The first part of this analysis on the recently released life-cycle assessment of “blue” hydrogen covered the provenance and background for the paper, as well as the significant and questionable assumptions that the authors make about both expected demand for “blue” hydrogen and the scalability of carbon capture and sequestration it would demand. This second half continues the analysis of assumptions and statements in the paper.
“In general, large-scale blue hydrogen production will be connected to the high-pressure natural gas transmission grid and therefore, methane emissions from final distribution to decentralized consumers (i.e., the low-pressure distribution network) should not be included in the quantification of climate impacts of blue hydrogen.”
The first problem with this is the assumption that massive centralized models of hydrogen generation will be preferable to the current highly distributed creation of hydrogen at the point of consumption. The challenges with distributing hydrogen are clear and obvious, so it’s interesting that they make an assumption that is completely contrary to what is occurring today, and wave away the significant additional challenges — including carbon debt — of creating a massive hydrogen distribution system essentially from scratch.
This also assumes that there will continue to be a distribution network for natural gas. Electrification of heat will continue apace, eliminating this market. But supposing that it…