The future of hydrogen

There are many people heating their homes with gas who hope that the gas suppliers will develop hydrogen to replace natural gas, or to dilute it sufficiently in their networks to satisfy those who wish to drive to net zero. People are told modern gas boilers will take hydrogen with or without some modification, and will  be cheaper and easier than a heat pump. Some hope that direct drive  hydrogen vehicles as developed at the  big end by JCB will be available instead of electric vehicles. Toyota has developed hydrogen cars.

There is considerable interest in the idea that hydrogen could help solve the problem of interruptible wind energy. When the wind is blowing well green hydrogen could be made and stored, to be used on windless days when we are short of electrical power. It could even  be burned in generating stations. Various governments as a result of these developments are spending taxpayer cash on experiments and trials in the hope that they could push these matters forward.

Meanwhile there are customers who do not want to end their use of traditional gas boilers and petrol cars on the grounds that they are affordable and  work well . There are rather fewer consumers who buy fully into the green revolution and wish to buy a heat pump and an electrical car. There are many others willing to be persuaded that a hydrogen or electric answer to their heating and transport problems will work well, but think improvements need to be made before they will  be ready to buy one.

The governments that are driving the transition have to accept they are falling behind in getting in the capacity it needs to change the way most people travel and heat their residences. Grids and power stations cannot meet the potential demand if a serious number of people decide to shift. One of the reasons they are finding it difficult to get in the capacity is the doubts and options over which is the best system or combination of systems to displace petrol for cars and gas for homes. It will take a huge infrastructure of gas production, storage and pipes if we go for hydrogen, and a huge grid and cable expansion if we go all electric. Lots of countries are carrying out limited scale experiments, some overlapping with others. No country has yet come out wanting a hydrogen solution to the main demands. Several countries have backed wind and solar energy but still have not cracked how to store and spread the power from hot and windy days to nights and windless hours.

Do you have any advice for those who are designing away to find a road to net zero?  What role is there for hydrogen, and how can renewable power be stored? Who should pay the costs of experimentation and investment in the roll out of any of the answers?


  1. Mark B
    July 5, 2023

    Good morning.

    One of the serious questions, and indeed the problems we face, is one of ‘energy density’. Or to put it another way, “The biggest bang for our buck !” All the current proposals do not meet with this particular requirement.

    Several countries have backed wind and solar energy but still have not cracked how to store and spread the power from hot and windy days to nights and windless hours.

    Do you have any advice for those who are designing away to find a road to net zero? What role is there for hydrogen, and how can renewable power be stored? Who should pay the costs of experimentation and investment in the roll out of any of the answers?

    To answer the first paragraph may I propose, as I have suggested before, Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2), better know as bleach or hair dye? Stable at room temperature and can be converted to steam by running past a silver ‘converter’ (I cannot remember the scientific term for it). What you get is a thermal reaction which creates H2O (water) and one spare oxygen atom.

    First of all I would not set a date for a specific event but a series of scientific and technical / engineering goals. For example I would ban the sale of solely ICE vehicles but would not ban Hybrids. Hybrids offer the advantage of both range and fuel economy coupled with lower emissions in built up areas. They also put less strain on the infrastructure allowing its development and growth to catch up. It also keeps development interest in batteries as manufacturer’s seek to make them ever smaller, reliable and cheaper. The gains in fuel economy will also assist in their uptake and, if petrol and diesel prices rise too much, offer consumers an alternative thereby forcing prices down. Choice being a fundamental Conservative principle should make it more appealing to those who wish to be seen as REAL CONSERVATIVES 😉

    The future can be bright and green if people stop to think before shooting off their mouths – The Saudia Arabia of wind indeed. What utter . . . 💩

    1. Guy+Liardet
      July 7, 2023

      Oh John, do get someone to get up Willis Eschenbach’s two posts on the Myth of Fossil Fuels on the WATTSUPWITHTHAT website. You will be a changed politician

  2. David Andrews
    July 5, 2023

    A gas engineer, checking out a newly installed gas pipe to my house, said that the idea of supplying a hydrogen/gas mix to households was stupid. Domestic gas networks were not designed to cope with the higher pressures required to transmit hydrogen safely. He said the safety risks of leaks and explosions were unacceptable. Why do so many MPs fail to grasp elementary facts like this and the cash consequences of their green agenda?

    1. Lifelogic
      July 5, 2023

      Correct. Most MPs have no science beyond O levels if that.

    2. Roy Grainger
      July 5, 2023

      The Town gas that everyone used before the switch to North Sea gas was 50% hydrogen so there is plainly no obstacle to adding hydrogen again as part of the mix, the network and boilers can handle it.

    3. Bloke
      July 5, 2023

      Solutions might be found. If the high pressure is needed only during use, could not the existing pipes be used for delivery at low pressure for local storage, with higher pressure applied on the burning side?

    4. Aaron
      July 5, 2023

      Hi David, rather than upgrade the gas network, what if the hydrogen was provided in canisters that could be connected to an in-situ boiler, and mix the hydrogen with the natural gas through a manifold.

      I have solar panels that regularly generate excess power during the summer months that is dumped back on the grid. I would love to use that power to crack H2O into oxygen and hydrogen, store the hydrogen in a canister, and use it during the winter to heat my home. And if I run low, I would go to the shop and buy another canister of hydrogen, just like I would buy a calor gas can from the petrol station.

      Regulations and common sense would tell us how to store flammable gases (outside, in well ventilated areas), so the safety risks would be manageable and acceptable to me.

      Your gas engineer is correct though, there were many reasons why we didn’t build a hydrogen gas distribution network when natural gas was readily available. Part of the issue is the hydrogen molecules are very small, and readily escape valves and seals.

    5. MFD
      July 5, 2023

      Yes! David, that is correct. There are so many safety features being ignored. Even the batteries of electric cars are a fire hazard.
      The fact is, we can never go CO2 free, we need the grass to grow and veg to feed the population.
      It is suspected that even the insect food proposed by the vegetarians are slow poison to us!
      We must stop this waste of our money by dumping so-called net zero. It’s a scam to make money for the ………… members of the WEF etc ed

    6. miami.mode
      July 5, 2023

      Sounds totally correct to me David and I believe that a domestic hydrogen system needs a supply through minimum 25mm pipe whereas many homes have a 20mm gas supply.

    7. acorn
      July 5, 2023

      Leave your H2 powered car at the Airport, fully charged with 5 kg of H2 at 10,000 psi. Come back from holiday two weeks later and all that H2 will have boiled off into the air. Which is why H2 vehicles can never be parked in closed garages.

      1. Mark B
        July 6, 2023


        And is therefore a waste of money.

    8. Mark
      July 5, 2023

      The energy density of hydrogen at the same temperature and pressure is just a third that of methane, meaning it takes up three times as much storage space and the flow through your burner must be tripled. Because the molecules only have an atomic weight of 2 rather than the 16 of methane they diffuse much more rapidly through a given orifice such as a burner, in accordance with Graham’s Law (flow is inversely proportional to the square root of molecular weight, thus a ratio of about 0.7 to 0.25). Keeping flames seated on burners requires completely different design: if the flame blows itself out then hydrogen will accumulate and form explosive mixtures in enclosed spaces. Safe installation of appliances may require significant building work to ensure adequate ventilation.

      1. Mark B
        July 6, 2023


      2. Lynn Atkinson
        July 6, 2023

        Ah, so all these new hermetically sealed homes, pressure tested, can be trashed?

    9. XY
      July 5, 2023

      Be aware of “job title inflation” – these days even the dustman is a “refuse consultant”.

      Your gas “engineer” is a maintenance man, a real engineer designs products, he doesn’t service them. It’s like believing the mechanic who services your car if he tells you that no-one could possibly design a car that could do more than 40mph.

      In fact, there were people back in the day who expounded knowledgeably that the human body could not withstand speeds of more than 30mph. Such views are simply that, views – and generally worth what you paid for them.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        July 6, 2023

        Does this include MPs?

        1. glen cullen
          July 6, 2023

          the best of the best of the best

  3. DOM
    July 5, 2023

    The issue isn’t about the replacement of fossil fuels by deceitfully titled ‘clean energy’ but about the volumes required to satisfy market demand and more crucially the relative cost of such ‘clean energy’ versus oil and gas. I suspect so called ‘clean energy’ isn’t clean at all, cannot be produced in the volumes demanded and cannot be supplied at a price to the consumer that makes them affordable

    More pie in the sky bollox by Socialist grifters hiding their filthy, authoritarian intentions behind the veneer of virtuousness of fighting the the bullshit that is climate change.

    The intention is fascistic CONTROL, CONTROL AND MORE CONTROL over how we live and conduct our live down the nearest second by second.

    Politicians are not virtuous. The Left is not virtuous. Washington is not virtuous. In fact they are utterly immoral, repugnant and without humanity

  4. Cuibono
    July 5, 2023

    Isn’t it funny how they are so keen to solve non problems.
    Yet real problems are just swept under the carpet!
    There is no problem with energy…we have tons and tons of coal.

    1. Cuibono
      July 5, 2023

      Advice = give it up and get mining!
      Oh…and stop the boats.

      1. Michelle
        July 5, 2023

        At the very least get mining until such time as the Green Holy Grail is found.
        Definitely stop the boats, no if’s or but’s on that one, although I think we are more likely to find the Holy Grail of Green living before that ever happens.
        Whoever is pulling the strings on one, seems to be pulling on the other too!!

      2. Lifelogic
        July 5, 2023

        One of Sunak’s other promises was to reduce NHS waiting lists. So what has he been doing today but attending some quasi-religion ceremony for the NHS with 1500 NHS workers taking the day off work (on full pay and with travel costs I assume). How many operations & procedures were cancelled for this pathetic political gesture Sunak?

        So Jim Radcliff blames Sunak’s lockdowns and furlough for the inflation. Correct but also his and the BoE’s money printing/currency debasement, the endless government waste (test and trace, eat out to help out, HS2, the net harm vaccines, the vast tax increases, net zero rip off energy, the open door low skilled immigration…)

      3. paul cuthbertson
        July 5, 2023

        Cuibonjo – France now and the UK not far off. The boats are all part of the globalist plan and will not be stopped.

