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Renault Is Still In Denial About The EV Transition

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The car industry has discovered the concept of the large online publicity event. Tesla has its Battery Day, Volkswagen had its Power Day, GM offered a fireside chat with Mary Barra, and today (Wednesday 06/30/2021 as I am writing this), Renault had a large online presentation of its electrification plans. Let’s just say that I am not impressed.

The presentation by Ford of its intentions with their F-150 model was shocking for the market. VW announced 6 large battery Giga factories to electrify its ambitions. Nothing like this happened at Renault’s presentation. There was a lot of ambition to be the best and greenest in Europe, but the numbers did not support that ambition.

When talking about Renault, it was not always clear when the industrial Groupe Renault (Renault, Dacia, Lada, etc.) was the topic, or when the numbers were for Renault the car brand. For example, when mentioning a goal of 90% BEV in 2030, that sounded great. But it was the brand. Other Renault Group companies were targeting 10% in 2030, giving the Group a meager 63% target. (Renault is 2/3 and Dacia/Lada is 1/3). And that is for the European market in 2030, not worldwide.

Another problem is the abundance of “petrolheads” in the management of Renault. Now that the original Mr. EV is exiled to Lebanon, they can embrace plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles, take all the time in the world to delay the transition. They don’t yet realize that for a new technology in its startup phase, other rules apply than for the legacy ICE vehicle at the end of its development cycle.

Renault Zoe in
Paris, France, by CleanTechnica.

In late 2019, a renewed Zoe was launched. It was the best bang for the buck in its class and even the surrounding classes. But 2020 was the start of all the other legacy carmakers launching their new BEVs. Now the Zoe is just in the middle of the pack. Next year it will not be competitive any more. With legacy fossil fuel vehicles (FFVs), you need a new model every 7 years, before a model loses too much of its competitiveness. To stay competitive with a BEV, you need an upgrade every 2 years at the moment. The Zoe will be succeeded by a new model in 2024. That is two years too late. The successor is a nostalgia edition of the Renault 5, the predecessor of the Renault Clio.

Renault will be without a viable model for over two years in its most important segment, the segment in which Renault is often the European market leader with the Renault Clio. It will be hard to recapture the lost market share with a nostalgia model. Some nostalgia models are doing great, like the Fiat 500, others, like the Volkswagen Beetle, remain a niche product for the nostalgia crowd.

Renault (the brand) is showing its green intentions by targeting up to 90% BEV sales by 2030. In the small print, though, it is car sales in Europe. The aim of 90% BEV sales (1,000,000 cars) in Europe is only 70% of the Renault Group’s European car sales, 50% of all European light vehicle sales, 25% of its worldwide sales.

The Renault Group’s other markets are the Middle East, Africa, and South America. Those are the parts of the world most devastated by the climate crises, yet Renault is doing almost nothing to mitigate it there.

Renault is in an excellent position to become the leading carmaker in its non-European markets. Those markets are just starting the transition to fully battery electric vehicles. Many of those markets are more than eager to hasten the transition and switch to 100% renewable energy. The Dacia Spring is the perfect platform to help those markets transition. It needs a version with a single cabin and a bed large enough to hold a stack of PV panels. Sell them in a three-car bundle, two with beds filled with PV panels and one normal with the electronics for a microgrid. Bringing electricity to 700 million people — that is creating a market and being really at the forefront of the green revolution.

I asked if Renault had a contingency plan in the case the demand in Europe was 90% BEV in 2026. Group sales are likely >2m at that time. The moderator only put half the question to the management, leaving out the part about consumer demand. It became incomprehensible, and the answer had no relation to the original question. Perhaps I was not clear enough in my question. But they did answer my question in a way. It was outside the scope of the imagination of Renault, and that is scary.

It was not all negative what Renault was telling us. It is building two battery gigafactories in Europe. It is working on better electric motors. It is pioneering the second-life use and recycling of batteries. Its research is going along two paths to solid-state batteries. V2G is an important part of its green initiatives. The kWh price at the pack level will more than halve in the next 6–10 years.

