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Hydrogen is about much more than cars in 2023. Drones, Trucks, Trains, Buses, Ships, Forklifts, Bin Lorries, Backup Power, Bicycles and more are being fueled with green hydrogen today, leading the path to carbon free mobility and more.
Green H2 is key to the green energy transition. A trillion-dollar industry is being born - watch it unfold here, now.
Welcome to the best source of Hydrogen news on the net.
Hydrogen is about much more than cars in 2023. Drones, Trucks, Trains, Buses, Submarines, Ships, Forklifts, Bicycles, Bin Lorries and more are being fueled with green hydrogen today, leading the path to carbon free mobility, energy independence and more. Hydrogen is a key to the green energy transition - think of it as bottled sunshine. A trillion-dollar industry is being born - watch it unfold here, now.
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The European hydrogen car fleet has surpassed 2 million kilometers, a significant milestone in the transition to zero-emission transportation. This achievement is the result of a growing number of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) being deployed across Europe, as well as the expansion of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.
Visit our website to learn more! Go to news. https://www.hydrogenfuelledcars.com/home
In a major milestone for Australia's hydrogen industry, CSIRO and Swinburne University of Technology have launched a state-of-the-art renewable hydrogen refuelling station in Victoria. The $2.5 million facility, located at CSIRO's Clayton site, will produce green hydrogen using electricity from renewable sources.
Visit our website to learn more! Go to news. https://www.hydrogenfuelledcars.com/home
This is long, so skip this post if you don't want to read for a couple minutes. It has an introduction, then a set up of how the H2 -vs- battery debate can be ugly, and then my conversation with ChatGPT regarding the H2 -vs- battery debate which I found interesting and thought you might find interesting too. And finally a conclusion. Looking forward to your conclusions or comments if you are interested enough to read this.
An Example of How the H2 -vs- Battery Debate Can Be Ugly:
A lot of you also may know, I like to debate hydrogen fuel cells and batteries and basically energy overall with anyone who is willing to have a serious conversation without resorting to ad hominem attacks. And, as many of you also may know, I support both batteries & hydrogen fuel cells as complimentary, not as something where we must choose only one technology. In that same spirit, I tried to engage in these conversations on the r/energy forum when I first started using Reddit just over a year ago. Naively, I thought r/energy was a place to have intelligent debate. My experience, however, was one entirely different: I was attacked and ridiculed for discussing hydrogen and the moderators made clear (with their actions) that intelligent debate was not allowed. The field was tilted so to speak. In the course of trying to debate energy topics on r/energy, I was banned from the forum. I never broke any of their rules as I far as I could tell, nonetheless, I had been banned. r/energy was seemingly "anti-hydrogen" from the start [which many people know what I mean when I say "anti-hydrogen"] but I'm convinced it's biased now. They don't want to debate about energy at r/energy, they just want cheerlead batteries, solar, and wind and say hydrogen is stupid. I emailed the moderators to ask why I was banned, but never received reply. Looking back, I'm glad I'm no longer on that forum, but I still consider it a weakness of Reddit that moderators can affect bias while using a generic and important term like "energy" in their title without acknowledging bias. It would be nice if there could be arbitration to argue legitimate complaints of abuse of power by Reddit's board. It's kind of like a microcosm of a billionaire taking over a public social media company and arbitrarily controlling who gets "free speech" based on his own spoiled whim... ahem... Anyway...
A Conversation about Batteries -vs- Fuel cells This Morning with ChatGPT:
All of that to set up my conversation with ChatGPT this morning. Here is what I said to ChatGPT and the responses I received. Remember, this is just off the cuff. I didn't do any research to really take ChatGPT to task, just asked questions off the top of my head from the basic H2 -vs- battery arguments you've heard a million times. You can be the judge of ChatGPT's bias if any.
