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Lazard report on energy


Liberty
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Great stuff, thanks for sharing. I'm not the biggest fan of comparing LCOE values for dispatchable and non-dispatchable technologies but I certainly don't know a better way. Regardless, great to see the cost of alternative non-emitting technologies dropping so quickly. Humans are too smart to continue digging hydrocarbons out of the ground and burning them at 30-60% thermal efficiency.

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"Humans are too smart to continue digging hydrocarbons out of the ground and burning them at 30-60% thermal efficiency."

 

Indeed, they have been very smart to do just that since fossil fuels are the energy and the battery at the same time. 30-60% thermal efficiency using such a flexible energetic/storage package is hard to beat.

 

As I mentioned before, hydrogen is the closest substitute and CO2 free. Then you have to think also about the amount of toxic waste that lithium batteries and their compounds along with the exploitation of rare earth metals is creating. None of that for hydrogen.

 

Thankfully, I am not alone thinking in that direction and expect more discoveries in the years to come:

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/27/in-the-future-zero-emission-hydrogen-boilers-could-heat-your-home.html

 

Cardboard

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"Hydrogen is a way to store energy. It's not a source of energy (at least not on earth)."

 

Ever heard of combustion?  ::)

 

Cardboard

 

Ok, let me spell it out:

 

Where are you getting your hydrogen? You can't find pure hydrogen on earth since it's very reactive and binds to other things. Out in the void of space you might be able to find a decent concentration of H somewhere and use it to power a ship or whatever, but not here.

 

If you're getting it from fossil fuels (like natural gas), you are still just using fossil fuels (which are themselves technically a form of stored solar energy, the problem is that all that nice H is bound to a lot of carbon that gets released) and have a lot of the same problems.

 

If you are getting the H from water electrolysis, you are using energy to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen molecules. When you burn or use the H in a fuel cell, you're getting less power out than what you put in with the electrolysis. And if the energy for electrolysis comes from a dirty power grid, that hydrogen is worse than just using that electricity directly because of the losses...

 

So in this scenario, the hydrogen acts as a kind of battery: You dump power in, and later get less of it out than you put in. Might as well charge a Li-ion battery with that electricity, that'd be more efficient and would save all kinds of trouble with storing very leaky hydrogen at high pressures or cryogenic temps and using expensive fuel cells rather than cheaper batteries. Not to mention that we already have a distribution system for electricity, but we don't have one for hydrogen.

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It does not fit your model doesn`t?

 

Sure, pure hydrogen needs to be separated from other elements with the most common being water or H2O. But, to say that hydrogen itself is not energy is dumb. One can say the exact same about fossil fuels. Fossil fuels only produce energy once they are forced to enter into a chemical reaction with oxygen called combustion.

 

And to extract fossil fuels, you need to spend money just like you would need to "extract" pure hydrogen from molecules.

 

My suggestion to you who is gung ho about existing technologies and obviously close minded to learn stuff that does not fit your model, would be to read a bit about new processes to extract hydrogen straight from a solar panel without electrolysis. The key is the catalyst/compound and they are closing in. 

 

Regarding distribution, we already know how to distribute gases such as propane, butane, natural gas, etc. Funny that people are scared of hydrogen (because of the Hindenberg?) but, have these tanks filled with explosive fuels/gases sitting all over their properties. And we already have the vehicles with the proper combustion system to make it work. So no need for polluting batteries, rare earth materials, cobalt, silver, etc.

 

Cardboard

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Two things against hydrogen:

 

the overall energy efficiency: https://phys.org/news/2006-12-hydrogen-economy-doesnt.html

 

But I am curious to hear more about this thing with solar panel without electrolysis, honestly haven't heard about it yet.

 

And the overall cost of operation which should be the same for a car as gas, while EV will decrease 5-10 fold the cost of operation of a car.

 

 

Still, I think there is a place for hydrogen when you have electricity surplus, it is a way to stock energy that could be more convenient than large-scale battery for some industrial applications. Let's see how it play.

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Cardboard, clearly have a superficial understand of the field.

 

When you extract fossil fuels, you get more energy out than you put in.

