to probably agree about these things as far as I can tell. Not to split hairs, but what the predator cult (WEF-types) behind this plandemic, or crisis-demic, really want is a Technocracy. They want “experts” to tell the people…ALL the people of the world…what to do, where to do it, when to do it, how to do it, with what to do it, where to live, how to live, what to eat and drink, what meds and vaccines to take and when and for what, when to die and who should die first.

And that’s just jacks for starters. They also want to control the moral code–their code, which basically calls “moral” whatever they decide is good for us. And of course, the experts are they themselves and those they choose from among those that belong to the cult and agree with them. And they want a lot of the decisions to be made by AI…with all software controlled by them of course, all input. They want humans to become less human and more machine-like, including command&control of thoughts and actions, via chips, machine interfaces, etc: transhumanism.

Marxism to them is simply a tool they have used and continue to use in the meantime to brainwash (esp. in the universities) people into helping them tear down sovereign states, destroy (beneficial) capitalism and economies, destroy cities, destroy rights, etc. But Technocracy is really economic totalitarianism, not basically political. Their plans include no politicians, or better said no “elected” officials, no one responsible to WeTheSheople but only to the (benevolent, of course) ruling cult.

That’s why they love and support (and essentially generated) Agenda 21–it creates levels of governance that supercede elected governance, regional and national control panels and entities that can countermand any and all rules or regulations at all elected levels and create new ones of their own whenever they want without input from the citizens-turned-sheople. Ie, no government but their own internally composed, externally imposed tyranny.

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 8:21 am

The evidence has been given, but griff refuses to see anything that contradicts his religious convictions.

Reply to  MarkW
September 25, 2020 8:44 am

My religious convictions have nothing to do with my acceptance of the findings of climate science…

(Its a bit odd going to church in a mask as UK covid regs currently dictate…)

The idea climate change is leftist is absent from public opinion and discussion outside the USA (except for people who read Watts, probably!)

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 11:13 am

What findings would those be?

Would that be your religious conviction that CO2 controls the climate, despite all the science that shows it is a minor player at best?
Would that be your religious conviction that Polar Bears are dying, despite all the science that shows that they are thriving?
Would that be your religious conviction that the climate is unprecedented, despite the science that shows that nothing that is happening is at all unusual?
Who cares what the leadership of the climate movement says their motivation is, griff knows best.

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 8:55 am

And AOC and her minions have admitted the GND is just a path to socialism.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
September 25, 2020 6:35 am

Australia has only one problem – as a Commonwealth “dominion”, which the US soon will be also, the Queen can dismiss any elected government for “insubordination” (see the famous Whitlam case).
Aussie politicians know what happened to Whitlam.
The House of Lords has openly published it will not survive a second Trump admin., so a Maidan color revolution is fully underway.

Funny how Americans imagine “Bolsheviks”, “Chinese” malign actors ala Mad Mike Pompeo, and do not see what is actually happening right under their very noses. At least Pompeo has a religious excuse – he is en-Raptured.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  bonbon
September 25, 2020 3:53 pm

Two problems.

The second is a lot of Australians have an utterly false idea about the powers of the Governor General.

September 24, 2020 11:00 pm

I agree with you that a Hydrogen economy is ridiculous; the only practical way to do it is to use Nat Gas as a feed stock, but if you’re going to do that you might as well use the nat gas directly and save a step.

As far was what went on in D.C. with Pruitt, I have heard a much different story – although of course who can prove what went on behind closed doors? What I gathered was that Pruitt had the potential to do a great job, but Chief of Staff Kelly became furious because Pruitt was not “sufficiently deferential” to him, and thus Kelly waged a full court smear campaign against him from inside the White House. Pruitt in fact announced plans for a red/green team to examine Climate Change, and it was reportedly Kelly who killed it because he didn’t like it, not Kushner. The decorating charges were petty, and in this version were ginned up by Kelly to force Pruitt to resign, for purely personal reasons.

As you well know, later Chief of Staff Kelly was fired, mostly because he thought he was more important than his boss. And Wheeler came in, with much the same plans as Pruitt did, but a smoother manner, and he has done well since then. And all Kelly does now is sit at home and whisper nasty stories to the NYT.

everything else you write I agree with, of course.

Reply to  wws
September 25, 2020 3:30 pm

Thanks for setting the record straight. I thought the red-green team thing was very weak. If you want to reform, you go all OODA on the enemy and keep them off balance. Pruitt should have declared global warming to be a big error and got Happer to sign off on a report straight away. There should be no waiting around and getting comfortable.

Christopher Fay
September 24, 2020 11:07 pm

Because of its low molecular weight, you can’t contain it. Therefore you can’t reticulate it. Hence you can’t distribute it.

Ian Coleman
September 24, 2020 11:21 pm

Yeah, hydrogen. Want to know how dumb proponents of hydrogen fuel cells are? One of their arguments is that, since hydrogen atoms are the most abundant and ubiquitous atoms in the world, hydrogen molecules will be easy to come by.

Incidentally, I see that Mr. Archibald is interested in the F-35 program. Me too. How many more years must pass before it can be officially admitted that it is impossible to produce F-35s that work as advertised? The amount of denial needed to keep funding the program is staggering, but impervious to time and human reason.

Reply to  Ian Coleman
September 25, 2020 12:35 am

NGAD is the F-35 killer we have been waiting for. Note that the F-15 contract is flexible for up to 400 aircraft. Basically it is filling the gap until the NGAD enters production. Lockheed got too greedy and now the DOD has changed fighter acquisition system forever. Intellectual property will remain with the DOD for example. I only recently found out that the F-35 has eleven fuel tanks. Some articles on the wretched thing:

Ian Coleman
Reply to  David Archibald
September 25, 2020 3:52 am

Thank you, Mr. Archibald. I’ll read those. I’m interested in the F-35, not only because I’m a fighter plane buff, but also because I’m interested in human folly. Lots of folly from people with genius IQs in the F-35 program.

One of the more fascinating industrial products in America history was the B-58, which was an astonishing (if rather dangerous to operate) aircraft that had become obsolete before it became operational. That thing was beautiful. Useless, though.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Ian Coleman
September 25, 2020 12:50 am

That is, of course, quite true.

As long as you are travelling in between solar systems. Within solar systems, it’s relatively rare, outside of the star itself.

Solution: send Climate Activists to the sun or interstellar space. Problem solved!

September 24, 2020 11:28 pm

ScoMo & Co . . . hydrogen = expensive natural gas + personal wealth after leaving politics.