      4. Lynn Atkinson
        July 6, 2023

        I see the NHS waiting list is touching 7 million people. The number of immigrants …. 7 million.

    2. Bloke
      July 5, 2023

      Non-problems don’t need solving. However, a population of 60 million may find many remedies. Monsanto UK once had a massive technical problem causing specialist scientists struggling for months wondering what to do until one employee’s passing comment solved it in just two words. Even a young child might know what adults don’t realise.

    3. Ian+wragg
      July 5, 2023

      First we have to identify who is driving this net zero nonsense
      It certainly isn’t governments
      They are just the useful idiots.
      Follow the money because it certainly isn’t scientific driven.
      Who benefits most from these ridiculous proposals.

    4. MFD
      July 5, 2023

      Well said! I back that statement 100%.

    5. MWB
      July 5, 2023

      Yes, why don’t Redwood and his fellow tories, actually do something.
      Stop immigration.
      Stop the banks closing people’s accounts.
      Ban all dogs with bully, mastiff, or bull in their names.
      We pay you, so do your work.

    6. glen cullen
      July 5, 2023

      100% spot on and as plain to see for those with eyes open

    7. Mark B
      July 6, 2023


      Well said.

  5. Javelin
    July 5, 2023

    My advice to all voters.

    Do NOT vote for anybody foolish enough to believe the Green Lobby.

    1. glen cullen
      July 5, 2023

      Spot on Javelin

  6. Cuibono
    July 5, 2023

    Let’s all sit down with pen, paper and compass and reinvent the wheel.
    That’s what these people are doing.
    It’s like pretending vegetables can be grown organically ( and no one starve).
    It is like killing the sparrows that kept crops free of pests.
    Make huge change for ideological nonsense and people die.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      July 5, 2023

      Not really. Progress is only made through scientific research and people thinking new stuff up. It’s actually what this country has always been pretty good at. Let them get on with it but we don’t need any half-baked imposed solutions now, I’d say.

  7. Peter+van+LEEUWEN
    July 5, 2023

    There is a very interesting FT video (“Can hydrogen help the world reach net zero?” ) which shows some of the innovation is taking place to date in producing, storing and transporting hydrogen. Even “emerald hydrogen”, produced in a startup near Hull, with solid carbon (im stead of CO2) as by-product.

    1. Mickey Taking
      July 5, 2023

      Is this innovation passing practical tests?

    2. Lifelogic
      July 5, 2023

      Can hydrogen help the world reach net zero?

      Answer is NO – this as producing hydrogen needs loads of fossil fuels and produces CO2 how do you manufacture and connect up the wind farms? The only way it could do is if we sorted cheap practical nuclear fusion electricity and used it to produce green hydrogen. But even then we might as well use this electricity just to produce man made petrol, aviation fuels, diesel or similar or just to power CO2 recapture systems.

      Not that a bit more CO2 is even a serious problem anyway!

    3. Lynn Atkinson
      July 5, 2023

      Do plants adapt to live on ‘solid carbon’ as opposed to their 500 million or so dependence on C02 Peter?

    4. Cuibono
      July 5, 2023

      Very much a “jam tomorrow” kind of thing, this green energy rhetoric.

      1. glen cullen
        July 5, 2023

        tax today, jam tomorrow

    5. Mark
      July 5, 2023

      But it all depends on heavy subsidies. We know that Shapps plans subsidies worth £120 per household just to enable the initial tiny hydrogen cluster programme for industry. Just the simple chemical thermodynamics means that this will remain the scientific reality. All we are seeing is a beauty parade of subsidy farmers, not a serious way to address our energy needs.

  8. Lifelogic
    July 5, 2023

    An excellent edition of the Weekly Sceptic Podcast today. Excess death in the UK (excluding respiratory deaths) timing exactly with the vaccine roll out seems to exceed 100,000 so far. Yet still tory MPs boast about their efficient vaccine roll out and do nothing to investigate these 100,000+ deaths!

    Also Three Typhoon Jets Landed right next to the thermometer at RAF Coningsby & at exactly the time when Britain’s ‘Record’ Temperature of 40.3°C was recorded and how poorly informed Defence secretary Ben Wallace is on the woke lunacy of the Army.

    1. Michelle
      July 5, 2023

      Is Wallace poorly informed on the armed services woke lunacy?
      I seem to recall seeing an MOD briefing on Ukraine last year on a website with the Rainbow flag atop the text.
      I personally don’t believe he doesn’t know it.

    2. Donna
      July 5, 2023

      And in the last item in the News Round Up, Geologist Professor Ian Plimer debunks the ‘climate emergency’ myth in a pithy three-and-a-half minute video from Wide Awake Media.

      Well worth a watch. (Doubt if Sir John will allow a direct link so you’ll have to scroll down and find it for yourself.)

    3. Lifelogic
      July 5, 2023

      Absolutely pathetic interview with Amanda Pritchard on Radio 4 -,just now about 8.15am. A conspiracy between the wet BBC Interviewer and Ms Pritchard to avoid any serious discussions about the many dire NHS failings. No mention of the, almost certainly, vaccine caused excess deaths and injuries as above. They preferred to talk about “buy one get one free” offers in supermarkets and sugar in breakfast cereals.

      Does Ms Prichard not realise that potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, carbs… all turn rapidly to glucose in the blood just like sugar little difference really. Perhaps not as she read history and seems not too bright!

      First question should have been “Why did the NHS inject (even young people) with multiple dangerous new tech Covid vaccines that they knew did not protect against transmission were dangerous, largely untested and when younger people (under 50 certainly) clearly had no need of them anyway. Will you say sorry to the families of the circa 100k dead and many more times this who have been injured? Why did you not stop when the risk become even more clear?

      Or perhaps you prefer to talk about Bogof deals and sugar dear! Excess deaths still running at about 150 a day.

    4. Mark
      July 5, 2023

      It turns out that the Coningsby weather station is 25 metres from the taxiway that leads to the main apron and hangars for the majority of jets stationed there. Landing at 150 knots on minimum thrust on the more distant runway
      (200m away) would have contributed less than taxiing past with a long linger time at say 10mph, and a southerly stiff breeze to waft the exhaust to the Stevenson screen.

      Many other Met Office stations are similarly compromised and not suitable for establishing climate records. For example Northolt is just a truck length away from the busy 6 lane A40.

  9. Al
    July 5, 2023

    Pumped storage works, and can be environmentally friendly and good for conservation, particularly as part of a hydro-electric scheme. If our farmlands weren’t being built over, using biofuels to replace petrol would be more practical and allow much of our existing infrastructure to be reused. We have home-grown hydrogen car builders, like riversimple, but these are all re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

    What we need is to reduce the number of people in the country. Our facilities are at breaking point, we’re losing farmland to build housing estates while office buildings empty for ten years are still vacant, and the growing population requires a growing amount of bureaucracy to support them, draining resources at the council and government levels.

    1. Donna
      July 6, 2023

      They’re doing their best to reduce the number of useless eaters* in the country. (* Not my description).

      Another round of their oh-so-safe and effective jabs should get rid of tens of thousands more.

      1. Al
        July 7, 2023

        “Another round of their oh-so-safe and effective jabs should get rid of tens of thousands more.”

        As I find yet another previously healthy co-worker gets admitted to the hospital with a heart attack, I can only think that something is turning our productive workers into “useless eaters”. Rather than placing defribrillatyors in schools and calling it a day, should the government not be funding a study into the cause of this, whether it was the Covid vaccine, if so whether this will be common to all MRA vaccines or is this one, or if it is something completely different and – most importantly – if so what.

        Without getting this data, planning a response to the rise in heart conditions, and planning any future mass rollouts of vaccines, seems incredibly unscientific – but then we have very few in STEM who are also in government.

  10. davews
    July 5, 2023

    Just as is the case with EVs where the carbon footprint of manufacturing the cars is higher than that for ICE cars and you gain nothing in overall emissions until you have driven 50,000 miles, the same applies to hydrogen. Producing so called ‘green’ hydrogen, possibly from natural gas in the first place, needs huge amounts of electricity which we simply don’t have, and is an incredibly inefficient process. It is a non-starter and will be a disaster (in more ways than one with its safety aspects) if it is ever implemented.

  11. Old Albion
    July 5, 2023

    Quote Do you have any advice for those who are designing away to find a road to net zero? endquote.
    Yup! forget it ………………

  12. BOF
    July 5, 2023

    Hydrogen to every home. How many Hindenburg disasters does the government think are acceptable before this experiment is abandoned?

    Just as, how many deaths from poorly tested gene therapy jabs are acceptable before this experiment is abandoned?

    Consumers are far more savvy than government ministers!

  13. John McDonald
    July 5, 2023

    I would say that the electric car predates the internal combustion engine car. It did not catch on.
    We use to make gas from coal and pipe it around and store it. Used gas for lighting and heating before electricity arrived. We are using the same pipes for natural gas as we used for coal gas. Albeit that the most of the old pipe work replaced. But we did change over from coal gas to natural gas. Why not coal gas to natural gas to hydrogen gas – we have the network ?
    Now the problem with natural gas is it does not smell and you have to add the smell for obvious reasons. Any argument against using hydrogen has to be based on facts. Is it more explosive than natural gas. Can it be supplied at the same pressure. Does it have the same calorific value per volume. It is made using electricity how efficient is this.
    The real problem with electricity is you can only store it in a battery which at best is good for 5 years. Then you have to recycle it. Not that easy with current technology. Batteries are heavy and not that small for a car and bigger applications. We now have the problem of the weight of an electric car. Takes more energy to run and cost of electricity going up. Can bridges, roads and multi-storey car parks take the weight? But these days Politicians make the decisions about engineering.
    based on the “Science” but tend to choose which science best suits the politics of the day, not the next 20 years plus.