Renault does realize change is coming. Only, it does not realize how much and how fast. With the solid foundation for the Renault brand in Europe, it should be able to scale its BEV expertise to its other brands and to markets outside Europe when the market demands it. Most importantly, Renault should make a contingency plan B(EV) that describes the future after 2030 with only models without a tailpipe — even a tailpipe for water, because their dabbling in hydrogen fantasies will be over at that time.

The auto market is not only transitioning in Europe. This is a worldwide movement. The industry is in a race to survive. The survivors are those carmakers that can transition the fastest.

For those interested, the literal texts of the questions I submitted during the Q&A are below. Only the first question was half conveyed to the management.

  1. The BEV market in many EU countries is moving towards 20% this year. If it is the start of the infamous S-curve of disruptive transition, that S-curve could reach its top around 2025. If that happens Renault needs about 2.000.000 BEV in 2026. If this widely expected development becomes reality, can Renault scale the production capacity and get the needed 150GWh of battery cells.
  2. When can we expect the next generation of Pro-Pilot in all Renault BEV.
  3. The Zoe is loosing its competitive edge. It will be until 2024 before the Renault 5 ZE will be in production. How do you propose to keep relevant the B-segment. And when can we expect the Captur ZE.
  4. The CO2g/km of PHEV will likely be corrected to the real world CO2g/km emissions, ~120gCO2/km. Do you have a contingency plan for the situation.

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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/02/renault-is-still-in-denial-about-the-ev-transition/

Cleantech

Can Tesla Increase Sales In Japan?

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Although the Tesla Model 3 remains the top-selling imported electric car in Japan, Tesla is not (yet) making the impact it hoped for in the country. Recently, some clues surfaced as to why that might be the case.

Recent advice came via a Tesla owner in Japan by way of the r/Teslamotors subreddit. It explained why the Model 3 and other Teslas have not gained the same kind of sales traction in Japan as in other parts of the world (e.g. Norway).

The good news: there are plenty of famous folks driving Teslas in Japan. Tesla Board Member Hiro Mizuno tweeted about pop group Perfume and one of Japan’s Major League Baseball players, Shohei Ohtani, all proudly displaying their Tesla love. Japanese pro surfer Akira Shindo also feels some good vibes with his Tesla (see below).

 Japanese Pro Surfer Akira Shindo with his Tesla Model X (YouTube: Tesla)


Nevertheless, Japan is a (relatively) small country geographically and open land is scarce, especially in the cities. The houses tend to be small. Therefore, oftentimes, Teslas are too wide to be easily parked in a regular garage. Even a Model 3, which is the smallest car in the current Tesla lineup, is too wide for many spaces available for parking.

To that end, Reddit user u/Screw_Hegemony shared a couple of photos of his Tesla Model 3 parked at his home in Tokyo. The width of the Model 3 (without mirrors) is 1,849 mm and most parking lots in Japan are 1,850 mm wide. This leaves only 1 mm of margin and some extraordinary parking skills to park the car at a shopping mall, public place, restaurant, and most homes in Japan. To see some pictures, click the link above.

Looking ahead, Japan could clearly benefit from a smaller Tesla. The so-called “Model 2” or “Model C” could fit the bill. However, Tesla has not (yet) promised an official launch date for this smaller, cheaper Tesla yet. That said, Elon Musk confessed that a $25,000 compact Tesla hatchback is coming.

Another issue noted on Reddit is the lack of Superchargers in Japan: “consider the cities that dot the ‘countryside’ … the third most populated, Hokkaido (has Sapporo) has ONE (NOT in Sapporo), and the least populated has a whopping ZERO superchargers. Even on the main island, if you lived on the North West side (as opposed to the South East that has the Tokaido Megalopolis), that whole half of the island has a grand total of one supercharger.”