September 24, 2020 11:36 pm

Typo/error: Density of methanol is 0.792 g/cm not 0.100 (“100 kg contained in a cubic metre”)

Thought: why is nobody suggesting synthetic liquid fuels? Take all that “CARBON” and capture it back into a fuel that uses all the existing infrastructure?

Ray Sanders
Reply to  gareth
September 25, 2020 3:07 am

They are. Nobel Laureate George Olah was no fool.,hydrogen%20economy%20or%20ethanol%20economy.
It might sound a fanciful notion but providing you can convince Greenies of the need for nuclear power (!) you can actually use the enhanced waste heat to drive the adsorption/desorption process needed to harvest CO2 from the atmosphere. Being a continuous source of electricity for water electrolysis as well, a NPP could readily power a methanol production facility. Given that it is a liquid with a boiling point of 64.7 °C and a freezing point of -97.6 °C and can readily run through a gas turbine then aviation could be “decarbonised”
Expensive but a lot cheaper and more practical than hydrogen.m

Reply to  gareth
September 25, 2020 9:04 am

Why burn it in the first place? You have to put all the energy you got and then add more for the losses. The energy has to come from somewhere else.

Climate believer
September 24, 2020 11:41 pm

Not just the Australian government, Europe is going full on. Airbus have given themselves 15 years to make a hydrogen plane to save the planet, meanwhile sacking 3500 peoples jobs in Toulouse since March.

Coeur de Lion
September 24, 2020 11:51 pm

One little hindenberg will fix it

September 24, 2020 11:59 pm

but of course this isn’t just happening in Australia – here are some examples:

Aberdeen Scotland

(I include this because BP is involved in this City’s plans)

Humberside, England – massive industrial project

Germany (of course):

“Last week, the (German) government announced that it aimed to have 5 gigawatts (GW) of hydrogen production capacity by 2030, with another 5 GW a decade later.

The plan, which could see hydrogen eventually make up about 10% of the country’s total electricity capacity, was unveiled as part of a €130 billion ($147 billion) stimulus to help reboot the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. The hydrogen commitment is part of some €40 billion earmarked for climate-related spending.”


“The world is looking towards hydrogen as a next-generation clean energy source. In Japan, the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field was completed in March 2020. With the start-up of the world’s largest hydrogen production facility, a giant leap towards the realization of a hydrogen society has been made.”

And I could of course go on, but I think the point is made – this is a worldwide trend.

Komerade Cube
Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 3:28 am

Stupid is as stupid does

Craig from Oz
September 25, 2020 12:09 am

“David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare”

This is what I like about David. He is not ashamed to admit when he is wrong.

Good solid summary on the Hydrogen Economy myth though 🙂

Lorne Newell
September 25, 2020 12:35 am

Good article. Well done. Thank you.

Ian Magness
September 25, 2020 12:52 am

With interesting timing, yesterday saw the first flight in the UK of a hydrogen powered “commercial” plane (a Piper Malibu):
Apparently is used 4 1/2lb of hydrogen, flew for 8 minutes and reached 100 knots . They reckon with 33lb of fuel it can fly 300 miles (all queue up to test this…), and the company “calculate” that a Boeing 737 with a range of 4,000 miles is possible (colour me sceptical but….). It doesn’t say how much space the new power equipment and fuel take up on any of the planes. It happily chirps up, however, that such equipment will be “more reliable and needs less maintenance than current technology” due to “fewer moving parts”.
It is noted that the developer – ZeroAvia – relocated to the UK from the US last year “because in Europe there is a better understanding of sustainability then in North America”. Hmmm, nothing to do with the fact that the beleaguered British taxpayer, I mean government, is part-funding this then?

Reply to  Ian Magness
September 25, 2020 6:24 am

They only like it because it hasn’t exploded in front of them just yet. 🙂

September 25, 2020 1:02 am

Clarification please: ’40 ton truck could deliver 25tons of gasoline, 3.2 tons of methane but only 320 tons of hydrogen…’ is this an error or does the consequent inefficiency of hydrogen distibution described depend on a very low energy density of hydrogen? Sorry, not being a specialist in energy systems I don’t follow

Roy Martin
Reply to  ZJ
September 25, 2020 3:58 am

320 kg, not tons. That should fix it…

September 25, 2020 1:09 am

David, they are easily deluded simpletons. They bang on about the lucky country but never saw the full quote –

Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck. It lives on other people’s ideas, and, although its ordinary people are adaptable, most of its leaders (in all fields) so lack curiosity about the events that surround them that they are often taken by surprise

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Voltron
September 25, 2020 1:39 am

^^ This!

Carl Friis-Hansen
September 25, 2020 1:26 am

“… methane at 11.7 kJ/litre. Methane’s value is 36.5 kJ/kg”

Shouldn’t it be 36.5 kJ/litre?

September 25, 2020 1:55 am

When it comes to hydrogen being transported by pipes – wouldn’t it just take making wide-radius pipes to allow for cheap hydrogen transport? The surface area goes to radius square, so you don’t need that mach radius increase.

Reply to  TomR
September 25, 2020 11:42 am

How about 1 meter diameter pipe 1/2″ steel walls and 1/2 meter diameter aluminum pipe within it also 1/2″ thick walls. And flush the steel pipe with air, as some small amount hydrogen will go thru the aluminum.
50 cm diameter or 20″ diameter 1/2″ and 30 kpsi strength allows 1000 psi air pressure- but do only 500 psi and up the pressure at station.
And just use above numbers- less than 1/3rd of methane.
1/2 meter diameter is cross section of .196349375 square meter a 1/3rd is .06544979 square meter which diameter of about 28 cm diameter.
Or difference H2 needs twice diameter pipe methane at same pressure. Or no one moves gaseous methane in truck, propane liquifies easily. But pipeline transport cheaper trains which cheaper than trucks. By cladding in steel, it seem to provide enough in terms general safety but pipelines probably something to deal earthquake- probably shutting off and probably clearing the line, testing it after earthquake is done, and the flushing steel pipe, could used for this testing purpose, also.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  TomR
September 25, 2020 3:49 pm


let us assume for our example that you have multiple kiddlings living at Tom Manner. So many that they do not all fit comfortably or safely into your main car.

A solution would be to buy a bus, clearly.

But, you counter, a bus is very expensive and doesn’t fit under my carport.


There are other considerations of course to do with flow rate but ‘larger’ and ‘more expensive’ are good starting answers.

Of course the real moral of this story is to always Childproof your home BEFORE you get infested.

B d Clark
September 25, 2020 2:01 am

Boris Johnson has now shown his true green credentials, yesterday at a roundtable UN meeting he waved the flag for wind energy and hydrogen, hydrogen to power ,trucks ,trains and maybe aircraft.