  14. Sea_Warrior
    July 5, 2023

    My advice is that the zealotment should review every last piece of Green energy lunacy it is pursuing and ditch any programmes that are based on dodgy science (e.g. the dash to hydrogen), involve accounting sleight of hand (e.g. burning imported wood-pellets), are of questionable value-for-money (e.g. CCS), or which threaten our security of supply (e.g. over-reliance on wind and imported electricity). The review should be completed within 3 months and then action should be taken to cancel the associated funding lines and Green levies.
    P.S. I see that consideration is being given to expanding Gatwick Airport. If we are in the midst of a climate emergency then why is air-travel growing? I’m confused – but not as much as the zealotment seems to be.

    1. Donna
      July 6, 2023

      UK Fires Project – advising the Not-a-Conservative-Government on all things Nut Zero – recommended that all UK airports, except Heathrow, Glasgow and Belfast close by 2029. And all remaining airports by 2050.

      So starting a project to expand Gatwick would be absolutely pointless. Unless the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing in Westminster/Whitehall ….. surely not.

  15. Old Albion
    July 5, 2023

    Hydrogen gas pumped into domestic properties !! Do they not understand the explosive ability of hydrogen?
    Have they never seen the footage of the Hindenburg disaster?

  16. Bloke
    July 5, 2023

    Hydrogen is about 75% of the Universe.
    If that’s not natural neither is existence.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      July 6, 2023

      Seems to me an excess of hydrogen in comparison with the .045% of CO2 then.
      All plants live on CO2.
      We live on plants (even to grow our meat).
      If that’s not natural, neither is existence.

  17. Lifelogic
    July 5, 2023

    Storing electricity in conventional batteries of various kinds is rarely even worth it. A battery to store £1 of electricity might well cost up to £4,000 plus perhaps 25% of energy losses in the charge discharge process. Depreciation and finance cost for the battery can be about £2 a day and it is only storing £1 of electricity. Even if you do a full charge discharge every single day together with losses the £1 of electricity costs you £3.75 after storing costs. A pile of coal or store of gas is far, far superior. Most batteries and energy storage systems are dangerous too (as are reservoirs) and usually need loads of energy to produce.

    Other methods can be a bit cheaper but still very expensive and energy wasteful.

    1. Al
      July 7, 2023

      “A pile of coal or store of gas is far, far superior. ” – LL
      Correct. Speaking as someone who has been told they can no longer burn dry wood to heat the house in winter, but bonfires are just fine in summer, we need some serious joined up thinking on this.

      With regard to storage costs, the advantage of water storage (by the two-lake method) is that it can offset those costs in other ways – extra capacity for water in summer, food supply if the lakes are configured to support water crops and fish farming, and similarly conservation of local species, etc. If linked to an existing river, it can refill its upper lake during heavy rain without requiring pumping, making it double up as a generation station.

  18. Berkshire Alan
    July 5, 2023

    The government needs to decide if it is in the Commercial risk and Research and Development business or not, BEFORE it starts making all of these pledges, policies, so called investments, and the raising of taxes and spending of taxpayer cash.
    If we are going to have private commercial businesses supplying us all with Heat, light, Power, Water, etc etc, why is the government getting involved with finance for research, surely products and services in the commercial world should be self funding, and able to be developed and pay for it themselves.
    Absolutely no point in passing legislation and insisting on a fixed timescale, before a product or service is fully developed and proven.

  19. Mickey Taking
    July 5, 2023

    Sunak’s first priority of the 5.
    It is aiming to halve inflation of 10.7% – which was the figure for the fourth quarter of 2022 (October to December).
    When the pledge was first made, many people expected this to happen anyway.
    However, inflation has stayed stubbornly high and was unchanged – at a rate of 8.7% – from April to May.
    Sunak’s second pledge to “grow the economy” will be met if the economy is bigger in the fourth quarter of 2023 than in the previous three months. not normally seen as a difficult pledge, because the UK’s economy is usually growing. The economy has got smaller in only four quarters in the past 10 years.
    But there has not been a lot of growth recently. In the last four quarters, GDP grew only 0.1% three times and shrunk 0.1% in the other quarter. The UK economy is still smaller than it was before the pandemic.
    Sunak’s third talks about debt falling, it almost always mean as a proportion of GDP.
    The idea is that debt is falling if it is growing more slowly than the economy.
    But that has not been happening recently. The latest figures show that debt is above 100% of GDP for the first time since 1961.
    Sunak’s fourth claims: “NHS waiting lists will fall and people will get the care they need more quickly.”
    His pledge only refers to waiting lists in England, because Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland manage their own health systems. The overall number of patients waiting for treatment in England is still rising – from 7.33 million in March, to 7.42 million in April.
    Sunak’s fifth has said that his plan to tackle small boat crossings is “starting to work”.
    However, the bulk of arrivals usually turn up in the summer months so we will not know until later in the year whether or not his plan is working.

  20. G
    July 5, 2023

    The best use of hydrogen would be for nuclear fusion. Pause and consider a different approach.

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    July 5, 2023

    When will you stop pushing this net zero scam? Human life is based on carbon, without carbon dioxide there would be no life on earth as we know it. How many times have the scare mongers warned of the end of the planet in the last 30 years as a result of man made CO2 emission (which are only around 3% of CO2 emissions) and unsurprisingly we are still here? If the problem is said to be that CO2 is a greenhouse gas how is the solution to replace it with water vapour, the most prevalent greenhouse gas, which is produced when hydrogen is burned. This is not about the climate; it is about impoverishing and exercising control over the majority for the benefit of the already wealthy minority. It must be resisted by all who believe in freedom and liberty.

  22. Donna
    July 5, 2023

    I’m in the group which is intending to keep my gas boiler and my petrol-driven car (I’ll be buying a new one in 2028 or thereabouts) as long as I can. The alternatives aren’t appropriate for where I live, even IF I wanted to spend a fortune getting them ….. which I don’t.

    “Do you have any advice for those who are designing away to find a road to net zero?”

    Yes. Give it up. Net Zero has absolutely nothing to do with the climate and many of us aren’t buying the propaganda.

    I will not be voting for any Party which is promoting the Net Zero “Control and Impoverish the Peasant’s ” Agenda.

  23. James Freeman
    July 5, 2023

    The problem with generating green hydrogen is that you have to make it using hydrolysis, and the economics must stack up.

    The process has a high capital cost, and you lose energy making the hydrogen from the electricity.
    a) If cheap energy is only available occasionally (when it is very windy), the hydrogen is expensive as capital costs spread over a small production.
    b) But if you use the plant more often, the electricity and hydrogen will also be expensive.

    I recommend investing R & D money to reduce the costs of building and running electrolysis plants. As there is already a hydrogen market, there will be a natural transition once an electrolysis plant becomes economically viable and hydrogen can compete with natural gas.

  24. Sakara Gold
    July 5, 2023


  25. Sir Joe Soap
    July 5, 2023

    You’ve answered your own question. The fact that the nature of any future breakthrough in new energy sources is unclear means that we’re still at the stage of letting inventors invent and experiment. Who knows which mixture of known and presently unknown sources will present themselves as clear solutions in an economic and social sense? The petrol car was a universal and clear winner in the choice versus horse and carriage. Some time there’ll be another no brainer but not yet it seems.

  26. Michelle
    July 5, 2023

    I don’t have an issue with the idea of trying to find cleaner, cheaper more efficient energy for all.
    My suspicions are aroused by the rush and the sinister psychological tactics being used to scare people into believing the clock is ticking because of gas/oil/coal/cows etc.
    I believe two chumps have just pushed a red button on a clock to start the countdown to climate Armageddon. Well that will alarm all those children taught not to think things through won’t it. Still, once the baton is handed to Starmer, he can give them the vote and the Green agenda can be hailed as a democratic vote that must be acted on. The people have spoken.
    My suspicions are also aroused because the other side of the debate, often by those more qualified than say a TV broadcaster, teenage girl or pop star, are not allowed to be heard with the same level of air time or courtesy.

    Advice would be a rushed job is often a botched job, so think on.
    Who should foot the bill for research and experiment? Well those two chumps with the big clock should dig around the back of their sofas for some cash and of course all those who will be making a profit out of green energy ( some people actually believe it’s all going to be free and no more big profits for energy companies) should be making a huge contribution.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      July 6, 2023

      When we need a different kind of energy – ‘because we are running out of oil – say’ then the industry will be quick to define what is available and what needs to be done with it to provide energy. They will set up the R&D and solve the problem.

      Putting the Government in charge of defining ‘the problem’ (which is in fact not a problem) and defining the solution using the material it plumps for arbitrarily, (usually a new word that it hope nobody has heard so the public think they are clever) is like putting computers in charge of specifying their own programmes and implementing them indefinitely. (AI)

      Oh! Isn’t that another scam the politicians have fallen for hook line and sinker to move billions into the Computer industry? The last one, Millennium Bug, worked a treat, so did the ‘tracking of every pork chop back to the farm’.

      You can set up fake anything on a computer printout. Bit like producing a Doctorate – write the conclusion then manufacture the data to prove it. See the ‘Climate Emergency’ and the manipulation of temperature records.

      The manipulation and alteration of historic data should be a hanging offence, because it is attempted murder of future generations.

  27. Sakara Gold
    July 5, 2023

    Many think hydrogen heating technology is a little too early at the moment due to the high pressures required in the distribution network. There are a number of ways to net zero but many think the most cost effective route is to insulate more housing. Those who winge on the loudest against net zero are those wealthy landlords with large portfolios who will have to pony up substantial sums to bring their properties up to the necessary standard.

    Once a certain number of EV’s are on the roads, charging up overnight with otherwise curtailed wind farm electricity – many quote 1.5 million – we will have a grid scale electricity storage system. We desperately need upgraded HVDC electricity distribution to transport wind electricity from Scotland and the N Sea to where it is needed – and many more EV charging points

    Net zero is economically within reach if people stop believing the anti-EV propaganda that is constantly being inserted into the right-wing press by the increasingly desperate fossil fuel cartel.

    1. Mark
      July 5, 2023

      Daily electricity consumption on a cold day is about 1TWh, and about 750GWh on average. Even if your fleet of 1.5 million EVs were to dedicate 20kWh each (and many would opt out), that would be total storage of 30GWh. About the same as the Coire Glas pumped hydro storage project. At a redelivery rate of 7kW per vehicle they would provide about 10GW if they could all be harnessed simultaneously for just 3 hours. It is not going to keep the lights on when the wind fails, especially for periods lasting many days at a time. Then they will of course all need recharging, adding to demand beyond the normal daily recharging levels. The vehicle owners will want to be compensated for the inconvenience of being tied to supplying the grid, and for the loss of battery life resulting from the additional cycling of charging and discharging. Those incentives will be very expensive for bill payers. It’s a green unicorn.