 

When you extract hydrogen from water, you get less energy out than you put in.

 

This is analogous to storage in a battery.

 

Fossil fuels are technically stored solar energy because millions of years ago plants performed photosynthesis to bind these atoms together (carbon, hydrogen, etc), a solar-powered chemical process.

 

Hydrogen distribution is very different from propane or natural gas distribution. Very different.

 

Solar-powered electrolysis or chemical separation is not a free lunch. These processes are way less efficient than even current general solar panels, and they're more expensive, and you end up with hydrogen which then is harder to distribute and lossier to use than if you had had just a solar panel giving you useful DC electricity.

 

And if you burn hydrogen in ICE engines, you get WAY lower efficiency than fuel cells and are basically making the whole process even worse than it already is compared to battery EVs. And it's not like making ICEs is a free lunch either, there's a lot of embedded energy in them.

 

The hydrogen dream has been around for a long time, and a superficial understanding of it makes it seem really great (I've been there years ago), but once you actually look at the details, it doesn't make any sense when there are much better alternatives.

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I guess that scientists at the University of Cambridge and Stanford have like me a superficial understanding of the field. They are definitely wasting their time... 

 

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/03/20/new-technique-uses-solar-energy-make-hydrogen-biomass-room-temperature/

 

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/521671/cheap-hydrogen-from-sunlight-and-water/

 

Might as well rely on genius Liberty who whines all day about Canadian housing cost. Likely because he is still in his parents basement now raising two kids?

 

Cardboard

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Thanks for the ad hominem attacks.

 

It's pretty amazing actually. Even on the simplest, non-controversial thread, Cardboard feels the need to start attacking people personally.

 

I'm guessing that it might be because, when he feels unsure of his knowledge or position, he goes ad hominem to make himself feel less uncertain.  Or maybe it's more of a vendetta thing, where Cardboard has classifies some posters as "enemies", and therefore needs to attack whenever he sees them, akin to a dog barking at the postman.  Or something else?

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Hey Guys,

 

Specifically Cardboard and Liberty...feel free to debate and make generalizations about broad groups...but don't target each other in your posts.

 

I also recommend that to all participants...feel free to rant and rave...but other than a quote embedded in your reply...don't take shots at specific posters.

 

Thanks everyone!  Cheers!

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Hey Guys,

 

Specifically Cardboard and Liberty...feel free to debate and make generalizations about broad groups...but don't target each other in your posts.

 

I also recommend that to all participants...feel free to rant and rave...but other than a quote embedded in your reply...don't take shots at specific posters.

 

Thanks everyone!  Cheers!

 

Is this because I said he had a "superficial understanding of the field"? I didn't think that crossed a line, and I'm not seeing anything else. I have a superficial understanding of many fields, I don't see that as an insult at all. And I never "target" Cardboard, he just follows me around with his off-topic personal attacks. Not much I can do about that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

Cheers!

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Thought this may be relevant.

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/just-because-youre-right-doesnt-mean-theyre-wrong-brian-walker

 

"For me this is the true value of diversity, everybody examining and considering different perspectives and coming up with the best answers for the challenges they face. It’s not easy work. It’s often very uncomfortable. But the rewards are unmistakable, and we can end up finding solutions to problems we never imagined possible."

 

Then again, who I am to say?

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Thought this may be relevant.

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/just-because-youre-right-doesnt-mean-theyre-wrong-brian-walker

 

"For me this is the true value of diversity, everybody examining and considering different perspectives and coming up with the best answers for the challenges they face. It’s not easy work. It’s often very uncomfortable. But the rewards are unmistakable, and we can end up finding solutions to problems we never imagined possible."

 

Then again, who I am to say?

 

Very nice, but I don't think it applies here. If someone tells you that hydrogen is a "substitute" for fossil fuels as a "source" of energy here on Earth, the laws of mathematics and physics say that they're wrong. It's not about differing opinions or about being used to doing things a certain way. It's about energy in vs energy out.

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"And I never "target" Cardboard, he just follows me around with his off-topic personal attacks."