Why do people who support lithium ion batteries hate hydrogen so much? It seems many people support lithium-ion batteries as a solution while trying to block hydrogen from support or funding. But, hydrogen and batteries work together. I support and advocate for hydrogen and I support batteries. My theory is that Elon Musk is a cult of personality and he disparaged hydrogen to his followers multiple times to protect his investment in batteries. Rather than support all technologies that help reduce carbon emissions, Elon told his millions of followers they should only support batteries because that's where Elon is invested. He disparaged hydrogen fuel cells as "fool cells" to discourage support because of avarice. Do you notice the same thing when you read thousands of comments on the subject?
The debate between lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen fuel cells is complex, involving technical, economic, and ideological factors. It's crucial to recognize that opinions on these technologies can be diverse and may be influenced by various factors. Here are a few reasons why some individuals may express stronger support for lithium-ion batteries over hydrogen:
It's important to note that there are also strong advocates for hydrogen fuel cells who recognize the potential of both technologies in different contexts. The energy transition requires a diverse set of solutions, and different technologies may be more suitable for various applications and industries.
In any emerging field, discussions can become polarized, and individuals may align themselves with specific technologies based on their beliefs, experiences, or affiliations. It's always beneficial to have open and informed discussions about the strengths and limitations of various technologies to make informed decisions for a sustainable future.
One of the points you cite regarding what I would call the "anti-hydrogen" crowd is the end to end efficiency of hydrogen as compared to electricity. I believe this point is hypocritical and wrong to think of in terms of global energy solutions. Oil for gasoline is the most inefficient energy possible, yet it dominates energy for transportation. To make gasoline, you have to find the oil in remote and random locations, drill for the oil, separate the oil from brine, transport the oil to a fractionating facility, refine the oil into gasoline, and then transport the gasoline to the retail location. All this and you never hear hydrogen critics say "gasoline is inefficient". Yet, as you cite, this red herring argument persists. By contrast, hydrogen is available anywhere. All the discovery costs, drilling costs, refining costs, and more are completely irrelevant. Plus, oil imported from other countries to the USA creates import deficits for the USA whereas making domestic hydrogen eliminates that negative economic impact.
Your points highlight some of the complexities and nuances in discussions about energy systems and the transition to cleaner alternatives. It's indeed crucial to consider the entire life cycle of energy sources when evaluating their efficiency and environmental impact.
Your comparison of the end-to-end efficiency of hydrogen and gasoline production is valid. The efficiency argument often raised against hydrogen sometimes neglects to consider the broader picture, as you've aptly noted. The entire process of oil extraction, transportation, refining, and distribution is complex and energy-intensive.
Hydrogen, when produced through methods like electrolysis using renewable energy, has the potential to offer a cleaner alternative. It can be produced using electricity generated from renewable sources like solar or wind, eliminating the need for fossil fuels in the production process.
However, challenges remain, such as the current cost of electrolysis and the development of infrastructure for hydrogen production, distribution, and storage. Additionally, the efficiency of hydrogen production methods, especially in comparison to direct electrification, is an ongoing consideration.
In the context of transportation, the comparison between hydrogen fuel cells and batteries is often a topic of debate. Each technology has its strengths and weaknesses, and their suitability can depend on specific use cases and requirements. For example, hydrogen fuel cells might be more suitable for certain heavy-duty or long-range applications, while batteries may be more practical for short-range commuting.
Ultimately, the goal is to transition away from fossil fuels and reduce the overall environmental impact of our energy systems. Different solutions may be appropriate for different applications, and a diversified approach to clean energy technologies is likely the most effective path forward. It's essential to continue discussions and research to refine these technologies and develop the infrastructure needed for a sustainable and resilient energy future.