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      July 6, 2023

      Regarding the ‘unsuitable buildings’ – the only economically viable thing to do is knock them down. That includes all the new housing estates too which are hermetically sealed because hydrogen needs good ventilation.

      Once we all live under a few corrugated sheets on the village Green, pony our water by bucket and spend our days catching insects for dinner, the world will be safe and what a relief that will be! No need for a car because there will be no commute – no jobs.

      That will include the Palace of Westminster which might as well be allowed to fall into the river.

    3. Donna
      July 6, 2023

      “Those who winge on the loudest against net zero are those wealthy landlords with large portfolios who will have to pony up substantial sums to bring their properties up to the necessary standard.”

      Got any evidence to justify that sweeping statement ….. or is it just your prejudices being aired?

      Insulation doesn’t HEAT a building; you need a heat-generator to do that and our current most common heat generators are highly efficient (gas, oil, coal) and would be relatively cheap if the Government used our own resources and didn’t load taxes on them. The Nut Zero alternatives are not highly efficient and aren’t cheap…. or they don’t exist.

      Our older housing stock – which is most of it – was not designed and is not suitable to be turned into a sealed box with no airflow. It will cause condensation, mould and eventually rotting timbers.

    4. Martin in Bristol
      July 6, 2023

      Name a grid scale electricity storage system SG
      If you could tell us the cost and how long the stored power will last that would be nice.

  28. MPC
    July 5, 2023

    For goodness sake Mr Redwood we’ve got to save the planet and set an example to the world. Let’s not worry about questions of detail. You are missing the big picture – we need targets to address the Climate Emergency, not more diversionary questions.

    1. Maxie
      July 5, 2023

      What emergency? There is no scientific information that categorically supports this nonsense. The climate will do what it has always done, please itself. We have had the ice age, Stone Age, Bronze Age and now we have the Idiotic Age where the mad few require the vast majority to give up everything and suffer the consequences of poverty.

    2. James Freeman
      July 6, 2023

      Getting rid of the 1-2% of emissions from the UK and setting an example will not save the planet. Most people are poorer than us, and their governments cannot afford subsidies. This is the big picture.

      The only way is to develop more effective technology than fossil fuels. Then everyone can afford to use it, and emissions will reduce worldwide.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        July 6, 2023

        Oh James – our politicians need all our allowable emission for the explosion of depleted uranium bombs – I mean we can’t get the Challengers onto the battlefield but all their shells were discharged in the ammo dump – by those nasty Russians! Have you no heart man? Do you want our MPs and PM ‘powerless’?

  29. Bloke
    July 5, 2023

    Need for travel reduces automatically with advanced communication, visual reality, 3D printing and more to come soon.
    Virtually all home heating is consumed to keep human bodies warm; mostly wasted unused. Scientists should create a human shield for insulation beyond clothing, keeping heat in our bodies, staying with us as we walk around.
    Ready Brek for kids worked well in the 1970s. Reincarnate Jon Pertwee as Speaker. He knew how to glow.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      July 6, 2023

      You did not see those fluffy cagouls sold during the ‘energy crisis’? Basically personalised tents so you could switch the heating off.
      Funnily enough it turns out that buildings should not be allowed to get too cold, they disintegrate – burst pipes etc.

  30. Jim+Whitehead
    July 5, 2023

    At 7 comments it’s clear that this foolish government is flogging a dead horse.
    It’s also clear that a major proportion of your supporter is beyond fatigued by the lack of trenchant criticism of this destructive path.

    1. glen cullen
      July 5, 2023


  31. Michael Saxton
    July 5, 2023

    Thirteen years of incompetence by a succession of Energy Ministers has created confusion and huge costs for the taxpayer and energy consumer, essentially driven by Labour’s 2008 CCA. The introduction of the hugely biased CCC has resulted Ministers and Parliament failing to fully examine the costs and impact of Net Zero by 2050. Arbitrary virtue signalling by Mrs May and Mr Johnson, without detailed research and cost analysis has resulted in failure. It’s easy for Ministers to set targets but it takes time, detailed study and considerable scientific and engineering expertise to develop an economic and sustainable source of alternative energy for transport, industry and domestic home use. Wind and solar cannot meet these needs. Nuclear, however, can meet our electricity requirements supported by gas, wind, pumped hydro and solar. Transport presents a huge challenge as the laws of physics trump costly unproven alternative fuels such as hydrogen. The nonsensical 2030 ban on new ICE’s must be reversed. There is no climate emergency but there is a need to carefully move to a greener energy future. Regrettably the frenetic headlong rush by Government, largely without public understanding and support, has resulted in a succession of failures. Energy security should be the number one priority. Nuclear should be next, the failure to make this a priority thirteen years ago has only exacerbated the problem, betting on wind and solar a costly losing strategy. It’s time for a reset, remove the 2050 obsession, remove the 2030/35 ban on ICE’s, go for nuclear, especially RR SMR’s, and develop and improve alternative clean fuels for ICE’s.

  32. David Cooper
    July 5, 2023

    Sir John: “Do you have any advice for those who are designing away to find a road to net zero?”
    The silent majority: “Drop it. Stop wasting your time and our money on quasi-alchemy projects that will not bring one iota’s worth of net benefit to quality of life.”

  33. Dave Andrews
    July 5, 2023

    Liquid fuels are still far superior to hydrogen for powering vehicles. Hydrogen can’t be compressed to the concentration of energy found in gasoline.
    Under the right combination of heat and pressure, organic matter turns into fossil fuels; it doesn’t take millions of years, you can make coal in a day.
    Put the research into catalysts that deliver the desired end products, and start growing suitable crops – trees, grass.
    Of course it will help if the land is available for growing crops and not turned into more housing developments.

  34. Anthony
    July 5, 2023

    The round trip costs of storing hydrogen are high – I understand that it is around 30% efficient at present. Therefore as a large scale store of energy it simply doesn’t make sense.

    It also doesn’t make sense as a heating fuel for homes. It leaks out of the existing pipes and will require a lot of effort to replace older boilers. Despite the upfront costs, heat pumps are worth a look if the financing can be got right. They are 400% efficient. Yes, you read that correctly. The electricity they take in is only a fraction of the heat they give out because the heat comes from the ground – the electricity only runs the condenser that pressurises the heating fluid. Given that efficiency, it is surely possible to finance the provision of the heat pump against cost savings over subsequent years? Government can surely construct a scheme for this.

    Hydrogen is also very expensive to move around. It leaks. It has to be held at low temperatures which is difficult and expensive. Better to use it for something at source (steel manufacture) and then transport the finished goods at room temperature.

    Basically, hydrogen has specific use cases in industry and perhaps in transport but mass usage is off the cards – hydrogen is just difficult to move around.

  35. Jason Cartwright
    July 5, 2023

    Hottest June ever.
    ‘The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.’

    1. Mark
      July 5, 2023

      According to the HADCET record there were hotter Junes in 1676, 1822, 1826 and 1846 that the Met Office seems to have forgotten about. Indeed, it is their most essential command to employ the memory hole.

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      July 6, 2023

      +1. Nicolae Ceaușescu got into a bit of trouble manipulating the facts and telling the population to refute the evidence of their eyes and ears, and to believe him when he said black was white.

  36. agricola
    July 5, 2023

    My advice to governmet is still as it was years back. Define the goal and leave it to the market. Very few if any in government understand the various technologies involved, leave it to those who do to come up with products that the public wish to buy.
    It may be necessary for government to help fund research but beyond that stay away until a viable marketable path is clear and then give support to the infrastructure that is needed.
    Incidentally, apart from Toyota; Mitsubishi, Porsche, and BMW are all exploring the hydrogen/cell/electric propulsion of vehicles. The real challenge is the production of hydrogen via electrolysis on a large scale using all the cheap electricity the green mob claim that windmills produce. Then can the gas grid take hydrogen.
    For sure hydrogen ticks all the boxes on range and refuelling times. Volume production may answer price. The real winners will be the NHS and the health of the nation. All we need is a government who can think and act logically.

  37. James Morley
    July 5, 2023

    The UK Hydrogen Village trial for domestic hydrogen is proceeding at a snails pace. At typical Government pace, the trial village is to be selected in 2023! How can it possibly take so long just to select a trial village? Then two years for the trial itself, 2025! The possibility / probability that technical changes will be required before rolling out the trial national, 2027 ? Unless it can be done quickly there is no point in doing it at all.

    1. outsider
      July 6, 2023

      Wonder why they did not choose the Westminster Village years ago. Surely no reactionary opposition there.

  38. Guy+Liardet
    July 5, 2023

    Do the sums, John. The hydrogen idea is a hopeless distraction. Dangerous, blue doesn’t save CO2. , green is hugely expensive and there will not be enough windmill electricity to make it; under half the thermal efficiency of natural gas ; leaks through steel pipes. Forget it, John. Overarching facts – there is no way that the steady rise of CO2 at about 2 to 3 ppm a year will be checked, whether caused by man or not (see Moana Loa), UK PRODUCES ONE PER CENT. CO2 does not affect the weather very much. Read it up John and shrug off your brainwashing.

  39. William Long
    July 5, 2023

    I am afraid I do not know enough about the science behind the question to suggest a suitable answer. The only thing I do know however, is that the inevitable ultimate source for the necessary funds for any solution is the taxpayer, and i, for one, strongly resent my money being spent on what, at this stage, can only be speculation.

  40. Julian+Flood
    July 5, 2023

    My advice? Sack all the non-engineers. Produce costings and cost-benefit analyses of the various schemes and abandon those which will make no or neglible difference to the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions.

    When you discover that the only solution is nuclear then start building one of the RR designs and fob off the green zealots by converting as much liquid carbon use to low carbon methane.

    Frack, then nukes. It’s not rocket science.