 

8,883 posts at current count... Wow! Seems like that I have a lot of catch-up to do to follow you around.  :o

 

The problem with some individuals on this site, is the constant need to argue endlessly or to win every battle. Put down others to valorize yourself? Evidence of suffering from an inferiority complex?

 

It is actually quite funny that the same individuals who are bashing Trump, again endlessly, are displaying the exact same attitude. The only difference is that they tell you to go ... yourself or that you are an idiot or moron in a politically correct fashion. I think it is time for some on this site to fight back this abuse.

 

Anyway, regarding hydrogen, I will let the scientists do their things and develop fusion and smarter ways to extract it which I firmly believe will revolutionize some of the current thinking.

 

Also funny that scientists who are gods when it comes to climate change analysis, are ignored when they work on new science that does not fit a narrative, or current incentives/investments. 

 

Cardboard

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"And I never "target" Cardboard, he just follows me around with his off-topic personal attacks."

 

8,883 posts at current count... Wow! Seems like that I have a lot of catch-up to do to follow you around.  :o

 

The problem with some individuals on this site, is the constant need to argue endlessly or to win every battle. Put down others to valorize yourself? Evidence of suffering from an inferiority complex?

 

It is actually quite funny that the same individuals who are bashing Trump, again endlessly, are displaying the exact same attitude. The only difference is that they tell you to go ... yourself or that you are an idiot or moron in a politically correct fashion. I think it is time for some on this site to fight back this abuse.

 

Anyway, regarding hydrogen, I will let the scientists do their things and develop fusion and smarter ways to extract it which I firmly believe will revolutionize some of the current thinking.

 

Also funny that scientists who are gods when it comes to climate change analysis, are ignored when they work on new science that does not fit a narrative, or current incentives/investments. 

 

Cardboard

 

See, you immediately resort to ad hominem again, proving my point.

 

Yes I write a lot, and most people interact with me in a civilized manner and everything goes well. Somehow it's different with you, how is that my fault?

 

As for hydrogen, I don't ignore the scientific work done in the field, I understand it, rather than just hand-wave it as something it's not. Even if we develop fusion, the nuclear reaction is the source of energy. Then using that energy to generate hydrogen from water would just be a way to store that electricity, just like in a battery, because you get less energy than you put in. It wouldn't make hydrogen a source of energy. It would just mean you're storing your nuclear energy in hydrogen (at lower efficiencies than batteries, since we were talking about transportation). Same if you develop a way to do artificial photosynthesis to create hydrogen using solar power. All the numbers I've seen so far are in low single digit percents of efficiency vs now around 20% for commercial available solar panels, with much higher costs and complexity levels (since we already have electricity grid but not hydrogen infrastructure), and that's not even counting further losses from compressing the hydrogen, distributing it, and further losses from either combustion (really bad) or fuel cells (decent, but still very expensive and complex..).

 

I post a paper on energy and you come in and say that hydrogen is a "substitute" for fossil fuels and a "source" of energy. Am I supposed to say nothing?

 

The problem with some individuals on this site, is the constant need to argue endlessly or to win every battle. Put down others to valorize yourself? Evidence of suffering from an inferiority complex?

 

I agree with this, it describes you well.

 

Most people would have just said "Oh, I didn't know these things about hydrogen, interesting", but you had to double and triple down and keep arguing with an appeal to authority ("scientists are working on it and they're smart, hence I'm right") and then attack me personally to try to valorize yourself.

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That is truly impressive. The drop in PV prices is crazy, and if this earth isn't to get totally fucked, those two technologies needs to get ramped aggressively. I think it's a pretty good bet that politicians get their shit together. And if not, it's becoming so cheap so fast that it won't need subsidies anyway.

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That is truly impressive. The drop in PV prices is crazy, and if this earth isn't to get totally fucked, those two technologies needs to get ramped aggressively. I think it's a pretty good bet that politicians get their shit together. And if not, it's becoming so cheap so fast that it won't need subsidies anyway.

 

What's most impressive to me is if you go back and look at forecasts of installed capacity and forecasts for price/watt done at various times over the past 20-30 years, they all undershoot by quite a bit. Makes me think there's a good chance we'll keep seeing these tech surprise us to the upside and that the transition will take place faster than most expect.

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