Rod Evans
Reply to  B d Clark
September 25, 2020 3:47 am

When you see Boris, think Carrie. Suddenly, everything then becomes clear.

September 25, 2020 2:26 am

Many scientists in the world are unaware of the latest clean energy technology. Fortunately, an appropriate answer to the most difficult question in global hydroelectric knowledge has been discovered. This scientific answer actually means discovering a new source of clean energy for the world. Another implication of this vital discovery for the people of the world is that soon all our beliefs about the energy of the world will change. This answer is actually a new method of generating energy using a new scientific formula in physics.
How can we obtaining clean energy in a best way from the potential of water static head in dams and seas that it is very different from with the past methods?
Scientists around the world can expect good news from the German Patent Office!
(Ee>Ep+E1at) = (E>P+1at)
Ee= High pressure clean energy that is produced by the water power plants in the depth of water via released fixed potential energy of water natural pressure (More than ten meters of water) with new method (Immersion turbines of series and parallel in zero point of opposite forces).
Ep= Released fixed potential energy of water natural pressure in water depth (More than ten meters of water).
E1at= Amount of energy that is consumed at a small pump of one atmosphere power is the ability (In the same place of the water power plant in water depth).
climate change will stop!

Reply to  Mohammad Kambiz Fatehi
September 25, 2020 8:33 am

As near as I can tell, this guy is claiming that they can get energy from the pressure of water alone.

Reply to  MarkW
September 25, 2020 5:26 pm

Yeah. But is he kidding or is it more tragic.

Anyhow, just be clear there no problem regarding global warming {we living one coldest periods in Earth history] and therefore we don’t need Hydrogen powered cars. It could done. It can’t done by government- but governments can’t do much of anything- other their typical mayhem, or best trying to the least as possible.

Anders Valland
September 25, 2020 2:31 am

I think you are overhyping hydrogen here 🙂

Large scale electrolysis is in use today, and it operates at something close to 60-65% efficiency. Furthermore, electrolysis is cheaper at scale, but only up to about 1000 tons/day, after which cost per kg stays the same. This will not change.

Steam reforming, which makes up about 80% of hydrogen production today, is done at around 75% efficiency.

Hydrogen losses, in the chain from energy input to usable energy output, is comprised of the following:

Conversion loss in electrolysis (35%) or steam reformation of natural gas (25%).
Conversion loss in compression: 8% (200-300 bar), 10% (700 bar), 15% (liquid)
Loss in storage, transportation and bunkering/filling: 10%
Loss in use: Fuel cell 50%

The chain efficiency from energy input to useful energy output is thus:
– For steam reforming: 0.75*0.92*0.90*0.5 = 31% @ 200 bar, 30% @700 bar and 29% @liquid
– For electrolysis: 27% @200 bar, 26% @700 bar and 25% @liquid

Mind you, I have been conservative in loss estimation here. Large scale PEM fuel cells for heavy transport applications operate at less than 50% efficiency, a survey done by the European Maritime Safety Agency looking at maritime applications places it at 45%. A consequence is that practical applications come out around 20-25% chain efficiency.

Any time you hear that fuel cells operate at 60% efficiency, bear in mind that is a net figure. It does not count auxilliary systems needed to keep the FC running. That is the mark of a immature technology, since too few actual applications are on the market for the real figures to be widely known.

The idea of the hydrogen economy is that we should be able to produce energy without any harmful effects to nature, and be able to produce energy in abundance. If we would be able to do that we could skip any concern regarding the use of energy to produce hydrogen and everyone would be happy… What is also skipped is the enormous cost related to infrastructure and handling of the permanent and unavoidable increase in risk associated with the use of hydrogen. And this is an important point, and I think you were to brief in your mention of it.

If you would go the way of hydrogen, you could go a little bit further and convert hydrogen into a new hydrocarbon – or synthetic fuel as it is also known. By doing so you incur extra cost to the fuel, BUT you avoid all extra costs to infrastructure AND you avoid all additional risk. The extra fuel cost is negligible to all the infrastructure and risk cost. Yes, I know you could make ammonia but that would only exchange extreme flammability and explosion for extreme toxicity and corrosivity. Ammonia is not the way.

You have a couple of sentences about density that might be a bit confusing. You state “The amount of hydrogen that can be stored per cubic metre of metal hydride is about 60 kg, approaching that of liquid hydrogen of 72 kg per cubic metre. But it is well short of the 100 kg contained in a cubic metre of methanol.”

I take it that you are comparing the amount of hydrogen in a cubic metre of methanol to pure hydrogen storage. That would be correct, since there are 4 hydrogen atoms in a molecule of methanol (CH3OH) and the ratio of mass is 4/32 or 1/8. Methanol density is 792 kg/m3. I thought it might be good to be specific about it.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Anders Valland
September 25, 2020 4:05 am

Many thanks for that brief summary of hydrogen conversion and efficiency ratios.
We have to get more of this basic data into the mainstream media, we need to be active in as many media outlets as possible and at every opportunity.
The media have got to be educated into the fundamental truths about the materials they thing will provide the answer to tomorrow’s energy needs.
I have stopped counting the number of wind energy articles that present converting the occasional excess energy they produce into hydrogen as a storage “solution”. If only!
We have a lack of engineers in the media and it shows.

Carl Friis-Hansen
September 25, 2020 2:37 am

There was an engineer on RT today saying that it takes six times more electricity to use hydrogen to heat a home, compared to using an electric heat pump.
It was clear that this engineer is a Climate Alarmist, so when even he says there is nothing good about hydrogen for heating, transport, etc., there is some weight behind it.

September 25, 2020 2:55 am

“The Future of the Hydrogen Economy: Bright Blight or Bleak?”
Fixed that for them.

Coeur de Lion
September 25, 2020 5:11 am

Will it have a stenching agent?

September 25, 2020 5:12 am

I find it highly illogical to be pushing hydrogen these days, when electric car batteries are becoming spectacularly good and cheaper than ever. Batteries can now last a million miles, can be recharges to 80% in 20 minutes and cost $100 per kWhr. Any formerly plausible reason for pushing hydrogen is gone forever.

Reply to  ColMosby
September 25, 2020 6:33 am

Well there are hydrogen powered trains, buses… aircraft being trialled. You can inject (renewable) hydrogen into the natural gas grid and use it for energy storage…

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 8:36 pm

Yes Griff, they are being explored, but the use of the GAS as it is currently being used, will be an utter failure.

It requires more power to create hydrogen, that Hydrogen can produce, which means a negative energy source.

Reply to  ColMosby
September 25, 2020 8:34 am

Like Molten Salt Reactors, call me when they actually start making these things. Press releases don’t count.