  41. turboterrier
    July 5, 2023

    If only the world politicians when all this Saving the World farce started instead of taking the quick fix they had pooled all their resources into nuclear fusion and shown restraint in demonising fossil fuels scaring the hell out of the people, industry and commerce this problem which doesn’t exist in the critical masses minds might be approaching a satisfactory conclusion for everybody.

  42. Ian
    July 5, 2023

    Sweden and its neighbour seem to have sensibly abandoned their utopian Net Zero roadmap in favour of gas-nuclear. Why don’t we ?

    1. Donna
      July 6, 2023

      We’ve just had an example that Sweden is now governed by sensible people. Their economy isn’t wrecked; their children aren’t suffering from mental health problems.

      The UK is governed by Eco obsessives, 77th Brigade propagandists and virtue-signalling idiot politicians.

  43. Ian B
    July 5, 2023

    Yes Hydrogen should be in the arsenal, not just for homes but transport as well.

    I read a paper a week or so back suggesting that the powers that be are missing a trick(dot they always, failure to think come to mind). The UK has a massive housing stock that to convert to be capable to use heat pumps, on many level is not possible on a cost basis, a today’s values you are looking at around £30,000(yes thirty) just for starters. For many it would be cheaper to knock the house down and start again.

    The bit being missed is the hybrid system, where a heat pump can it the right weather conditions lift the water temperature to a moderate temperature and then the gas boiler kicks, especially when it falls below 0 to lift it to its final operational temperature.

    The big down side of heat pumps is although they talk of operating down to -16/18 degrees(operating is not the same as heating), it is dependant on a modern well insulated house to make a difference. Anything below O degrees outside and there is a fall of in performance, they can not lift -16 to the full +60 needed in existing house stocks.

    Going the hybrid root would still reduce usage significantly, without exorbitant(still high cost) costs

    1. Donna
      July 6, 2023

      Where are you planning to put the necessary hot water tanks in small houses and flats, which weren’t designed for one?

  44. Ian B
    July 5, 2023

    Sir John
    You mentioning JCB, reminded me.

    Jo Bamford the heir to the JCB empire took over the reins of Wrightbus after rescuing the company from administration. Back in 2014 they have brought you the world’s first hydrogen double deck bus

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      July 6, 2023

      Daddy has much money and they are testing alternatives regardless of cost. Daylesford is in the same category as Highgrove, it doesn’t need to make a profit and it’s customers are all cash rich. Hardly real life!

  45. oldwulf
    July 5, 2023

    If there is a CO2 emission problem, the main culprits seem to be:


    The UK is 18th.

    There is therefore scope for the UK to increase its carbon emissions so as to better serve its people.

    1. glen cullen
      July 5, 2023

      Like climate change, carbon emissions figures are generated by scientific modelling forecasts !!!

      1. hefner
        July 6, 2023

        Not quite, eg the UK has the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory
        ( essentially taking measurements of primary emissions from all sorts of sources to define the emissions of the main greenhouses gases. (National Inventory Submissions 2022) collects these data country by country to create the international database.

        Not much modelling here.

    2. Mark
      July 5, 2023

      Looking at the data from the Energy Institute formerly compiled by BP I see that in 2022 the UK ranks 43rd in energy consumption per capita, and 44th or perhaps lower in CO2e emissions per capita (some smaller countries with high emissions are not reported on).

  46. IanT
    July 5, 2023

    I think the best solution would be if Government just stopped interfering in these matters and let the market develop practical and affordable solutions that people are willing to buy, which they will do if they can see the sense in them. Currently solutions have been mandated that don’t work well in all situations, that are not supported by our current energy infrastructure and cost more than existing solutions. All this “solutions to the problems will appear” is just pie-in-the-sky thinking.
    Sane people don’t jump off a cliff thinking “I’ll grow some wings on the way down! Sane Politicians should have workable solutions on offer before pushing their populations over one.

    1. Guy+Liardet
      July 6, 2023

      The very stupid Lord Deben thinks we are in danger of losing our LRADERSHIP in the Net Zero fantasy. He is very stupid? No he has ‘interests’ in the Climate Crisis. Leadership? I tried to laugh with the Asian continent but I was too sad.

  47. Original Richard
    July 5, 2023

    “Do you have any advice for those who are designing away to find a road to net zero?”

    There is no historical or empirical evidence for a climate crisis and no-one should believe ex VP Al Gore’s claim earlier this year that the “oceans are boiling”. Not only is CO2 not a pollutant but at historically low levels of just 0.04% of the atmosphere it needs increasing in order to promote plant growth and prevent famines.

    Our unilateral Net Zero Strategy to curb our 1% contribution to global CO2 emissions pushed by communists, globalists, wealthy elites, energy grifters and Malthusians is impossible to achieve and will destroy our economy and democracy.

    The proof is that no climate activists are worried by the 8 billion tons of coal burnt by China and India each year and their blocking of nuclear power, the only low CO2 emitting source of energy which is affordable, abundant and reliable.

  48. Ian B
    July 5, 2023

    Hydrogen is used in London by the Council for regular transport, the official cars used to ferry people around for the London Olympics were Hydrogen.

    All the answers to UK’s future require tons, and tons of electricity that after 13 years in office this Conservative Government are well aware of. So far their only response is to import, import, import all with taxpayer subsidies, and the UK owns none of it. What they have failed on is using UK taxpayer money to ensure the development and production of facilities can be arrived at in the UK. This Conservative Government is deliberately and maliciously programming the UK’s future out of the UK by making it dependant on the whims of foreign Governments.

  49. Lynn Atkinson
    July 5, 2023

    I have some advice for politicians who told us to ditch petrol engines in favour of diesel.

    Admit you know nothing. You idiot advice costs the country hundreds of billions.

    See if you can do the basic business of government. Choose 2 things and try to get them right. How about:
    1. Ditching all legislation that was not proposed by a Member of the British Parliament?
    2. Securing our borders and deporting all illegal aliens?

    1. glen cullen
      July 5, 2023


    2. Mark B
      July 6, 2023

      3. And balance the books.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        July 6, 2023

        That would balance the books. The NHS employment would more than halve! So would it’s ‘patients’ – just for starters.

  50. glen cullen
    July 5, 2023

    You only need to develop hydrogen if you believe the UN IPCC climate change report …..what of the future of cheap abundant energy ie gas, oil & coal

  51. Original Richard
    July 5, 2023

    Hydrogen cannot economically replace natural gas for boilers. It corrodes the steel piping for bulk transport, it needs to be pumped at 3 times the pressure for the same rate of energy flow and its small molecular size means that leakages are common and very dangerous, particularly for domestic use.

    Hydrogen is so difficult and expensive to transport and with such a low energy density by volume that it is impossible to use for replacing petrol and diesel for transport applications. A far better option is (green) natural gas.

    Using hydrogen for energy storage for renewables is so inefficient that it is necessary to build 5 or 6 times more wind and solar farms to produce sufficient excess energy to produce sufficient supplies of hydrogen by electrolysis for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. Then there is the cost of the water treatment plants, the electrolysers and the storage of millions of tonnes of hydrogen. In fact renewables on their own are incapable of supplying economically reliable, non-intermittent power.

  52. RDM
    July 5, 2023

    ” Do you have any advice for those who are designing away to find a road to net zero? What role is there for hydrogen, and how can renewable power be stored? Who should pay the costs of experimentation and investment in the roll out of any of the answers?”

    “Do you have any advice for those who are designing away to find a road to net zero?”

    Net Zero is ill conceived, and won’t solve anything, but destroying our Economy (And, others) along the way!
    Please see:
    Half the World Faces Starvation Under Net Zero Policies, Say Two Top Climate Scientists!

    This does not mean there are not Environmental Problems we should be targeting, when we can afford to!
    River management, Pollutants?
    Plastic in Sea?

    But, Please Please remember; Environmental Efficiency, comes after, Economic Efficiency! We have no other way, but too do stuff, when we can afford to, and even then it has to be done Economically Efficient!

    “What role is there for hydrogen”
    Theoretically, it has many possibility’s.
    Problems that I can think of, but possibly more?
    Unless, it is compressed, and held (Frozen), you will have to use it as a dilute.
    But, H2 is very dangerous! Very explosive!
    It’s will be very expensive to produce, and transport.
    This makes it nonviable, economically, so unless we can produce it cheaply, and on mass, all it will end up doing is bankrupting us!

    Can Green Hydrogen be produced as part of a Nuclear Plant?
    Help mitigate the cost of a Major Nuclear Plant?

    Then, compress, and freeze, it to transport!
    But, all we are doing is building an inefficient economic structure!

    Locally; A Methane Cracking plant could be used, but again, very expensive! Cheaper, would be using methane directly, and easier!

    “Who should pay the costs of experimentation and investment in the roll out of any of the answers?”

    Those that Profit, should bare the Risk, and provide the Investment? It’s Called Capitalism ?
    People/company’s, don’t invest because there is so much uncertainty, no direction, and it’s not at all clear if it is going to be viable, in practise!

    Governments could give guidance, and financial support, but you’ll end up “picking Winners”, and as yet, there are none!

    But, does any of this mean we should not try?

    No, it means Net Zero is not viable!
    Net Zero is pushing us into something we have no idea how to make work, and at a very expensive cost!
    Drop Net Zero!

    Target Environmental Problems directly; Cleaning Rivers, Sea, coast,..
    Research ideas like producing, using, and transporting Hydrogen, but it needs out of the box thinking!

    Just one Idea;
    In my mind, we (Nobody) was every going use Hydrogen straight of, so to us, we will end up using Gas (CH4), and then slowly, move onto a H2/CH4 dilute, and a technology that we could move between, depending on what is available is a variable controlled Gas Turbine!

    Will it be possible to use 100% H2, not unless it is compressed, frozen, and still produced very cheaply? No!

    So, the Gas/Dilute infrastructure would be built up over time?

    But, is it Economically Viable? Well, it depends on how cheap the Gas is, to start, and then how cheap we can produce, and transport Hydrogen.

    So, Gas is a way forward, to start; Cheap Gas (Fracking) ?

    Potentially, Cleaning the use of Gas (CH4), before it’s burnt, and/or after?