Nevertheless, on a positive note, “[Japan’s] government is going all out with the funds to aggressively cut down on CO2 emissions (I mean, we get approximately 17,000 USD in grants and tax incentives if we buy an EV now).” Whoa. One would hope Tesla takes advantage while Japan’s leading automaker, Toyota, continues to fight against (and delay) the EV revolution.

 An earlier version of this article was originally published by Tesla OracleRevised update edited by EVANNEX.

 

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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/09/27/can-tesla-increase-sales-in-japan/

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Cleantech

Can Tesla Increase Sales In Japan?

Published

on

Although the Tesla Model 3 remains the top-selling imported electric car in Japan, Tesla is not (yet) making the impact it hoped for in the country. Recently, some clues surfaced as to why that might be the case.

Recent advice came via a Tesla owner in Japan by way of the r/Teslamotors subreddit. It explained why the Model 3 and other Teslas have not gained the same kind of sales traction in Japan as in other parts of the world (e.g. Norway).

The good news: there are plenty of famous folks driving Teslas in Japan. Tesla Board Member Hiro Mizuno tweeted about pop group Perfume and one of Japan’s Major League Baseball players, Shohei Ohtani, all proudly displaying their Tesla love. Japanese pro surfer Akira Shindo also feels some good vibes with his Tesla (see below).

 Japanese Pro Surfer Akira Shindo with his Tesla Model X (YouTube: Tesla)


Nevertheless, Japan is a (relatively) small country geographically and open land is scarce, especially in the cities. The houses tend to be small. Therefore, oftentimes, Teslas are too wide to be easily parked in a regular garage. Even a Model 3, which is the smallest car in the current Tesla lineup, is too wide for many spaces available for parking.

To that end, Reddit user u/Screw_Hegemony shared a couple of photos of his Tesla Model 3 parked at his home in Tokyo. The width of the Model 3 (without mirrors) is 1,849 mm and most parking lots in Japan are 1,850 mm wide. This leaves only 1 mm of margin and some extraordinary parking skills to park the car at a shopping mall, public place, restaurant, and most homes in Japan. To see some pictures, click the link above.

Looking ahead, Japan could clearly benefit from a smaller Tesla. The so-called “Model 2” or “Model C” could fit the bill. However, Tesla has not (yet) promised an official launch date for this smaller, cheaper Tesla yet. That said, Elon Musk confessed that a $25,000 compact Tesla hatchback is coming.

Another issue noted on Reddit is the lack of Superchargers in Japan: “consider the cities that dot the ‘countryside’ … the third most populated, Hokkaido (has Sapporo) has ONE (NOT in Sapporo), and the least populated has a whopping ZERO superchargers. Even on the main island, if you lived on the North West side (as opposed to the South East that has the Tokaido Megalopolis), that whole half of the island has a grand total of one supercharger.”

Nevertheless, on a positive note, “[Japan’s] government is going all out with the funds to aggressively cut down on CO2 emissions (I mean, we get approximately 17,000 USD in grants and tax incentives if we buy an EV now).” Whoa. One would hope Tesla takes advantage while Japan’s leading automaker, Toyota, continues to fight against (and delay) the EV revolution.

 An earlier version of this article was originally published by Tesla OracleRevised update edited by EVANNEX.

 

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

 

 


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/09/27/can-tesla-increase-sales-in-japan/

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Howarth/Jacobson “Blue” Hydrogen Assessment Stronger Than Bauer Et Al’s (Part 1 of 2)

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As hydrogen hype continues to mount, two papers were published recently on the climate impacts of “blue” hydrogen — that is, hydrogen from natural gas with the addition of carbon capture and sequestration. I assessed the second, by Bauer et al, in a pair of articles, mostly looking at their underlying assumptions and conclusions, both of which I found to be challenging. As I wrote, it appeared to have been in the works for a while and rushed to pre-publication, possibly with additional signatories who felt compelled to climb on, in response to the first paper, one by Mark Z. Jacobson and Robert Howarth. 