September 25, 2020 5:27 am

The best and only way to use H is to fuse it into He. Talk about energy out!

Reply to  rbabcock
September 29, 2020 6:09 am

rbabcock, And Hydrogen fusion reactors are only 50 years away as they have always been in my 70 years. A lot of hype, a lot of press releases and still no power generated, except the TVA coal power used to start up and maintain the magnetic field bubble. Having spent a lot of my life producing H2 and NH4, I find it pretty amazing all this equally ludicrous belief in a hydrogen transport fuel. Anders above has pretty well summed it up and I would caution that actual plants are oftentimes less efficient than his numbers. And there are busses running on H2 Fuel cells for nearly 20 years now, see Ballard.

Serge Wright
September 25, 2020 5:28 am

The Aussie govt has been duped into this scam due to pressures to find a way to maintain the large coal industry. Certainly an own goal, up there with using biomass as a way of meeting ideological targets. Not only will the scheme fail, but it will take out more huge sums of taxpayer money and create a bigger debt burden for generations. It will also not improve their public image with the green nut jobs, who will protest with the burning of any coal, used for any purpose.

It would appear that when it comes to CO2 gamesmanship, the Chinese propaganda machine is still without parallel. As the worlds biggest emitter by more than 2x, including biggest YoY increases, they put out a statement this week of their goal to become carbon neutral by 2060, a target date about as meaningful as saying 2360 and of course a target that is totally fake, as evidenced by their scramble to keep building coal power stations. This cheap energy used to build expensive and useless RE that it can sell to the west to help them destroy their economies faster and create a master-slave energy dependency at the same time as they look to extend their red curtain of oppression over the entire globe. Not surprisingly, the climate alarmists lap this propaganda up like gospel from the good book and even increase their attacks on the small and largely irrelevant emissions coming from their own countries.

September 25, 2020 5:29 am

“Australia’s politicians are either foot soldiers in that globalist putsch or easily deluded simpletons.”

They are too stupid to be the former, ergo it must be the latter explanation. As stupid as a box of rocks.

September 25, 2020 6:08 am

The irony being the current largest producers and consumers of Hydrogen are….oil refineries.

September 25, 2020 6:26 am

There should probably be a distinction made between the Hydrogen Economy (the fantasy of hydrogen as a green energy source/supply manufactured by Green electricity) and the industrial use of hydrogen in multiple massive industries.

I doubt the Green Hydrogen economy is economical, as we shall see if Toyota has any success with its hydrogen fuel cell car now on the market. That will be a niche market and highly subsidized. If the hydrogen is made with nat gas and all the losses and CO2 production, then what was the point since that wouldn’t be green? Better to have a sold oxide fuel cell running on a fossil fuel if you want efficiency without adding another whole level of complexity with hydrogen filling stations everywhere. Plus competing with fast charge EV stations everywhere, so I doubt hydrogen as a ‘fuel’ will make any sense.

We already have a huge hydrogen industry in everything from steel making, oil refineries to making fertilizer, and hydrogen is one of the key components. It is made and consumed in near real time by steam reforming, and utilized for a number of key industries on a vast scale already. So hydrogen is already critical to our industrial processes. The fact that not much has happened the last 20 years since everyone thought the hydrogen economy was right around the corner should confirm the fact that it isn’t probably an ideal ‘fuel’ which it isn’t really a fuel anyway, but a storage medium. And a fairly low density lousy one as rightly pointed out. It hasn’t gone anywhere on its own, because it doesn’t make sense without huge subsidies, such as with solar and wind. Which is the only way we will see this expand, as it doesn’t stand on its own merits without some kind of subsidy. And why would we want to install two competing parallel energy sources…charging stations everywhere for EV’s, and now hydrogen fuelling stations everywhere.

But for industry, hydrogen is used in several industrial processes. Among other applications, it is important to point its use as raw material in the chemical industry, and also as a reductor agent in the metallurgic industry. Hydrogen is a fundamental building block for the manufacture of ammonia, and hence fertilizers, and of methanol, used in the manufacture of many polymers. Refineries, where hydrogen is used for the processing of intermediate oil products, are another area of use. Thus, about 55 % of the hydrogen produced around the world is used for ammonia synthesis, 25 % in refineries and about 10 % for methanol production. The other applications worldwide account for only about 10 % of global hydrogen production.

Hydrogen is also used in various in industrial applications; these include metalworking (primarily in metal alloying), flat glass production (hydrogen used as an inerting or protective gas), the electronics industry (used as a protective and carrier gas, in deposition processes, for cleaning, in etching, in reduction processes, etc.), and applications in electricity generation, for example for generator cooling or for corrosion prevention in power plant pipelines. There is more, but I think we get the idea. It is an industrial product required for manufacturing, and steam reforming on the fly from Nat Gas is the most efficient use of abundant NG. Electricity should be preserved for much higher and better applications than making hydrogen. Even charging a high tech battery is probably a better use of electricity than manufacturing hydrogen, especially for a transportation solution. EV’s have won that battle IMHO and PHEV’s are probably the best solution yet if you just want to plug and play if wanting some EV capability.

Reply to  Earthling2
September 25, 2020 8:45 am

Check this out:

September 25, 2020 6:39 am

The Author misses the obvious, yet again. All Aussie politicians know what happened to Whitlam – his government was simply dismissed by the Queen’s reserve powers, for insubordination.

Look at Prince Charles leading the green “Reset”. Whitlam was dismissed for trying to buy back the farm.

Welcome to the Commonwealth – the US will soon be reclaimed, if voters forget what 1783 was all about.

Reply to  bonbon
September 25, 2020 8:51 am

Whitlam brought about his own demise by trying to side-step the constitutional powers that govern how the federation must operate.

Like all socialists, he tried to engineer a national economy where most of the populace became dependent upon government for their employment, income, education, and most other living needs.

Trouble was, he quickly ran out of other people’s money, and never did get why & how this socialist nirvana never works.

Reply to  Mr.
September 26, 2020 2:08 am

So now try to buck the Royal Green edicts, and see what happens.

Tough being a subject, what?

Jeffery P
September 25, 2020 7:04 am

This is what happens when people who can’t do basic arithmetic or don’t understand economics fall in love with an idea. Masses of equally challenging people love in line because of the emotional appeal of “changing the world.”

It all sounds wonderful if you choose to ignore facts and are impervious to reason. Clean energy, blue skies, no exhaust from smoke stacks (which is mostly water vapor, btw). A better world for our children and their children.

Juan Slayton
September 25, 2020 7:11 am

… what would be the ideal energy carrier? It would be a liquid with a boiling point of at least 60°C and a solidification point under 40°C.