    Could be part of a targeted approach?

    Hope this helps?

  53. Ian B
    July 5, 2023

    A sort of an aside but related, the Media has picked up on the coming changes on car production meaning 45% of the value of an electric vehicle (EV) sold in the EU must come from Britain or the EU. Leaving aside that we have a crowd of anti UK numpties in this UK Conservative Government, why is that such a bad thing? All EV’s arrive on the streets with the assistance of massive taxpayer subsidy – so at the moment the taxpayer finances foreign production not home grown. That is wasting taxpayer money. So on that logic if you want taxpayer money ensure there is at least 45% made in this country. The other 55% is still money down the drain as far as the taxpayer is concerned, going to entities that dont contribute to the wealth of the Country.

    In the US Biden has the IRA(I like that acronym in that context, but, Inflation Reduction Act) in essence there is taxpayer funding for all things ‘future’. The criteria being things must be produced in the US (not assembled). That is why recently a UK chip producer has upped sticks and headed west.

    This Conservative Government is renowned the World over for giving UK taxpayer money to anyone but those in the UK that contribute to it.

    On EV’s it was announced a while back that the latest incarnation of batteries, the lightweight one is good for 745 miles on a 10 minute charge, or the heavy weight version 950 plus miles. These batteries smaller lighter and no lithium in sight. UK missed the boat again, a UK invention lost to the UK once more.

    1. Ian B
      July 5, 2023

      Today in the Media and also the problem

      “Greater incentives are needed for private buyers to adopt electric cars as rapidly as businesses and fleets, according to the UK car industry’s body”

      That would suggest an industry body primarily vested in importing cars into the UK wants the UK to subsidies foreign entities who do not contribute at the same level to the UK tax take as do UK citizens and UK indigenous industries.

      There is a self defeating madness in all subsidies. It means those people that can’t afford things pay more so those that can get to free load.

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      July 6, 2023

      No chips will produced in the USA because in retaliation China has banned the export of rare earths to the USA. Hope the ex-U.K. chip producer can get enough oil to fry! Those are the only chips it has a hope of producing – or is that a non starter too because of the need for oil! Hydrogen chips will taste great – believe me – better than insects.

  54. Anthony Williams
    July 5, 2023

    I read recently that a given volume of hydrogen has only half the calorific value of natural gas, and that the existing pipework will not cope with the increased volume required. Does this mean replacing the gas network?

    There are major problems with intermittency and storage of renewable electricity; and the need for miles of pylons for distribution. Plus the huge costs of insulating and adapting properties. Surely the way to go is to exploit UK natural gas to reduce the cost of living and ensure energy security. At the same time mass producing SMRs and co-locating these with population hubs to simplify distribution. Thus the direction of travel is toward an all (or mainly) electric future whilst not destroying the economy.

  55. Bryan Harris
    July 5, 2023

    The only advice I would give is to say ‘Stop Net-zero, the technology is not in place’

    Such advice will be ignored of course, because the great reset cannot wait – ‘In the future we will all own nothing and we WILL be happy’ – so the elitist blob tell us. More propaganda to make their destructive schemes palatable.

    The only way thing that could help us move to a lower carbon based power supply is to study real science, not the fake science we are told about. There are answers out there, but I doubt the blob is interested in giving us real solutions.

  56. Bert+Young
    July 5, 2023

    I believe in the future of Hydrogen Fuel for cars . True that much has to be done in R and D to achieve this but , compared to electric battery cars , the limited mileage , the cost of and location of charge points , hydrogen has much to offer . As things stand I am sticking with my petrol car for as long as I can .

  57. Maxie
    July 5, 2023

    These “Green” Ideologists are on a par with the Covid Pandemic.
    They are condemning all to a very bleak future indeed and the worrying thing is that there are so many inept Politicians supporting their nonsense. If ever there was a need for a Referendum this is it and I’m sure it would be a clear defeat for these pathetic imbeciles. MP’s need to wake up quickly before there is civil unrest rather than public dismay at what they are doing to our country and to us!

  58. Robert Bywater
    July 5, 2023

    There is far too much focus on wind power and far too little on wave power. The water in the oceans and along our coast is in constant movement “24/7 “. The amount of energy that could be extracted is enormous.

    1. Mark
      July 5, 2023

      Wave power energy is extremely difficult to extract economically. The ocean is an unforgiving environment, and the devices that have been used to try have been battered into uselessness very quickly. Moreover, wave energy varies considerably according to the weather state. It is far from being a constant or reliable source.

      In the current AR5 CFD auction, wave energy projects are permitted to bid at up to £327.70/MWh in current price terms, whereas offshore wind cannot bid above £58.85/MWh (although in reality that is a below cost figure, which is why we will see few if any offers to bid). The technology is experimental at best.

  59. RichardP
    July 5, 2023

    My advice to those who are designing a road to net zero is to get out of government, you are deluded. The same advice goes for the zero Covid crowd. On their way out they can take their Central Bank Digital Currency and Digital IDs with them as well.

    We need a government of common sense. Unfortunately common sense isn’t common anymore.

  60. Atlas
    July 5, 2023

    Good points Sir John. Unfortunately the Net Zero zealots will not reality get in the way of their dream of a socialist future being created by their choice of the future infrastructure (Buses, Trams, Trains – and no Aircraft travel, except for the elite). George Orwell was here before on all these political tactics.

  61. Elli Ron
    July 5, 2023

    The Hydrogen “energy solution” is a very expensive and dangerous solution which is suitable only for very large energy consumers (smelting, pottery etc.).
    Dangerous because hydrogen is a very small molecule easily leaking from pipelines and explosive when mixed with air.

    Expensive because extraction from water requires far more energy then its burning will provide and is only feasible in a world where electrical energy is at near zero cost.

    Storage and shipping will require huge infrastructure especially if it is going down pipes to residences.
    Just imagine how an hydrogen explosion will demolish a high rise with hundreds of casualties.

  62. Derek
    July 5, 2023

    Until it is proven beyond all reasonable doubt that Carbon is such a danger to us, all of these alternatives should be classified as “Work in progress” within R&D until such time enough is learned to be able to select those with the best potential for cheap energy. Currently there are too many of them to make any of them a long term viable proposition.

  63. ChrisS
    July 5, 2023

    We already know that there is no electric solution possible for HGVs, yet they are some of our biggest polluters.
    The only viable option is Hydrogen. Germany is experimenting with railway-type overhead catenary for trucks on a stretch of motorway. I have driven along it but the installation costs are horrendous and maintenance, which is regularly necessary, would require the motorway to be completely shut down. It would not be possible to install the equipment off of Dual carriageways so batteries would still be required whenever the trucks leave the motorway which would give an unacceptable weight and cost penalty.

    Hydrogen is the ideal solution and if it is produced for trucks, the infrastructure could also be used for cars.
    I will not be buying a batterty EV but would have no problem with a Hydrogen fuel cell car, if the purchase cost was under control, because it would have the range and convenience of a petrol or diesel one.

    Politicians have jumped on the EV bandwagon far too quickly and I have always thought it was the equivalent of the Sony Betamax/VHS showdown decades ago. In that case, the poorer system won and we all went over to VHS. In the current situation, it’s very obvious that the battery EV and heat pumps are far inferior solutions for the end user than Hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars and Hydrogen-powered boilers. Yet we are having them foistered on them by a bunch of ignorant politicians who simply do not care about the end user – us !

  64. British Patriot
    July 5, 2023

    Sir John, there is an extremely interesting and sensible review of the UK’s electric car policy – what it is and what it SHOULD be – on the brilliant (if I say so myself!) British Patriot substack blog. I hope you will allow this link:

    Do please read this article when you have a moment. It makes the point that the UK needs a car industry, and that this needs to supply both the UK and the export market. The best policy would be to help it do both, by scrapping our deadline for banning ICE cars in the UK but also ensuring that there is a healthy electric car munafacturing capability for exporting to all those countries which DO ban ICE cars.

    Battery technology – the most important element of an electric car – is not there yet, so we should not force the pace in the UK. As for hydrogen, the supply network is even further behiind that of electric car chargers, so leave this to the buses and heavy machinery (which can all be resupplied at their depot).

  65. mongoose
    July 5, 2023

    There is no hydrogen. Hydrogen therefore is not a primary fuel.

    If there was some hydrogen – and generating it from some magical missing electricity is about as inefficient an idea as I have heard this last half-century – it is a tiny molecule that will leak and escape and blow stuff up.

    Idiotic. Words almost fail me.

  66. Cuibono
    July 5, 2023

    Is hydrogen the reason we endured months of disrespectful and high-handed disruption.
    Removing existing gas pipes with flimsy-looking yellow ones?
    Is yellow plastic hydrogen-friendly, like the boilers they are apparently making?

  67. Mark
    July 5, 2023

    I see tha Drax power station is very much in the news. Not only is it dismantling the remains of its 1.29GW if coal capacity, but also it already has one of its biomass units that has a CFD out of action because the Base Market Reference Price against which it is benchmarked is uncompetitive so it must pay a large tax if it is run.

    Compounding that the rest of its ROC funded capacity is under OFGEM investigation as to whether its fuel supply chain meets green criteria, and whether it will be asked to refund ROC payments and be prevented from future payments. If that is denied it will be unprofitable and will shut down so we will have created a 4GW gap in capacity across the various units that will put a severe strain on our ability to keep the lights on. Perhaps they should convert vack to reliable coal.

  68. Your comment is awaiting moderation
    July 5, 2023

    Sorry to go off topic but are you concerned about the trend for banks to withdraw banking facilities from people based on their political ideology?

  69. Francesca Skinner
    July 5, 2023

    My advice would be for Governments to see common sense and stop Bankrupting the country by forcing Net Zero in an unrealistic timetable, further more experimentation costs should be on the company and not the consumer as they will benefit in the long run.

  70. Lester_Cynic
    July 5, 2023

    Good morning Sir John

    Hydrogen also suffers from another serious disadvantage as I’m sure that other contributors will already have pointed out
    It isn’t naturally occurring and requires massive quantities of electricity to produce

    There’s also something disquieting at the back of my mind, something about the Hindenburg?

