Monday, March 27, 2023

Green hydrogen: inside the global race to turn water into fuel – Usky News

a consortium of energy companies led by BP plan With 1,743 wind turbines, each roughly as tall, to cover a remote parcel of land in the Australian outback the size of New York City Empire State Building, with 10 million or so solar panels and more than 1,000 miles of access roads to connect them all. (The Outer Zone is the vast, uninhabited region that includes Australia’s interior and outlying coasts).
But none of the 26 gigawatts of energy the site is expected to produce, currently a third of what Australia’s grid needs, will go towards public use. Instead, it will be used to manufacture a new type of industrial fuel: green hydrogen. this piece of desert sits next to the biggest problem green hydrogen Could help solve: Huge iron ore mines filled with machines powered by massive amounts of dirty fossil fuels. Three of the world’s four largest ore miners operate dozens of mines here. Proponents hope that green hydrogen will replace fossil fuels in not only mining but also other industries such as steelmaking, shipping, cement, etc.
Green hydrogen is created by using renewable electricity to split water molecules. (Currently, most hydrogen is made using natural gas, a fossil fuel.) The hydrogen is then burned to power vehicles or do other things. Because burning hydrogen only releases water vapor, green hydrogen avoids carbon dioxide emissions from start to finish.
In Western Australia’s Pilbara region and dozens of places around the world endowed with abundant wind and sun, investors see an opportunity to generate renewable electricity so cheap that it becomes economical to use it to make green hydrogen. The Outback project is one example of a global gamble, worth hundreds of billions of dollars, being made by investors, including some of the world’s most polluting industries.
Last year, government subsidies sparked action in the European Union, India, Australia, the United States and elsewhere. “We are about to leap off the starting block,” said Anja-Isabel Dötzenrath, who heads Germany’s largest renewable energy company. “I think hydrogen will grow even faster than wind and solar.”
For green hydrogen to have a substantial climate impact, its most essential use would be in steelmaking, a huge industry that produces about one-tenth of global carbon dioxide emissions – more than all the world’s cars combined. In climate lingo, steel emissions are “difficult to reduce.” Blast furnaces, freight trains, cargo ships and huge trucks used in mining require heavy fuels like coal and oil. Even if they were electrified may not be (many may not be today), they will still put pressure on the grid.
Day and night, 2-mile-long ore trains weighing more than 90 million pounds depart Christmas Creek for Port Hedland. From the port, an endless stream of cargo ships (once again, burning heavy fuel) depart for East Asia, where the ore is turned into steel in coal-burning mills. About 40% of the world’s iron ore comes from the Pilbara.
The owner of the mine, Andrew Forrest, is one of the most ardent supporters of green hydrogen. He talked about the rapid change in his company two years ago Fortescue Metals Group towards green energy. Fortescue and BP are vying for the lead in green hydrogen and have announced plans to invest billions of dollars in projects in dozens of countries outside Australia.


- Advertisement -

More News

Latest NEWS

- Advertisement -