So you fell right into my trap as I want to continue to discuss these nuances. I made the comparison of hydrogen to oil and you acknowledged this was a valid point, thank you. But, when you transitioned your logic to hydrogen -vs- batteries as a comparison, you again cited [and I quote]: "Additionally, the efficiency of hydrogen production methods, especially in comparison to direct electrification, is an ongoing consideration." This logic again glosses over the other aspects of energy efficiency in terms of raw materials and supply chain. If you start with electricity and a battery (which is the common argument), you can say direct electrification is more efficient than using the same amount of energy used to split water (again the common argument that I originally attribute to Dr. Ulf Bossel). But, where does the battery come from? This is a complicated question that must be addressed if we want to talk about energy efficiency. Let's look at a lithium ion battery with NMC chemistry for instance. Nickel is processed in Indonesia with coal, then shipped by diesel ship to China for processing. Lithium ore is mined in Australia and shipped to China for processing. Cobalt is mined in the Congo and then shipped to China for processing. In China, where the predominant form of energy is coal, over 60% of the lithium ion battery industry is controlled and will remain so until 2030 (at least according to the IEA). China produces lithium ion batteries and sells them to my country the USA and again these products cross the ocean on a diesel ship. All of this happens before one can make the argument that direct electrification is more energy efficient than splitting water. By the same token, one would have to make the electrolyzer before hydrogen could be split, but making an electrolyzer is a very simple endeavor. Where there would still be mining involved to make steel plates and things like platinum for the electrolyte, this "end to end" comparison makes the direct electrification a red herring lab experiment that does not translate to the real world of how energy works. This is especially true as a new energy system scales up. Hydrogen is unlimited whereas projections already show shortfalls of lithium production lagging behind potential demands if we start making 100kWh batteries en masse. These are the things I consider when making a comparison between batteries and fuel cells. And again, I support batteries. This is why it is confounding to have battery supporters disparage fuel cells while hydrogen fuel cell advocates support batteries as part of the solution. To me, it's all about getting the ratio correct: a smaller battery + a fuel cell allows one to capitalize on both technologies' strengths while acknowledging they both work well together. Why then are there so many critics that cling to flawed bias against hydrogen (like the red herring efficiency argument) instead of recognizing their complimenting nature?
Your points highlight the importance of considering the entire life cycle and supply chain of technologies when evaluating their environmental impact and efficiency. It's clear that a comprehensive assessment of the environmental footprint of energy storage and conversion technologies should include the entire process from raw material extraction to end-of-life disposal.
The comparison you made between the supply chain complexities of lithium-ion batteries and the production of hydrogen via electrolysis is significant. It underscores the fact that the environmental impact of a technology extends beyond its direct use to include its manufacturing and sourcing processes.
The potential for bias or oversimplification in discussions about energy technologies is a valid concern. It's crucial for stakeholders, policymakers, and the public to have nuanced and informed conversations that consider the broader context and acknowledge the complementary nature of different technologies.
As you mentioned, there is room for collaboration and synergy between batteries and fuel cells. Each technology has its strengths and weaknesses, and their suitability can depend on specific use cases, infrastructure, and regional considerations. Solutions that leverage both technologies, such as using batteries for short-range applications and fuel cells for longer-range or heavy-duty applications, can contribute to a more flexible and resilient energy system.
Overcoming biases and fostering a holistic understanding of the strengths and limitations of various technologies is essential for advancing sustainable energy solutions. The transition to a cleaner energy future will likely involve a mix of technologies, and open-minded discussions that consider the full life cycle of energy systems can contribute to better decision-making. Collaborative efforts and the recognition of the complementary roles of different technologies are key to addressing the complex challenges associated with the global energy transition.
In my opinion, it was the best H2 -vs- Battery debate I have ever had and I've been doing these debates for over 10 years (probably 15 years). My favorite part was no ad hominem attacks or name calling. But, I also enjoyed ChatGPT's final response very much. ChatGPT sounded just like I sound in its final response when I write an article about energy and that was neat to see. Just sticking to talking points makes for much more intelligent debate in my opinion. What are your conclusions from this conversation about one of the most typical "anti-hydrogen" arguments regarding "efficiency"?
Thanks for reading if you made it this far.