  71. Mark
    July 5, 2023

    The cheapest way to store renewable energy is not to store it. All storage routes for serious quantities to cover seasonal and inter year output variations are far too costly to contemplate. Hydrogen is only on the list because it is potentially cheaper than batteries and because it sounds marginally less infeasible in terms of resource use.

    It is much cheaper to build excess capacity and simply to discard or curtail excess production that to attempt to store it. Of course the more you discard the higher the effective cost of the useful production, particularly if you look at the marginal benefit of an extra wind or solar farm. You will still be left with periods of Dunkelflaute that will have to be bridged by backup capacity equal to roughly 100% of peak demand. The result is an uncompetitive energy supply system.

    We would do better to discard net zero absolutism and instead work out how to do things cheaply. That would include how to do nuclear cheaply without compromising essential sensible safety. We should recognise that the cost of reducing emissions increases exponentially the higher the target, and that the world needs sensible approaches rather than bankrupting our economies leaving us unable to afford to adapt to climate as it changes. Other countries are not as stupid as we are.

  72. Original Richard
    July 5, 2023

    “Do you have any advice for those who are designing away to find a road to net zero?”

    Given there is a special ceremony today at Westminster Abbey attended by royalty, senior politicians and 1500 NHS staff to commemorate 75 years of the NHS why not have regular Westminster Abbey services to ensure that the winds blow and the sun shines sufficiently to placate the renewable gods and keep the electricity flowing, even if only intermittently?

  73. XY
    July 5, 2023

    Energy storage has a number of possibilities, tehre are only a limited number of TYPES of energy (kinetic, potential, electrical, chemical etc).

    First, note that all conversions between types are inherently “lossy”. However, if you are capturing energy that otherwise would not have been captured at all (e.g. it would have blown away on the wind but for the presence of a windmill)… then the net result of all the losses in conversion, transfer and delivery is in fact a net gain.

    Current options include:

    Electrical energy: Battery-based storage is not yet feasible. It is also lossy during storage.

    Chemical energy: Convert to hydrogen, transport and burn. Note: It does not need to be burned at the point of use, it could be burned as fuel for a power station and delivered as electricity. There are other possible fuel conversions (German car industry has been working on an artificial diesel fuel for some years).

    Potential energy: This involves storing energy by storing its “capacity to do work” via engineering solutions such as pumping stations, which pump water up a hill/mountain to store the water at a higher altitude (and hence, stores the energy) – then to release it, the water is allowed to, say, fall as a waterfall to drive a turbine. This is essentially how a hydro plant works, except that they usually benefit from natural water features which means having mountain lakes/dams etc. In the UK there are limited places with the necessary topography, but it is situationally viable.

    The creation of ugly windmills that only create energy in electrical form, therefore only when the wind blows at the right speed, is a missed opportunity. Attaching them to, say, a hydrogen production plant or a water pumping/storage station would be far more sensible.

    While they’re at it, they might look at designing the things to look more appealing. If a windmill was considered picturesque in the past, perhpas they might emulate those retro designs to make the things more appealing and landscape-friendly in the present?

    The other point is that diesel/ICE technology itself has improved massively in the years since they first talked about net zero and similar nonsense – and it would have improved further but for the artificial end-of-life expectations placed upon it by the short-sighted people in power for the last few decades (no-one is going to develop a sunset-status technology).

    The bottom line here is to use the least disruptive technologies available at any given point in time, thereby allowing science to do what it does – innovate and lead to change through market forces. Candles were reaplced by gas lights, which were replaced by electric lighting. Each shift was an upheaval but the cost/benefit equation made people decide to make that change for themselves – the current cost/benefit equation of heat pumps, EVs etc makes people highly resistant, which should tell us that it’s the wrong move. If hydrogen and “artificial diesel” is the least disruptive alternative tech on offer, then use it to buy time.

  74. Mark
    July 5, 2023

    I see that the SNP are offering grants of up to £38,000 to Scottish crofters for insulation and heat pumps. We wait to hear how effective that is. Of course it doesn’t cover the total cost, but it does provide support for the idea that doing this across all our homes could be a £2 trillion item on its own, as estimatedby Prof Mike Kelly, former DCLG Chief Scientist who actually ran proper experiments.

  75. Mike Wilson
    July 5, 2023

    Another nail in the EV coffin. It appears that if an EV is involved in a crash – and the battery is damaged (and most of them have massive batteries which take up the whole floor pan of the car and which can be damaged when hit from the front, back or either side) – insurers are writing one year old EVs off!

    Apparently the batteries are not practical to repair (although, as it happens, I saw a video on YouTube yesterday where some car guy was showing how they do repair SOME EV batteries) and the cost of a new battery for a luxury car is best part of £30k (!!!) and the batteries for even modest cars are about £15k.

    Net result, insurance premiums for EVs are going to go through the roof. Tee hee.

    Mr. Redwood – we’re looking to you to stop this brutal insanity. Are the people in your party utter fools and lunatics. You’ve got to stop this madness. Your country needs you.

    1. Berkshire Alan
      July 6, 2023

      Yes I read the insurance report as well, it also said that due to the possibility of fire with damaged vehicles, all damaged EV cars need to be stored outside for safety reasons, or until the batteries have been inspected and are deemed safe.
      The insurance industry is always keen to cover itself, so it will only be a matter of time before a few EV fires, possibly during charging, will preclude cars from being stored/charged in a garage next to, or in your home !

    2. Donna
      July 6, 2023

      I suspect one of the reasons for the proliferation of 20mph speeds across the country is because EV’s are so much heavier than ICE vehicles so if they are involved in a personal injury accident they will inevitably kill more people.

  76. David
    July 5, 2023

    I worked professionally in the energy field for 45 years. Suffice it to say that I don’t think the government’s plans are well thought-out and increasingly the action seems to be linked to ‘who lobbies loudest?’ With the best will in the world, it will take us longer than 2050 to get to net zero (on the current definition; it excludes emissions elsewhere to make imported goods and materials).

    Training is needed, for a start, on how to design and fit heat pumps that will give a CoP of 4-5, not 2.5-3. At 3, assuming an electricity price of 30 p/kWh, the present running cost is nearly twice that of a condensing oil boiler. Many oil and gas condensing boilers don’t actually condense, due to incorrect design – but I digress …

    Denmark followed a different path, starting >40 years ago. Both it & UK took significant action in response to the 1973 & -79 oil crises, although both countries also had access to their own North Sea natural gas. As a result it has got considerably closer to net zero for heating than we have. An interesting difference is that Danish local authorities still have real power to make decisions; ours have been emasculated.

    The UK sometimes seems only to want comparisons to the two European countries of similar size and ‘status’, i.e. France or Germany. Is either necessarily doing any better? France has lower emissions per capita but its fleet of nuclear generating plants is aged and decrepit. Germany probably has higher emissions per capita but retains more ‘real’ manufacturing industry than the UK.

    I was a little surprised to see the phrase ‘do you have any advice?’ for the umpteenth time, now on a senior MP’s blog rather than in a government consultation document. I must have seen it 10-20 times over the years. It can smack of desperation and a lack of in-house (paid) expertise (or willingness to commission external expertise).

    1. Mark
      July 6, 2023

      I was interested to read that the Danish grid has recently suffered a couple if severe problems, both of which threatened its stability. In one case there was a surfeit of wind and solar coming in from Germany that threatened to overload the cables. Most of their own wind shut down, but they were left with no other viable curtailment options. They also suffered the opposite extreme with no further supply available during a period of wind drought that almost resulted in blackout rationing. This despite being a small country with strong interconnection links to its neighbours.

  77. JohnK
    July 5, 2023

    Hydrogen used in domestic boilers will lead to a lot of houses blowing up. I wonder how many people have to die to assuage the green madness?

  78. Mike Wilson
    July 5, 2023

    How is it a small number of people – eco nutters – can convince a government to act against the interests of the people. The only people buying EVs are either well off or company car drivers. My daughter in law has a Volkswagen ID4 as a company car. Why? Because she isn’t hammered on the company car tax front. The cost to her is negligible.

    She has to drive a lot for her job and she now suffers constantly from anxiety – range anxiety. Where I live there are a lot of 20 year old cats on the road. The people who drive them are not going to be able to afford EVs. Ever. By the time an EV is 10 years old it will need a new battery and no-one is going to want to put one in a car that old.

  79. John Waugh
    July 5, 2023

    Elon Musk – an engineer worth listening to.
    Easy to get his views online .
    Last year he is quoted as saying on hydrogen – “ the most dumb thing i could possibly imagine for energy storage “.
    He has the experience of using it on rocket systems .

    1. glen cullen
      July 6, 2023

      Elon Musk isn’t an engineer nor inventor …..however he did invent a new funding model ….government subsidy

  80. RDM
    July 5, 2023

    One of a number of articles discussing Thermometer at RAF Coningsby, gained from FoI request.

    It looks very dodgy; this particular event might seem to be a one off, the trouble is there are a number of Weather Stations that the Met Office is using that are in a difficult positions.
    They all have very variable outputs, with over 2+- degrees error.

    Articles from other studys or Scientists:

    So, much evidence being ignored?

  81. Mark
    July 5, 2023

    The wind industry continues to bleat that its costs are far higher than the government allows for in their AR5 auction parameters. Presumably this means that they will not be building the wind farms the government thought it could rely on for the Saudi Arabia of wind, which in turn means there will be no giant surplus to think about trying to store to cover the large deficits when the wind doesn’t blow, which will, depending on the point of view either blow or not blow the idea of hydrogen out of the water.

    It is time the government reappraised its net zero policy in the light of the real world. A good starting point would be to abandon the target altogether. We need energy supply we can rely on.

    Off Shore Turbine Random Intermittency Can’t Help
    Electricity Maybe Uncertain

    Heads in the sand at DESNZ.

  82. paul cuthbertson
    July 5, 2023

    Hydrogen in domestic homes – MADNESS.

  83. brightside
    July 5, 2023

    Once again another non topic – anything to avoid what really matters to us today – is it any wonder the comments section is slowly winding down – boring

    reply So why do you bother to read the site? What do you find interesting?