Looks like a typo here. Maybe you mean minus 40 degrees?

Steve Z
Reply to  Juan Slayton
September 25, 2020 10:44 am

That’s probably correct, that the author meant a freezing point of less than -40 C. This is one of the main specifications put on jet fuel (usually the spec is < -50 C), since jets fly in altitudes where ambient temperatures can be around -45 C.

September 25, 2020 7:34 am

Canada is in a similar quandary to Australia. Canadian Mark Carney, ex Bank of England governor, now heading up the UN environment sector, has openly declared at Jackson Hole 2019, backed up by BlackRock, a green , digital, world financial governance, where elected governments have no say. In other words The Royals will dismiss, not just Australia’s government, but now any and all, for insubordination if they do not adopt the Davos Great Reset. The dismissal will be “colorful” of course like the BLM/Antifa antics now plundering the US.

How dare any democratic elected government insist on credit for coal, petro, nuclear! They will find themselves on a charge!

September 25, 2020 7:46 am

Jimmy Carter converted the USA to hydrogen fuel long ago. You can see how that went.

September 25, 2020 7:53 am

Hydrogen is potentially useful in airplanes as it has a higher energy per kg. This saves them in weight for takeoff.

Reply to  Stevek
September 25, 2020 9:48 am

BUT, hydrogen fuel tanks to hold an equivalent amount of energy as jet fuel will have to be much larger and heaver (low volumetric energy density). That comes at the expense of passenger volume or requires added frontal area – increasing drag, reducing fuel economy, and necessarily requiring slower speeds. I wouldn’t quote Popular Mechanics on anything – they’ve become agenda-driven and are science and engineering illiterate.

Steve Z
Reply to  Stevek
September 25, 2020 10:34 am

The problem with using hydrogen to power aircraft is not its weight but its volume.

If a jet airliner has, for example, a 10,000-gallon (about 37.85 m3) tank filled with jet fuel (refined kerosene) with a density of about 800 kg/m3, that’s about 30,300 kg of fuel with a heat of combustion of about 43 MJ/kg, or about 1,300 GJ of heating value.

At 143 MJ/kg, the required mass of hydrogen would be about 9,100 kg. In order to fit that into a 37.85 m3 tank, the required density would be about 240 kg/m3. According to the ideal gas law, the required pressure for that density at 15 C would be about 2,850 bars, or over 40,000 psi.

Jet fuel doesn’t have a very high vapor pressure, usually less than about 5 psi at normal ambient temperatures, so the fuel tanks on airliners are only designed for about 50 psig. An aluminum tank (lined with stainless steel to resist corrosion) to hold 40,000 psi of pressure would have to be several inches thick, and the extra weight of the tank would far outweigh (literally) the weight savings of the fuel.

Also, turbines running on hydrogen would have to resist temperatures much higher than those fueled by kerosene, since hydrogen produces much less flue gases than kerosene for the same heat release. The turbine blades would have to be made with (more expensive) materials resistant to the higher temperatures.

Dave Andrews
September 25, 2020 8:16 am

On a recent post and briefly above here Griff refers to hydrogen use in aircraft. I assume he is thinking of the recent announcement by Airbus in Europe (and the UK) that they are pursuing three strategies to develop hydrogen powered flight by 2035.

He must have missed the bit about the WATER VAPOUR that results from the burning of hydrogen. Currently there are around 10,000 commercial aircraft in the sky at any one time and a daily average of over 100,000 flights. In total around 39,000 commercial and military planes are operational.

Water vapour is of course a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 and should all those aircraft be eventually producing water vapour trails how is that going to help at all?

Reply to  Dave Andrews
September 25, 2020 8:41 am

Would it be much different from contrails?

I don’t think that the climate effects of water vapour in the atmosphere are necessarily going to be influenced by jet water exhaust. But we shall see.

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2020 11:15 am

Hydrogen powered jets are going to have 3 to 4 times as much water vapor in their exhaust.
I’m not surprised that you didn’t know that.

Reply to  Dave Andrews
September 25, 2020 11:01 am

Don’t worry about water vapor. It’s a drop in the ocean.

Old Retired Guy
September 25, 2020 8:29 am

Have any of you looked at a company with the ticket symbol HYSR? One of my sons is very enthusiastic about its prospects. As he describes it, their technology will make hydrogen production at each location, such as a fueling site, feasible.

September 25, 2020 8:30 am

Currently, a kg of hydrogen costs between $10 and $17 at California hydrogen stations, In California gasoline costs $2.50 per gallon
A kg of hydrogen is, energy wise, about equal to a gallon of gasoline
so, your fueling costs per mile for a Mirae will be about 4X gasoline at current prices.
The base price of a 2020 fuel cell Mirae is $59,455.
The following article is dated, so please do your own research.

September 25, 2020 8:55 am

Why can’t oversized dirigibles be used for transporting bulk hydrogen?

Oh wait . . .

William Astley
September 25, 2020 10:28 am

In the old days, those pushing ideas that will never work because of very basic physical and engineering reasons, that absolutely will not change and cannot be changed.

People do not understand corrupt companies can make lots of money working on stupid ideas (which taxes pay for) that will never work. Airbus proposed a ‘try’ to a developing an airplane that will be power using liquid hydrogen.

Hydrogen’s boiling point is not going to change. The dangers of pressurized tanks and liquid hydrogen in a pressurized tank will never change.

Would have been fired. The media is pushing the pathetic hydrogen ‘idea’ because Germany has reached the limit of their green scam.

The hydrogen scam is a German ‘idea.’

Hydrogen must be cooled to -252 C to liquify it, if it is stored in an atmospheric pressure tank. Pressurizing the tank reduces the temperature …..

However, pressurized tanks are dangerous.

Pressurized tanks, that can contain liquid hydrogen, will always be very expensive and require expensive refrigeration systems.

The only possible method to store a large amount of hydrogen is in a massive number of small and very expensive pressurized tanks which all must have a very expensive refrigeration system.

A tank containing liquid hydrogen will explode (pressure explosion) as the hydrogen turns back to a gas, if the refrigeration system fails or if there is a loss of electrical power to run the cooling system. This problem will never change.

Micro seconds after the pressure explosion that ruptures the tank, the hydrogen will be ignited by the immense energy … that is released as the hydrogen in micro seconds changes from a liquid to a gas.

And then there will be a hydrogen explosion which will create a pressure wave that will kill and destroy everything in a radius….

…. Exactly like powerful bomb.

Stupid ideas that will never work, do not solve fundamental problems such as the German battery problem. German need batteries.