Their paper, “How green is blue hydrogen?,” was peer reviewed and published in Wiley’s open access journal Energy Science & Engineering, which has an impact factor of 4.07. As a note, it is a pay-to-publish journal, as many are these days, but is not a predatory journal with low standards. The Bauer et al paper was in ChemRxiv, a pre-publication journal without peer review allowing early access to papers, also a common model in academia at present, and not necessarily indicative of quality. Given the peer review, however, Jacobson and Howarth’s paper should be considered to be slightly more reliable by this metric.

In assessing the Bauer et al paper, I did not question their assumptions on their life-cycle assessment process, something that they tout as being a key part of the expertise and differentiation that they bring. They assert directly that the Jacobson and Howarth paper was inferior in this regard.

“Finally, the more recent analysis does not follow best practices in LCA as it, for example, takes into account neither GHG emissions associated with capital goods nor those originating from transportation and geological storage of CO2; and it relies on data for natural gas supply only in the US context.”

It’s worth noting that the first two points in this would increase the greenhouse gas emissions, and are a fraction of the GHG emissions related to upstream methane emissions in both models, so they are immaterial to the larger point. It’s good that Bauer et al include them, but immaterial as a complaint against Jacobson and Howarth. 

The last complaint, that it is US-specific, may or may not be accurate, as one of the references is to a study of 16 gas-producing regions being published in a book I don’t have access to (and neither do the authors of the Bauer et al paper, as far as I know). Howarth has testified regarding atmospheric methane and extraction globally. Certainly, Howarth’s publication history is US-centric, so this may be a fair comment, but as we’ll see, Bauer et al leverage this to arrive at radically different numbers, and for a great deal of their publication focus on US results as well.

The approach I’ll take in this piece is the same as in my initial assessment of the Bauer et al paper, in that I’ll extract key portions, add context where necessary, and discuss them. Further, where there is significant difference between the papers, I’ll highlight it and examine which arguments I think hold most merit.

“We undertake the first effort in a peer-reviewed paper to examine the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of blue hydrogen accounting for emissions of both carbon dioxide and unburned fugitive methane.”

This strikes me as relatively humble. They acknowledge that this hadn’t been done before, saw the need, and took it upon themselves, as experts in climate change and solutions, to do the first assessment and publish it for discussion. They weren’t doing a hardcore LCA process per Bauer et al and not claiming that, but were looking at the material elements.

“Our analysis assumes that captured carbon dioxide can be stored indefinitely, an optimistic and unproven assumption.”

As always when reviewing Jacobson’s work, I find conservative estimates and choices. In the major study of 143 countries and how they could deliver all energy services with renewables by 2050, there are no unknown or in-development technologies chosen. They note later in the paper that the majority of carbon “sequestration” is for enhanced oil recovery, and that not only can CO2 escape from these more porous facilities, it does, so they are simply not calculating this, but assuming permanent storage.

“In this analysis, we consider emissions of only carbon dioxide and methane, and not of other greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide that are likely to be much smaller.”

This is another conservative choice, as nitrous oxide (N2O) has a global warming potential (GWP) of 265 compared to methane’s 86. And when hydrogen is burned, nitrous oxide is created as well. Burning things in our atmosphere, made up of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, causes a chemical reaction in which some of the nitrogen and oxygen combine into nitrous oxide. The last point to make about nitrous oxide is that it’s also bad for the ozone layer. In general, it’s a bad idea to be creating it if we don’t have to, which is another reason to avoid burning things unless we need to. Most of our burning of fuels for energy needs to stop. However, the major anthropogenic sources of nitrous oxides are agriculture, with combustion playing a smaller role.

It’s an obvious place where a follow-on study would reasonably include nitrous oxide emissions due to their high GWP. And full lifecycle consideration of hydrogen as a combustion fuel would necessarily need to consider them as well. 

It’s worth noting that the purportedly superior LCA approach of Bauer et al is entirely silent on nitrous oxide, and so should be considered as differently flawed from an LCA perspective, something that they might want to consider.

