greenhouse gases

The Hydrogen Economy refers to a vision of hydrogen becoming the primary energy source. The vision of hydrogen as a primary energy source is compelling. Hydrogen can be a feedstock for chemical processes, as well as a fuel for heat, power generation and propulsion of vehicles. The hydrogen combustion is clean, no CO2 emissions, only water. Hydrogen can be stored and transported. The “only” problem is that hydrogen is not naturally available on the earth. The hydrogen must be produced!



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Marcellus shale gas-drilling site in Pennsylvania.
Photo: Nicholas A. Tonelli.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it is about the future.” Niels Bohr, the Nobel laurate in Physics, is credited with this line. It is always possible to develop a model that fits the past, but much more difficult to have the same model to correctly forecast the future.

Recent analysis by EIA (Energy Information Agency) and Lazard find that the lowest cost power generation is natural gas, wind and solar. It looks clear, going forward, what to invest in, but before doing so, there may be some lessons to be learnt from the past about making predictions.


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In the last 10 years USA has reduced the carbon dioxide (CO2) by 13 % to the lowest annual level since 1992. During the same time China has become the world’s largest CO2 emitter by far, 28.2% of the global CO2 emissions (2016).

Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. 2014. IEA Energy Atlas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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blasjo-reservoir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Blåsjö, Norway.

 

Hydro storage is basically a renewable battery. Lake Blåsjö (“Blue Lake”) in Norway with a capacity of 7.8 terrawatthours (TWh) has become a symbol of Norway’s potential to become a “Blue Battery” for Northern Europe. To put the number in perspective 7.8 TWh would cover the electric consumption of over 750 000 residential homes. To accumulate the same amount of energy with lithium ion batteries it would take over 200 years of full production at Tesla’s planned Gigafactory.



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Germany is by many seen as a leader in renewable energy development. Of the 615 TWh (1 TWh = 1 billion kWh)) produced in 2011 7.5 % was produced by wind and 3.1 % by solar (almost all is photovoltaic, PV). All renewable energy sources added up to 19.9 %. In 2012 the portion of renewable energy produced had grown to 22 %. On October 3 this year (2013) at noon wind and PV reached a record peak of 59.1 %.

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