CAGW fanatic Germans live in a northern country where it is …

… sunny and windy in the summer and is cold, cloudy in the winter.

This results in less wind by a factor of roughly three in the winter and less sun by a factor of roughly (30?) in the summer.

The problem is German has too much ‘green’ energy in the summer and not enough in the winter. Batteries cannot solve that problem.

Obviously as there are no magic batteries, Germany cheats by exporting half of their wind based electricity to other countries who then return hydrocarbon or nuclear energy.

Liquid hydrogen (LH2 or LH2) is the liquid state of the element hydrogen. Hydrogen is found naturally in the molecular H2 form.

To exist as a liquid, H2 must be cooled below its critical point of 33 K. However, for it to be in a fully liquid state at atmospheric pressure, H2 needs to be cooled to 20.28 K (−252.87 °C; −423.17 °F).[3] One common method of obtaining liquid hydrogen involves a compressor resembling a jet engine in both appearance and principle. Liquid hydrogen is typically used as a concentrated form of hydrogen storage.

Reply to  William Astley
September 26, 2020 2:14 am

NordStream2 will solve that if Mad Mike Pompeo is muzzled.
US LNG is simply too expensive, and even the Berlin offer of $1 billion for a terminal did not stop Mad Mike.
In other words the geopolitical nuts could not care less about the German economy, it is beef in the sandwich, yet again.

To be seen if German politicians stand up to Mad Mike’s cabal.

Reply to  William Astley
September 29, 2020 6:22 am

William, H2 has a negative Joule Thomson effect meaning that when it is depressurized it heats up and self ignites. Leaks become invisible flames which incinerate people standing nearby.
Germany exports when they have excess, most of the time they are importing from neighbors.

September 25, 2020 10:35 am

Meanwhile, progress continues apace on BrLP’s (inaptly named IMO) “SunCell” reactor (WHICH) uses H BTW); in-house field trials begin shortly on a couple different designs. Recently (this year) several more validation reports were performed and the results published by several specialists whose specialty is thermal ‘engine’/reactor designs.

I think the most striking tests performed to date have been the Gas Chromatography tests that indicate molecular hydrino H2(1/4), aside from the definitive calorimetry testing (pretty hard to ‘screw up’ water temperature rise measurements, and the measurement of input ‘excitation’ energy with today’s modern lab instruments).

“He who has ears, let him hear.”
– Matthew 11:15

September 25, 2020 11:00 am

Feel free all to tell what you want about the alleged uselessness of hydrogen use as secondary or ternary energy source!

I agree: hydrogen use in everybody’s cars or homes might make few sense.

But ‘mon petit doigt’ tells me that if Airbus Industries decided to start the engineering of a hydrogen-fuelled airplane to get it ready for 2035, they probably will know a bit more than the average WUWT poster about it.

J.-P. D.

Reply to  Bindidon
September 25, 2020 2:34 pm

Mon petit doigt m’a dit que :

The Airbus 380 would be waaaaay beyond schedule; it was.
The Airbus 380 would be too big for most airports and too difficult to sell; it was.
The projected 400M would never be built. It was not.

Mon petit doigt me dit que :

There will be no commercial H2 Airbus.

Reply to  niceguy
September 25, 2020 3:27 pm

On verra…

My impression is that you live with a somewhat deprecated estimate of that company.

The guys responsible for all what you correctly report above had to leave, and have made place for people with a vision of the World more akin to it.

J.-P. D.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Bindidon
September 26, 2020 2:41 am

It is an act of considerable faith to believe that swallowing the green pill implies success at anything other than consuming subsideies and funds provided by hapless politicians.

Reply to  It doesn't add up...
September 26, 2020 8:05 am

“provided by hapless politicians”
– and even more hapless taxpayers.
Of course this all stops when they run out of other people’s money

Reply to  Bindidon
September 29, 2020 6:25 am

Bindidon, maybe the average poster, but you have to realize that there are a lot of posters here that know a hell of a lot more about H2 than Airbus. Listen/read and understand.

Reply to  Bindidon
September 29, 2020 6:29 am

Bindidon, perhaps the average WUWT poster, but there are a lot of real life hydrogen people here who know a lot about hydrogen and its hazards. Listen/read and learn.

September 25, 2020 12:41 pm

When Germany makes these kind of comments I think they have their fusion reactor almost ready. Australia? Just dumb politicians.

Hydrogen, like electricity, is a carrier of energy. Clean burning except for that nasty greenhouse gas water vapour, LOL. Lots of great things about both but one thing they both have for their Achilles heal is STORAGE. If you can’t store energy for a minimum of a month without losing more than 1% then you are limited to direct use with no storage.

Now this could work in some instances like using solar to directly run air conditioning or water pumps but then the ROI period goes beyond the life of the panels. Until they solve storage they are sunk. Maybe they can make coal out of it?

Roger Knights
September 25, 2020 1:43 pm

Methane-based fuel cells:

William Astley
September 25, 2020 2:41 pm

Fission Optimum is the energy source of the future, not hydrogen or wind and sun gathering.

A Canadian/US company, Terrestrial energy, have updated a US reactor design to produce the cheapest, safest fission reactor possible.

We could build and install thousands of nuclear reactor toaster a year. If we are going to dream, dream about something that works at an engineering level.

It is six times more fuel efficient than a pressure water fuel rod reactor and can compete with coal, all in on price. It produces 1/9 the amount of high level waste as a PWR.

The graphite core has a lifetime of seven years. So the small reactor is drained and replaced every 7 years with a new can that contains new heat exchangers and the six small screw pumps that stir the liquid in the sealed can.

All of the nuclear reactor wearout items are replaced every seven years, with the new reactor can, so there is zero long term nuclear can maintenance issues.

It is basically a fission toaster. It operates at atmospheric pressure. It is sealed. It is filled with a liquid that melts at 400C and boils at 1400C and the toaster produces heat at 600C.

The 440 Mw toaster (largest size that can be passively cooled for walk away emergency shutdown), is walk away fail safe. No possible chemical explosions. No requirement for a containment building.

The small reactor can, can be trucked to site. This a simple mass producible fission toaster. Currently in joint US/Canadian regulatory review, 3 sites selected for late 2020 start-up, pending regulatory approval.

Terrestrial Energy

On a directly related item. There is a great deal more uranium for fission than currently believed. Same for the amount of hydrocarbons.

There are weird super concentrated deposits of Uranium in Canada, in the same regions where there are massive ‘heavy’ oil deposits.

These are the highest concentration uranium deposits, in the world.

This is an interesting video concerning the uranium industry. I do not recommend or not recommend the company. The Cigar lake Uranium deposit is part of the same super concentrated uranium deposits that require unmanned mining equipment to remove.

