Guest essay by Eric Worrall
BBC’s Roger Harrabin and Keele University thinks it would be a great idea to pump vast quantities of hydrogen into people’s homes, to reduce CO2 emissions from gas powered appliances.
Climate change hope for hydrogen fuel
By Roger HarrabinBBC environment analyst
2 January 2020
A tiny spark in the UK’s hydrogen revolution has been lit – at a university campus near Stoke-on-Trent.
Hydrogen fuel is a relatively green alternative to alternatives that produce greenhouse gases.
The natural gas supply at Keele University is being blended with 20% hydrogen in a trial that’s of national significance.
Adding the hydrogen will reduce the amount of CO2 that’s being produced through heating and cooking.
Why not add more than 20% hydrogen?
The 20% proportion was chosen because it’s an optimal blend that won’t affect gas pipes and appliances.
Currently, the UK has only small supplies of hydrogen, but the firm says increasing production would offer a quick way of cutting emissions from heating.
Consultant engineer Ed Syson told BBC News: “The prize is a large one. If we were to roll this system out across the UK it would be on broadly the same scale as offshore wind is today. So it’s a significant technology.
“What’s more, it makes those carbon savings without having customers change their behaviour in any way.”
Major drawbacks to hydrogen are cost and availability. The costs are much higher than for natural gas, although the differential will surely shrink as carbon taxes raise the price of burning gas to combat climate change over coming decades.
Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-50873047
Hydrogen is dangerous. It damages metal pipes, it leaks prolifically through the tiniest cracks, cracks too small for other components of natural gas, it ignites easily and violently over a wide range of fuel air mixtures, and it burns with a flame so hot it is invisible. One slip-up and you are dead – a large scale hydrogen industry will kill people.
But human safety never seems to be the primary concern of climate activists.
Whether its opposing controlled fire safety burns because CO2 emissions, building unstable wind turbines in heavily populated areas, forcing families to install light bulbs which contain toxic mercury, killing people with a rushed climate friendly home insulation programme, and now mixing a dangerous explosive with home natural gas supplies, human safety seems to always come a distant second to a chance to shave a few percent off CO2 emissions.
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