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Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby REAL Green » Sat 19 Dec 2020, 08:29:22

These two articles point to the problem with transitioning a 50% renewables market. The grid’s configuration and long term storage are raising the costs of these ambitious proposals.

“Why Offshore Wind and Energy Giants Are Chasing Off-Grid Green Hydrogen”
https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles ... n-hydrogen

“The European Union wants to build 40 gigawatts of green hydrogen electrolyzers by 2030 and estimates that 80 to 120 gigawatts of solar and wind will be needed to power them. That’s a new headache for Europe’s grid operators. Decarbonization is expected to double the demand for electricity as transport and heat are also electrified. Taking hydrogen production off the power grid could be a win-win solution to these problems. That’s the idea behind plans for what's termed "islanded" hydrogen, which would pair electrolyzers with offshore wind farms and send hydrogen molecules, rather than electrons, back to shore…The costs of transporting hydrogen from ocean platforms via pipeline may appear at first glance to be much greater than the costs of laying undersea transmission to carry electricity to shore. But that doesn’t take into account the cost of offshore substations to collect wind farm power, or the severely congested state of the onshore power grid. A massive coordinated effort will be needed to whip those grids into shape to absorb the rapidly growing amount of offshore wind power being planned.”

“Report Outlines How US Could Reach 50% Renewables by 2030”
https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles ... es-by-2030

“So finds a new report from Wood Mackenzie analyzing the investments and policy changes needed for the U.S. grid to reach 50 percent renewables by 2030. That’s not quite as aggressive as President-elect Joe Biden’s goal of a zero-carbon U.S. energy sector by 2035, but it’s still a lofty target that will require a radical reconfiguration of the country’s generation and transmission system to achieve. “Getting to 50 percent would require a pretty widespread change to the U.S. power grid, particularly if targeting a 10-year timeframe,” said Aaron Barr, the report’s author and principal consultant with WoodMac’s Energy Transition practice. “But it’s certainly within the realm of the possible. Many of the necessary technologies have reached technical and commercial maturity but require policy support to drive significant levels of deployment.” The Biden-Harris administration will have many options to act without congressional support to drive this kind of rapid decarbonization. These in themselves won’t be enough to hit 50 percent renewables by 2030. But they will be necessary precursors to getting there since they include key steps to modernize market structures and transmission networks that will lay the groundwork for further expansion”
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Re: Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sat 19 Dec 2020, 21:52:44

The only practical way to get to 50% reduction by 2030 would be to have the Congress fund 500 brand new 1,600 MWe nuclear power stations and refuse to allow anyone to slow down or stop construction on state or local levels. France pretty much followed that path in the 1974-83 decade and still generates 70%+ of their electricity with carbon free nuclear power. Obviously we wouldn't build any of the Chernobyl designs nor let incompetent idiots be in the decision chain to run them, not build them in Tsunami zones, earthquake faults or flood plains next to large rivers. The USA navy has trained hundreds of engineers for decades with no issues so it is not a real problem, it is a political problem.
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Re: Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Sat 19 Dec 2020, 22:26:19

Subjectivist wrote:The only practical way to get to 50% reduction by 2030 would be to have the Congress fund 500 brand new 1,600 MWe nuclear power stations and refuse to allow anyone to slow down or stop construction on state or local levels. France pretty much followed that path in the 1974-83 decade and still generates 70%+ of their electricity with carbon free nuclear power. Obviously we wouldn't build any of the Chernobyl designs nor let incompetent idiots be in the decision chain to run them, not build them in Tsunami zones, earthquake faults or flood plains next to large rivers. The USA navy has trained hundreds of engineers for decades with no issues so it is not a real problem, it is a political problem.


I think an aggressive program to build large nuclear power stations would run into many of the same problems it did in the 1970's. The realization that oil would no longer be a cheap way to generate electricity led to hundreds of orders for nuclear power reactors in a relatively short period of time. There were no where near enough engineers, project managers and construction workers experienced in this type of construction, nor people experienced in operating such facilities. The people building and operating the plants may have had prior experience with thermal generating plants but they did not have a good feel for the additional complexity and safety requirements of building/operating a nuclear facility. The result was a large number of incidents both during construction and operation of nuclear plants. It's interesting to read about what happened at Three Mile Island - one contributing factor to that accident was that the control room was patterned after what the manufacturer had experience building for thermal generating plants and really fell short of what was required for controlling a nuclear reactor.

The US Navy does have a lot of experienced nuclear people and the ongoing construction of nuclear powered carriers and submarines also ensures that there is a good amount of experience in building reactors for USN use. However, in one respect the USN has moved away from nuclear power. In the 60's the USN was constructing nuclear powered cruisers and escort vessels. Today the only surface ships that are nuclear powered are the carriers -- all other combat surface ships are gas turbine powered.

I think that small modular reactors are the only way we could add any significant amount of nuclear power in the near future and my impression is that some governments are coming to that realization.
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Re: Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 20 Dec 2020, 16:10:31

yellowcanoe wrote:
Subjectivist wrote:The only practical way to get to 50% reduction by 2030 would be to have the Congress fund 500 brand new 1,600 MWe nuclear power stations and refuse to allow anyone to slow down or stop construction on state or local levels. France pretty much followed that path in the 1974-83 decade and still generates 70%+ of their electricity with carbon free nuclear power. Obviously we wouldn't build any of the Chernobyl designs nor let incompetent idiots be in the decision chain to run them, not build them in Tsunami zones, earthquake faults or flood plains next to large rivers. The USA navy has trained hundreds of engineers for decades with no issues so it is not a real problem, it is a political problem.