Reply to  William Astley
September 26, 2020 3:33 am


Call me back when there’s a working prototype of the commercial model…

Meanwhile there’s a wind farm going up offshore in the UK with a 13GW capacity.

William Astley
Reply to  griff
September 26, 2020 9:57 am

What is you point ‘griff’?

Wind farms do not work today. Germany has proven that.

Germany Energiewend Leading To Suicide By Cannibalism. Huge Oversupply Risks Destabilization

There is no magic battery to solve the problem that Germany has more wind power than it can use in the summer and not enough in the winter.

The idiot German green party, forces more wind turbines to be installed even though green energy cannot be used.

The problem is to construct and install batteries, there is no savings in CO2 emissions.

The key problem appears to be that the cost of manufacturing the components of the renewable power facilities is far too close to the total recoverable energy – the facilities never, or just barely, produce enough energy to balance the budget of what was consumed in their construction. This leads to a runaway cycle of constructing more and more renewable plants simply to produce the energy required to manufacture and maintain renewable energy plants – an obvious practical absurdity.

Reply to  William Astley
September 26, 2020 11:47 am

Not only that, but trying to integrate all those windmills and photovoltaics into a workable system amounts to creating a Frankenstein monster intent on destroying its creator.

September 25, 2020 7:50 pm

Thank you for taking the time to debunk, once again, the pipe dream of the “Hydrogen Economy”. While hydrogen is a very good fuel for niche applications, as a general application for transportation fuel, or even other combustion engine power sources, it just doesn’t work, and the very real problems of logistics, safety, and materials compatibility make it quite uneconomical.

It doesn't add up...
September 26, 2020 4:03 am

A very useful summary of many of the engineering realities associated with hydrogen, collecting together different aspects that are usually spread across different articles.

I’d add a couple of points. The German plans for hydrogen storage for PtG purposes assume underground cavern storage, currently used for natural gas. Of course it immediately implies than only a third as much energy can be stored in the same conditions of pressure and temperature. But I have seen no actual studies on any other problems that attempting this may cause. Caverns maybe rather less leakproof when storing hydrogen. Try telling the citizens of Groningen that there are plans to repressurize the gas field with hydrogen and see the reaction. Of course such a green hydrogen solution requires that the electrolysers and hydrogen powered generators are more or less colocated with the storage, with transmission built to cope with the necessary power flows. Reversing the direction of flow on a power line is at least a little easier than doing it on a pipeline.

Another key point is the distorted economic thinking. The assumption is that “surplus” energy is a free input to electrolysis. Nothing could be further from the truth. You have to invest in capacity to produce the surplus, and that capacity has to earn its keep from the power it sells. If it is forced to sell part of its output for nothing, or curtail, then it must achieve a higher price on the remainder of its output: calculations based on LCOE have to be adjusted to reflect this reality. Unless you have sufficient electrolysis and transmission capacity to absorb any surplus e.g. on a windy night with low demand, or a sunny yet windy summer Sunday afternoon you will be curtailing at the margin anyway.

Yet periods of maximum surplus are relatively rare, so capacity built to utilise them will only rarely be used. If your plant and transmission capacity only gets used 10% of the time its capital cost is 10 times that of capacity that is fully utilised. The result is that it will never be worth trying to use all the surplus.

But it doesn’t stop there. Even low levels of surplus are intermittent events, depending on varying levels of generation less varying levels of demand. So even the very first plant you build can only hope to have very intermittent operation based on surplus electricity. It makes no sense to use it when there is no surplus, because you are destroy energy and have to find other ways to supply it.

Calculations I have done suggest that average utilisation of hydrolysis plant would be below 25% for a full renewables plus storage solution.

September 26, 2020 4:53 am

People indulge in all this nonsense because of the false assertion that carbon dioxide emitted from human activities is causing catastrophic global warming. It isn’t.

Once we accept the manifold real and measurable benefits of the rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, we can then think objectively and accept there is nothing to worry about. Climate Hustle 2 exposes the global warming con. It’s not about carbon dioxide. It’s about authoritarian control.

That said, then when it comes to hydrogen as a source of power, there should be no need to worry about it because the free market economy will dictate the future of hydrogen.

So while many pessimists will continue, for bizarre reasons, to condemn commercial hydrogen production and its se in the energy market, others like me see an optimistic and growing future for hydrogen based energy.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Mervyn
September 26, 2020 11:24 am

How many subsidies do you expect to get for that view? The economics do not look very compelling with green hydrogen costing 10 times as much as natural gas.

Reply to  It doesn't add up...
September 27, 2020 11:57 pm

Do you understand the workings of the free market? Anything that requires government funding is not viable. So if companies find it profitable to commercially produce hydrogen without government funding, that’s a plus. Those who who can’t will soon incur losses and move out of commercial hydrogen production.

As for hydrogen power in the future, it is down to market forces. The projection for future hydrogen power is looking very good.

Reply to  Mervyn
September 26, 2020 11:49 am

Yes, but we’ll have to be patient.

Dave Andrews
September 26, 2020 7:32 am

Bindidon Sept 25 11.00am

Admittedly Airbus might have a trick up its sleeve. The problem is that the UK press reported the announcement generally along the lines of the emissions would not be a problem as it was “only” water vapour. Seems they don’t know that water vapour is a potent greenhouse gas.

keith moore
September 26, 2020 4:34 pm

No one has yet mentioned that … hydrogen in air does not BURN….
At just a 5% mixture of H2 in Air …. It DETONATES !
Recall Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant …..
When the reactors shut down, the water that cooled the reactor dissociated, forming hydrogen
and three Nuclear Power Plants exploded….

So think about it….the FIRST hydrogen fueled car, that had a small H2 leak and blows up …
Would be the LAST!

September 26, 2020 5:22 pm

Rod Evans: “We have to get more of this basic data into the mainstream media, we need to be active in as many media outlets as possible and at every opportunity.
The media have got to be educated into the fundamental truths about the materials they think will provide the answer to tomorrow’s energy needs.
I have stopped counting the number of wind energy articles that present converting the occasional excess energy they produce into hydrogen as a storage “solution”. If only!
We have a lack of engineers in the media and it shows.”

Sounds like a practical point – educate the journalists to understand a bit more about technical details important in the search for an “answer to tomorrow’s energy needs”. Then they’ll spend less time enthusing about totally impractical ideas and start a public debate about really important stuff. Right?
No. Won’t happen.
To begin with, “tomorrow’s energy needs”, while sounding so futuristic and fresh and new, is just another slogan. Humanity’s energy needs are the same as they’ve always been: cheap, reliable, dispatchable power. Fossil fuels, hydro, and nuclear fit the bill. Nothing’s changed, except the politics.
The journalists are playing from only half a deck of cards because of the ‘CO2-dangerous warming’ misinformation.
There’s actually no need to suddenly address “tomorrow’s energy needs” because they’re the same as yesterday’s. So everyone’s starting from a false premise .. the CO2 error.

