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Is Biden's new program to promote Hydrogen cars stupid?

Listen, dumbass, Joe does stupid. He is too busy to do not stupid. Am I moving too fast for you?


Manufacturing Hydrogen is massively bad for the environment. Worse than gas, coal! Who cares if burning it produces no CO2? Joe certainly does? I mean, he's err...a moron? Sorry, I'm just repeating myself.


BTW all the talk about producing Green Hydrogen in a non-polluting manner if complete BS. Not feasible at scale.


DOING SOME BIDEN HYDROGEN PROGRAM ACCOUNTING


US president Joe Biden just announced an ambitious $7 billion program to grow the domestic market for hydrogen, a relatively clean energy source. But environmentalists argue that the whole program, billed as a magnet for private investment, just gives more handouts to companies that contribute to global warming.


Let’s take look by the numbers:

7: Regional hydrogen hubs the program would fund

3 million metric tons: Amount of hydrogen the hubs would produce

25 million metric tons: Annual carbon emissions eliminated by these hubs as a result, roughly the same as the pollution from…

5.5 million: Gas-powered cars


The problem is, the process for producing hydrogen itself throws off a lot of carbon dioxide. Grete Suarez gets into the catch-22 of it all, including the very important difference between green and blue hydrogen.


Biden’s hydrogen program could rake in $40 billion in private investment. But to what end?

Environmentalists slam the initiative as "another taxpayer subsidy" for Big Oil

By Grete Suarez, Quartz Media

Oct 17, 2023


US president Joe Biden just announced an ambitious $7 billion program to grow the domestic market for hydrogen, a relatively clean energy source. Billed as a magnet for private investment, the funding will go toward establishing seven regional hydrogen hubs. By producing some 3 million metric tons of hydrogen a year, the hubs could eliminate 25 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually—roughly the same as the pollution from 5.5 million gas-powered cars.


But environmentalists have pushed back, slamming the Biden administration for ignoring the elephant in the room. Hydrogen is often produced from natural gas, throwing off large amounts of carbon dioxide. The US government’s hydrogen initiative just gives more handouts to companies that contribute to global warming, environmental advocates argue.


“We need an ambitious transition away from dirty energy, not another taxpayer subsidy that enables Big Oil to repackage fossil fuels as so-called clean energy,” Sarah Lutz, a spokesperson for Friends of the Earth, told the BBC.


“These Hydrogen Hub announcements are more of the same carbon schemes from corporate polluters,” said Susan Thomas of Just Transition Northwest Indiana in a press release.


Biden’s program could attract “a lot” of private money

Biden claimed his $7 billion initiative will draw more than $40 billion in private capital to the hydrogen hubs. “Federal investments attract private sector investment,” he told the audience during an event at the Port of Philadelphia last Friday (Oct. 13). “A lot of it.”


Spanning 16 states, the seven hubs will finance proposed hydrogen projects run by local utilities and private companies. Some of the latter names will raise eyebrows. Amazon, ExxonMobil Corp., and industrial giant Air Products and Chemicals are among the businesses getting slices of the funding.


Startups that produce, transport, and store hydrogen are becoming buzzy. This year as of Oct. 13 in the US, private equity firms had committed $6.9 billion to them via 29 deals, according to PitchBook, versus $5.6 billion for the whole of 2022. Venture capitalists have invested $2.5 billion across 187 deals so far this year, compared to $4.2 billion for the previous year.


Meanwhile, Biden’s hydrogen program saw its first green hydrogen startup unicorn (a company valued at a $1 billion or more): Electric Hydrogen. Its latest series C fundraising round closed at $380 million, with investments from BP, Microsoft Corp., and United Airlines.


Hydrogen storage, a complementary and critical process to production, has drawn about $3 billion in capital over the past five years, PitchBook said.


Green vs. blue hydrogen

For environmentalists, the sticking point with the Biden administration’s investment is whether the hubs will produce hydrogen via green or blue methods. Green hydrogen is more environmentally friendly because unlike blue hydrogen, it yields no greenhouses gases during production.



“Two-thirds of total project investment are associated with green (electrolysis based) production, within the hubs,” the White House’s press release stated.


The hydrogen hubs will impact steelmaking, a fossil fuel–reliant industry that the Biden administration hopes to pivot to hydrogen. The sector currently accounts for 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to environmental group the Sierra Club.


But the proposed hubs in steelmaking counties—those in the Appalachians and the Midwest—would use blue hydrogen production. Also, environmentalists maintain, Biden’s program isn’t far-reaching enough to make steelmakers switch to hydrogen from the outdated blast furnace, which uses coal to produce steel from iron ore. Because moving to hydrogen involves updating those furnaces, the costs would add up.


“Methane-derived blue hydrogen—and the carbon capture that supports it—is economic for only a few niche industries,” said Ben Hunkler of the Ohio River Valley Institute. “Investing in these unproven, absurdly expensive technologies risks locking our region into a gas-based economy.”


Illustration of green vs. blue hydrogen production methods

Iberdrola’s illustration of the two main hydrogen production processes.Illustration: Iberdrola (Fair Use)

Green hydrogen uses an extraction method that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis powered by renewable energy.


Hydrogen obtained this way can be stored or used in industrial or heavy mobility processes, according to Spanish energy giant Iberdrola. Given that the energy source for production is already green, only oxygen is released into the atmosphere, so the hydrogen has zero carbon emissions.


The downside of this method is its high costs. But they should fall 30% by 2030, according the International Energy Association (IEA), thanks to cheaper renewable energy and economies of scale in hydrogen production.


Blue hydrogen is more economical to produce. But it requires heating methane—a form of natural gas—to separate hydrogen from oxygen, with carbon dioxide as the byproduct. Current practice is to store the CO2 underground or beneath the ocean via “carbon capture” to prevent release into the atmosphere, but there’s still a risk of leaks.



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