Experts are increasingly inclined to believe that hydrogen and peaceful atoms, rather than renewable energy sources, will become an alternative to hydrocarbon fuels.
As you know, the leading countries of the world announced their bet on the so-called “green energy”, with the help of which they intend to kill two birds with one stone: get rid of the “curse of hydrocarbon” and stop globalization. Heating. The United States began to actively move in this direction after the Joe Biden administration came to power in this country. America already I entered to a series of mega wind farm projects, giving the green light to build and operate the 800 megawatt Vineyard Wind 1 project off the coast of Massachusetts.
The Vineyard Wind project, with an investment of $3 billion, is expected to create 3,600 jobs and supply 400,000 homes and businesses.
In March, the US Departments of Energy, Interior and Commerce said they wanted offshore wind power to reach 30 gigawatts by 2030, which the Biden administration hopes will create thousands of jobs and attract billions of dollars in investment in the coming years. ..
But even with such a plan, the United States would lag behind Europe in wind energy. In 2020, 2.9 GW of offshore wind power facilities were installed in the European Union, and by 2030 it is planned to run 4-4.5 GW per year.
Meanwhile, despite all the optimistic statements, experts are not at all in agreement in assessing the prospects for green energy. Yes, propaganda. Marina Shapovalova He writes on his blog:
“Why, they say, is it profitable to engage in “green” technologies now.
In Europe, the country invests in (mainly) solar and wind power generation. As well as some Central Trust Funds. That is, the manufacturer of “green” generators does not work to meet consumer demand – it receives its income from the budget and from funds. Immediately and guaranteed. It is undoubtedly very useful. the creator. And no one else.
Otherwise, the issue of promoting these technologies would not have arisen at all: any end consumer would be happy to completely switch to a more profitable source of power generation, refusing to connect to the networks, for energy consumption, for which you have to pay more . There will be queues for solar panels and windmills, as in the central Soviet store for imported shoes.
However, the end consumer knows very well that neither alone nor in coordination with the neighbours, he will not be able to provide his energy needs only through solar and wind generators. And he knows very well why.
But at the same time, he believes when he is told that the same “cheap and clean” generation provides for the needs of a city or region. Because at first he does not see the cost of it from the budget, although it was previously taken out of his own pocket.
True, for him, the end user, unfortunately, this holiday of ignorance of costs does not last forever: he has to pay for the operation and maintenance of generators. Tariffs are going up. Not only is alternative generation expensive, it is also unstable, that is, it requires minimal additional coverage from other sources.
If you do not understand that the “profitability” of solar and wind power generation is fake and a hoax, then ask yourself the following question: why not buy solar panels and a windmill and live happily and independently, without having to pay monthly for energy consumption?
Evidence for discrete sites where a full transition to solar and/or wind generation is feasible and profitable explains well the gist of the matter. Yes, in some places its use is quite reasonable and useful. Yes, as an additional source in some places – too. But by no means as an absolute alternative.
By the way, the real alternative is at the modern technological level – only nuclear power plants. Including from the point of view of both the environment and resource depletion. But that’s another matter…”
However, there is another promising way out of this situation. Channel Reports Proeconomics:
“In the world, at the level of governments of developed countries, there is a consensus that one of the “new” fuels that will replace the “old” hydrocarbon will be hydrogen. Even today, its consumption can replace up to 7% of used oil (on a global scale). The main problems of the economic transition to hydrogen are discussed in the book IMEMO RAS “Outlines of the Global Energy Transition / Editor. Dan. SV Zhukov, 2020”. Some excerpts from this work.
“The need for hydrogen in its pure form (currently) is about 70 million tons per year, which equates to 330 million cubic feet (or 2.2-2.3 billion barrels of oil – 22 days per year of oil consumption in the global economy, or 7% of annual oil consumption).
The existing natural gas pipeline system in many countries is more advanced and can transport hydrogen at a lower cost per unit than would be the case with the construction of new dedicated hydrogen pipelines. In addition, hydrogen moves through tubes at nearly three times the speed of methane, making it a cost-effective option for large-scale transportation. But for hydrogen to become as ubiquitous as natural gas, a coordinated program to upgrade infrastructure and build facilities will be required.
Currently, hydrogen production from natural gas using CCUS technology costs $11-18/MMBtu, while hydrogen production from RES is $18-34/MMBtu. Although in some regions it is possible to obtain “surplus” of renewable electricity at very low prices, its availability and even its distribution are currently limited. Additionally, electrolysis is a capital-intensive process, so using only occasional surpluses of cheap electricity would be an expensive way to produce hydrogen. For example, if the electrolyzer has access to free electricity but only operates at a 10% load factor, hydrogen production would cost $30/MMBtu. However, as renewables constitute an increasing share of electricity production in a sustainable development scenario, there are likely to be large variances in hourly wholesale electricity prices, improving the economics of electrolyzer use during periods of low prices.
The cost of an alkaline electrolyzer made in North America and Europe decreased by 40% between 2014 and 2019, and Chinese-made systems are 80% cheaper than American and European systems. As electrolyte production increases and costs decrease, the cost of renewable hydrogen will be between $0.8-1.6/kg in most countries of the world until 2050. This is equivalent to current natural gas prices of $6-12/MMBtu on an energy equivalent basis in Brazil, China, India, Germany and Scandinavia, making hydrogen competitive with both natural gas and the production of hydrogen from natural gas or coal with carbon capture and storage.
The introduction of 5% hydrogen into the distribution network of a city with a population of 3 million people today will cost $25-50 million per year (taking into account the supply of hydrogen using electrolysis, modernization of pipelines, compressors and dispensers). Investing in low-carbon hydrogen production facilities accounts for about 80% of these costs. If 100 projects were implemented around the world, it would stimulate an additional 1 million tons of annual hydrogen supply. This would result in a significant expansion of manufacturing and installation capabilities, which would help increase efficiency and reduce the capital cost of utensils by about 20%. Providing this level of hydrogen demand through the CCUS natural gas overhaul will also contribute to critical expertise accumulation and cost savings.”
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