The second flaw in Ted Evans’ otherwise very practical-sounding suggestion, is in the ownership of the media outlets where the misinformed journalists work. The same Billionaires Club running the WEF meetings at Davos each year – at which plans are made for our ‘more equitable sustainable future” – also own the media outlets.
So it isn’t necessary for the journalists to understand science. In fact, the less they know, the better. Because their employment depends on them disseminating only what their employers want disseminated.
In other words, we only hear what we’re required to hear.

I have a degree in applied science (that’s ‘hard’ science, by the way, not sociology). I know exactly how science works and I’ve spent 11 years examining the climate story – otherwise erroneously called ‘The Science” by the climate people.
There’s nothing wrong with the climate today; nothing at all unusual about it. CO2 is categorically NOT an environmental problem.
Well-meaning folk like Griff are in awe of the sheer scale of the misinformation all around them, to the extent that they can’t see the naked facts which refute it. I would suggest s/he disregard the media and the technical reports and examine the assumptions underlying the story. Every climate assertion is as fragile as April snow and melts away on close inspection. I know. I’ve looked at it myself – every bit of it.
There is no scientific basis to it.

Earnest people like Ted Evans (no disrespect intended at all) are still imagining that once we educate the journalists, everything will be OK. But they’ve already been through the same education system that’s caused Griff’s mindset. The damage is done. The CO2 deception is inextricably tangled up in everything they think and do. And it won’t be easily put right.

Forget about CO2. Forget about global warming. Even forget about global pandemics. That’s just a series of distractions.
Watch for the “Reset” coming soon. You’ll hear that word more and more. (See Davos 2021 and the lead-up to it.)
Watch for the “Building Back Better” slogan. You’ll hear that a lot too.
This political game is huge .. global in scale.
Griff is just one of a large number of people who’ve unknowingly helped it along.

September 28, 2020 12:11 am

The biggest problem with hydrogen, which is highly explosive, was always about how to store it safely at ambient temperature.

Safe, low cost hydrogen storage was resolved by Professor Stephen Bennington using nano technology. He invented a material that:

1. allows hydrogen to be stored in a form of plastic pellets
2. a pin head size pellet can store a litre of hydrogen.
3. pellets heated above 100c releases the hydrogen stored
3. it is safe, no high pressure or cryogenic temperature requirements
4. can be stored indefinitely at room temperature
5. low toxicity can be handle.

September 28, 2020 3:23 am

Check this out

Reply to  Mervyn
October 2, 2020 9:23 pm

That was us a year ago. We have progressed significantly since!

September 29, 2020 6:30 am

Bindidon, perhaps the average WUWT poster, but there are a lot of real life hydrogen people here who know a lot about hydrogen and its hazards. Listen/read and learn.

September 29, 2020 4:47 pm

Hydrogen Fueling Triples Cost.
Nikola Corp. CEO Mark Russell believes that making hydrogen at fueling stations by electrolysis of water is the new way of electric trucking. Russell explains that producing hydrogen at each fueling station can produce hydrogen fuel below the cost of diesel. Russell says the cash cost to manufacture one kilogram of hydrogen at fueling stations is 100 times the cost of a kilowatt-hour of electricity. He says today’s cost of a gallon of diesel at $2.42 has the same energy content as a kilo of hydrogen, then hydrogen is less costly only where electricity costs less than 2.42 cents per kwhr. But general service electricity cost (not considering demand charges) averaged $0.077 per kwhr for 32 states in 2016, so where is inexpensive electricity in the U.S. to manufacture hydrogen at less cost without massive federal or state subsidy? Russell implies by his statement that hydrogen is not an economical alternative in the U.S. without subsidies because electricity averages $0.077/kwhr which translates to cost of hydrogen at $7.70/kg or equivalent to paying $7.70 per gallon of diesel, so Nikola’s hydrogen is triple today’s diesel cost, the fuel that Nikola plans to replace. In Arizona, California and Germany where Nikola will locate operations the cost of industrial scale electricity is three-fold more expensive where it sold for $0.075 to $0.105 to $0.36 per kwhr respectively in 2016. Transport Topics, Jun 22, August 17 2020

September 29, 2020 5:35 pm

Hydrogen Fueling Triples Cost.

Nikola Corp. CEO Mark Russell believes that making hydrogen at fueling stations by electrolysis of water is the new way of electric trucking. Russell explains that producing hydrogen at each fueling station can produce hydrogen fuel below the cost of diesel. Russell says the cash cost to manufacture one kilogram of hydrogen at fueling stations is 100 times the cost of a kilowatt-hour of electricity. He says today’s cost of a gallon of diesel at $2.42 has the same energy content as a kilo of hydrogen, then hydrogen is less costly only where electricity costs less than 2.42 cents per kwhr. But electricity cost averaged $0.077 per kwhr for 32 states in 2016, so where is inexpensive electricity in the U.S. to manufacture hydrogen at less cost without massive federal or state subsidy? Russell implies by his statement that hydrogen is not an economical alternative in the U.S. without subsidies because electricity averages $0.077/kwhr which translates to cost of hydrogen at $7.70/kg or equivalent to paying $7.70 per gallon of diesel, so Nikola’s hydrogen is triple today’s diesel cost, the fuel that Nikola plans to replace. In Arizona, California and Germany where Nikola will locate operations the cost of industrial scale electricity is three-fold more expensive where it sold for $0.075 to $0.105 to $0.36 per kwhr respectively in 2016. Transport Topics, Jun 22, August 17 2020

October 2, 2020 3:02 pm

Every year trillions of dollars are spent on energy.
Air pollution kills millions of people per year .
We can make hydrogen at 10 cents per kg, without emissions, from oil fields and have already sold our Australian license to a very large wind and solar player there.
We are already making hydrogen in Saskatchewan with rapid expansion plans and big customers.
Even if you use half the hydrogen to liquify the other half, the cost per kg goes up to 20 cents per kg ($1.40/GJ).
This baseload power from pure hydrogen through compatible turbines, or in the boiler of existing coal plants (instead of coal dust), can save Australians money on electricity, far lower cost fuel for transportation, and much lower cost ammonia for fertilizer.
Diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel are far more expensive than hydrogen. To not switch is to keep your economy burning more money than competitor economies that switch to the much lower cost hydrogen fuel.

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