I think an aggressive program to build large nuclear power stations would run into many of the same problems it did in the 1970's. The realization that oil would no longer be a cheap way to generate electricity led to hundreds of orders for nuclear power reactors in a relatively short period of time. There were no where near enough engineers, project managers and construction workers experienced in this type of construction, nor people experienced in operating such facilities. The people building and operating the plants may have had prior experience with thermal generating plants but they did not have a good feel for the additional complexity and safety requirements of building/operating a nuclear facility. The result was a large number of incidents both during construction and operation of nuclear plants. It's interesting to read about what happened at Three Mile Island - one contributing factor to that accident was that the control room was patterned after what the manufacturer had experience building for thermal generating plants and really fell short of what was required for controlling a nuclear reactor.

The US Navy does have a lot of experienced nuclear people and the ongoing construction of nuclear powered carriers and submarines also ensures that there is a good amount of experience in building reactors for USN use. However, in one respect the USN has moved away from nuclear power. In the 60's the USN was constructing nuclear powered cruisers and escort vessels. Today the only surface ships that are nuclear powered are the carriers -- all other combat surface ships are gas turbine powered.

I think that small modular reactors are the only way we could add any significant amount of nuclear power in the near future and my impression is that some governments are coming to that realization.


Possible, perhaps even likely in the so called western nations. However Russia, China and the countries that contract with them can get a very large scale fission power station built on schedule with all the parts assembled correctly. The problem in the USA and many other so called western democracies is that nuisance lawsuits and disruptive activists are allowed to interfere with construction which drives costs up far beyond what is actually required in terms of materials, labor and skills. Worse because of poor quality control by some low bid contractors you get a situation like Finland where a half built facility had to be ripped back apart and rebuilt when the concrete foundation was tested and discovered to be defective.
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Re: Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby REAL Green » Tue 22 Dec 2020, 07:47:41

This article points to the weak point for transition and that is storage and especially long duration storage. If you research the technology there is really just hydrogen that could be scaled up like their graphs are calling for. Pumped hydro is so limited and site specific. Keep in mind the scale up of renewable appliances like turbines and panels is just starting to gain speed and cost. Cost may be coming down for the appliances but the grid integration means cost are going to go up cancelling the cost declines in the appliances. There is then the need for electrified transport which is a huge build up both with vehicle stock and charging stations plus grid integration. I don’t see all this coming together by 2030. I feel the rest of the decade will be when the real forces of decline accelerate making the economics of transition unworkable beyond 2030.

“Improving energy storage will be crucial to a smooth energy transition”
https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/20 ... ransition/
According to DNV GL’s latest Energy Transition Outlook (ETO) report, there will be significant growth in energy storage over the coming years. Although this can include the likes of heat, flywheels and compressed-air storage in caverns, only pumped-hydro and batteries are considered to have any significant impact. The following factors will impact the flexibility of options on offer: Improving connections between neighboring grids enables balancing of supply and demand over larger geographies, ‘smoothing’ variability and improving robustness to failures Electricity systems already make substantial use of generators with the ability to start quickly and vary their output rapidly. Examples are hydro and diesel generators, and open-cycle gas turbines Integrating demand side response (DSR) measures to encourage reduced power consumption at peak times reduces strain on the grid and lowers costs for the consumer With more distributed generation and DSR, greater flexibility in markets will evolve to enable power systems to operate efficiently Flexible and interconnected markets and regulation will be important in facilitating closer cooperation and coordination between market participants, such as cooperation within each synchronous area for efficient frequency control. The portion of electric vehicle batteries that provide grid services, a form of energy storage called V2G (Vehicle-to-grid), will be a significant resource.
https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/wp ... cale-1.jpg
https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/wp ... city-1.jpg
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Re: Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby Subjectivist » Mon 28 Dec 2020, 14:04:31

REAL Green wrote:This article points to the weak point for transition and that is storage and especially long duration storage. If you research the technology there is really just hydrogen that could be scaled up like their graphs are calling for. Pumped hydro is so limited and site specific. Keep in mind the scale up of renewable appliances like turbines and panels is just starting to gain speed and cost. Cost may be coming down for the appliances but the grid integration means cost are going to go up cancelling the cost declines in the appliances. There is then the need for electrified transport which is a huge build up both with vehicle stock and charging stations plus grid integration. I don’t see all this coming together by 2030. I feel the rest of the decade will be when the real forces of decline accelerate making the economics of transition unworkable beyond 2030.


Here is the thing though. If we are talking about making hydrogen anyhow why not run that hydrogen through a catalyzer with Nitrogen and make Ammonia or CO2 and make Methane? Both are stable under a wide range of conditions and can be easily stored in empty natural gas fields under high pressure against future demand. Though using synthetic methane to offset fossil methane (natural gas) demand would actually make more sense than storing the synthetic while continuing to burn the fossil supply..
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