    1. Lester_Cynic
      July 5, 2023


      I’ve not noticed your name cropping up before

      I have the impression that the readership is increasing with many more topics coming up for discussion
      And we find it very interesting

  84. glen cullen
    July 5, 2023

    Recharging electric cars at public points can now prove more expensive than a petrol refill as surging electricity costs have meant EV owners are no longer guaranteed a cheaper driving experience. – net zero watch

  85. Will in Hampshire
    July 5, 2023

    Goodness me, Mr Biden has aced it this week: rubbing salt into the Brexit wound in the most delicious possible way, he’s recommended Mrs Von der Leyen as the next NATO Sec Gen. A clear signal is sent from Washington that the EU and NATO are complementary multilateral institutions in American eyes; a clear signal is sent that America’s most important partners are the large European countries that are members of both, and the closer to Ukraine they are, the more important they are deemed to be; a clear signal is sent that there’s actually not any Special Relationship and that an evening in a Dublin pub is just as (un)important as our King’s Coronation. Someone in the State Department earned their bonus this week with a masterful piece of power diplomacy.
    Where do we all go from here?

    1. Hat man
      July 7, 2023

      Where we should go from here, Will, is the realisation that Uncle Sam is an abuser, not our friendly uncle. We’ve got out of the EU. If we want to forge new links with the world for purposes of trade and security, that leaves us with the best option of joining BRICS.

  86. outsider
    July 6, 2023

    Dear Sir John,
    Around midnight, I unavoidably found myself driving across London in second gear on arterial roads, probably churning out double the amount of carbon necessary in order to keep to the 20mph limit, behaviour that until recently would have had me hauled over on suspicion of drink driving.
    I could not help thinking that this is just more evidence that minimising carbon emissions is not really a top priority for our masters. There was the nudging to buy diesel cars to cut carbon emissions, followed by diesel being demonized for other emissions, except for the vehicles emitting the most.
    There is currently a disruptive campaign to ban further North Sea oil and gas, which would have zero net effect on our burning of fossil fuels but simply impoverish us more. And then there is the lip-service paid to atomic power, accompanied by new excuses for delay, this time to wait and see if small modular reactors are practical. As a result, the 13 year Conservative led governments have just managed to back one new station at Sizewell, ensuring that we shall have less atomic power and burn more gas. Mass market hydrogen is another diversion to keep household energy prices high.
    Our climate policy actions, like our immigration policy actions, seem rather to reflect an unacknowledged common interest of top decile earners and the modern Left to put ordinary working people and their families back in their box.

    1. Berkshire Alan
      July 6, 2023


      Yes indeed made the same point myself many times before, driving in a low gear gives out more pollution than in a higher gear, as the engine requires more revolutions to complete a set distance, likewise acceleration and breaking for speed humps, chicanes, traffic lights, etc is less efficient than running at a constant speed.
      The clowns in control do not yet seem to realise any of these facts yet.
      Likewise the fact that you can pollute as much as you like if you can afford it, means that emission zones are not really about clean air at all, but to simply raise more revenue.
      Wait until Euro 7 comes out in 2025 then you may find all present compliant and exempt Euro 6 vehicles may also have to pay.
      The latest scam would appear to be a varied parking charge cost based on your vehicles emissions, when it is standing still, doing nothing !
      Follow the money !

  87. Lynn Atkinson
    July 6, 2023

    Do you think the whole House of Commons could go on a day out to Cuffley? A hundred years ago Leefe Robinson became the first person to shoot down a German Zeppelin and it dropped its lethal hydrogen payload on Cuffley. There is a monument. From that day no sensible person has considered replacing relatively stable oil, diesel and petrol with hydrogen.
    Leefe Robinson got a VC. The 12th won by a St Beagun. That school, St Bees, on the Cumbrian coast and 400 years old, is now run by the Chinese and delivers a Chinese academic schedule – NOT a British one. A subject for discussion perhaps, with the Education Secretary?

  88. Ian B
    July 6, 2023

    JCB, another Great Company that has had to flee from these shores.

    The JCB Holding Company is owned by a Dutch parent company.

    A bit like the situation with Sir Jim Ratcliff, this Conservative Government sets out to destroy those that think they should/could be Entrepreneurs in the UK. So they are forced out to find a safe haven elsewhere.

    The Conservative Party, the anti business, anti UK Party. That’s just not me being disparaging, that’s this Conservative Government daily confirming were they stand.

    UK windfall Energy Tax, a massive theoretical increase for the Chancellor. Ooops how much, not a lot it was easier to leave the UK. More Conservative Government punitive punishment for those helping the Country move forward that has failed the UK.

    This Conservative Government is about punishing people, punishing the economy. If they did the opposite, work with people, create an economy the next election wouldn’t see them destroyed.

    1. Ian B
      July 6, 2023

      Sir Jim said: “There has to be reasons to invest in the UK.

      “You can think of the reasons you might invest in America and you can think of the reasons you might invest in China, but what are the reasons you would invest in the UK?”

  89. John+Downes
    July 6, 2023

    Any discussion of the possible uses of hydrogen as a fuel should start by recognising the source of the hydrogen. Most of hydrogen production comes from cracking methane (natural gas). The methane molecule (CH4) is stripped of its hydrogen, the carbon residue is turned into carbon dioxide.
    People using hydrogen and claiming that it’s a ‘clean fuel’ ignore that it’s only clean because the CO2 emissions occur somewhere else.

  90. XY
    July 6, 2023

    I don’t know why I bother posting to this site. The host asks for thoughts on a deep subject, I provide them, he can’t be bothered to post it – and presumably, therefore, hasn’t read it.

    Too long? If 7 paragraphs or so is too long then please don’t bother to ask for views on such subjects – you can’t expect soundbite-length “answers on a postcard” on subjects like this.

  91. Sea_Warrior
    July 6, 2023

    And while Western governments were busy thinking about Green transition …….China exploited its dominant position and strangled exports of gallium and germanium. We really are led by donkeys.

  92. David Bunney
    July 11, 2023

    Dear John,
    I was reading your article and call for information on the effectiveness and principles of whether batteries and hydrogen infrastructure can help provide storage to cover the inadequacies and variable output of solar and wind generation. To convert all energy usage industrial, transport and heat to electricity or electrolysis produced hydrogen does not add up even to someone understanding energy systems doing calculations on a notepad or in Excel.
    Basically there is no viable path to net zero that doesn’t take us back to the preindustrial economy and pre-industrial quality of life for most people ie abject poverty and a short and miserable life, if we pursue these unachievable net zero targets that make zero difference to the climate or weather in the UK or the planet at large.
    To focus first on hydrogen, the need of capacity is the combination of energy required to back-up the renewable generation system when the wind stops and sun doesn’t shine for approximately 6 to 8 weeks under extreme winter weather conditions and a reasonable capacity to feed the daily need for transport and heat as well as storage for two months for that purpose also. The creation and expansion of the hydrogen network is also a mammoth task. Thus now to calculate the amount of solar and wind generation required you need to now work back from the total demand for energy for industry, transport and domestic for all activities in our society and civilisation. You need to add all losses during the storage transportation and production phases as well as the capacity factors of the wind turbines themselves. Even when the wind is blowing it is often a light breeze and so the capacity factor of turbines is about 30% in GB. Similarly the periods when it is sunny and the panel is perpendicular to the sun which is obscured by clouds and has different positions in the sky by time of day and day of the year.
    Electrolysis of hydrogen has about a 70% efficiency rating (losing 30%), compression and cooling of the gas loses about 5% and conversion back to power in a turbine is about 60% efficient = 0.6 x 0.95 x 0.6 = 0.4 or 40% overall efficiency. However if we also have to transport and storage we lose a further 45% to 50% hence we get only 20% to 25%. Thus we need 4:1 or x4 the input energy to make the hydrogen compared to the amount of energy we require out of the system.
    With the huge amounts of energy we require we see we would need more installed capacity than the land and sea can carry or we can afford. The amount of minerals and dependence on China burning coal, oil and gas to mine, refine and manufacture these vast machines of metals and concrete makes no sense and puts us completely at their mercy. Further these assets wear out in 15 to 20 years compared with the 60+ years that gas, coal and nuclear power stations last for! It is literally a road to nowhere.
    In short renewables are deficient in almost every manner for the powering of a modern civilisation. They require waste of huge amounts of land to harvest energy, massive expansion in the network capacity to pull all this dilute energy into the cities where power is needed.
    The electrification of everything currently powered by solid, liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons requires a massive increase in power generation and massive increase in the capacity of the distribution network, and exacerbates the energy storage dilemma.

    A good read on these principles are
    “The Unpopular Truth about Electricity & Future of Energy” by Schernikau and Smith

    Which explains in plain English for non specialists in energy systems and people with high-school physics to understand.
    The “Energy and Civilization: A History” by Vaclav Smil (Author) explains how economic growth is directly correlated to ease of energy system control and use and its energy density and entropy of the system. Basically we have advanced by moving from renewables (wood – biomass; wind for transport and milling and pumping etc; hydropower – for milling, pumps etc; and solar – heating ) to first coal for industrial heat and through the steam engine to power large machines, pumps; then to coal gas, then petroleum products and then natural gas and then nuclear. Conversion into electricity provided versatility and cleanliness and controllability of delivery but did not impact the overall energy and economic efficiency and practicality of the source energy/power source.
    Energy Return on Investment
    Hydrogen or batteries do not fix the problem of negative energy and negative capital return on investment of wind and solar based generation but rather make it much worse. The concept you need to study is Energy Return on Investment EROI. Whether looking at units of MWh or the amount of productivity a human can produce in a period, you require a return of 6:1 that is six times total energy returned from the entire set of system(s) required to obtain the entire supply chain, energy and materials themselves and supporting and distribution mechanisms required to get them to the consumer in a way usable by the consumer. The Roman civilisation had a 2:1 that is a farm could feed twice as many people and animals as it had on the farm. This limited the number of people who could live in cities or do intellectual and administrative jobs or be soldiers etc and how many people were required to work the land. Looking at wind, solar and biomass you get less energy out of the system than you put in, less value out than you put in, lots of environmental damage and use of slave labour in China and child labour in Africa in most terrible conditions.

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