Subset of Table 1 from Jacobson and Howarth's paper

Subset of Table 1 from Jacobson and Howarth’s paper

It’s also worth noting that the capture rate of CO2 being considered is at the top end of the majority of implementations that the more recent paper by Bauer et al use. That paper had identified a range of 50% to 85% from the vast majority of existing implementations, and then noted that over 90% was being achieved in a few locations, albeit with significant unstated caveats.

This is, once again, a conservative choice based on what is being done in the real world in the majority of cases, and does not unduly burden the analysis with the bottom end of 50%, although many attempted power station CO2 capture systems often performed very poorly.

This is part of the set of calculations performed to assess the three scenarios. The first was for no CO2 capture at all. The second was CO2 capture only from that created from the SMR process. This is similar to capturing the CO2 that bakes off of limestone as it is converted to quicklime for cement, but not capturing the emissions from burning natural gas or coal to create the necessary heat. The third is for also capturing the CO2 emissions from the natural gas generation unit powering the process.

One of the dirty secrets of carbon capture is that it’s an energy intensive process. Whether it’s Global Thermostat’s sorbents from Corning in a batch process or Carbon Engineering’s continuous process, you need to put a lot of heat energy into the capture medium to get the CO2 back out. And while Global Thermostat intentionally tries to use waste industrial heat, the rest of the CO2 capture world just burns natural gas. That’s certainly what Carbon Engineering does, and while it has one carbon capture technology for its air carbon capture, it has to use two completely different technologies in succession to capture the half ton of CO2 it creates burning natural gas for every ton of CO2 it gets from the atmosphere. As I wrote years ago, carbon capture is expensive because physics.

It’s worth pointing out that the 92% figure that Bauer et al cite for Petra Nova excludes the gas cogen unit built specifically to power the process, and the emissions of that cogen unit were not counted in the 92%, and in fact only represented the periods when the capture facility was actually operating. It’s also worth noting that it was scaled up from its original target of a 60 MW coal facility to a 250 MW coal facility because “the original design of a 60 MWe facility was deemed insufficient to meet the CO2 needs of the oilfield” for enhanced oil recovery.

As a reminder, virtually all carbon ‘sequestration’ done today is for enhanced oil recovery, and for every ton of CO2 injected into tapped out oil wells, 0.25 to one ton of crude is recovered. When used as intended, that crude produces more CO2 than was injected, up to three times as much. Petra Nova and Boundary Dam in Saskatchewan, both cited by Bauer et al, were both enhanced oil recovery CO2 providers and both failed economically.

All of this is to say that I find Jacobson and Howarth’s 85% figure to be more compelling than Bauer et al’s, conservative and still actually in favor of “blue” hydrogen.

Bauer et al are not ignorant of this, by the way. They state that current “blue” hydrogen test sites are only capturing 50–60% of plant-wide emissions, yet use 93% CO2 capture at hydrogen steam reformation plants in their modeling, and assert that approaching 100% is likely.


And so ends part one of my assessment of Howarth and Jacobsons “blue” hydrogen LCA, comparing and contrasting it with Bauer et al’s. So far, Jacobson and Howarth have an edge. But in the next piece, some truly remarkable variances between the two studies emerge which make it clear, at least to me, which paper to place credence in.

 

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

 

 


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/09/27/howarth-jacobson-blue-hydrogen-assessment-stronger-than-bauer-et-al-part-1-of-2/

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Cleantech

Howarth/Jacobson “Blue” Hydrogen Assessment Stronger Than Bauer Et Al’s (Part 1 of 2)

Published

on

As hydrogen hype continues to mount, two papers were published recently on the climate impacts of “blue” hydrogen — that is, hydrogen from natural gas with the addition of carbon capture and sequestration. I assessed the second, by Bauer et al, in a pair of articles, mostly looking at their underlying assumptions and conclusions, both of which I found to be challenging. As I wrote, it appeared to have been in the works for a while and rushed to pre-publication, possibly with additional signatories who felt compelled to climb on, in response to the first paper, one by Mark Z. Jacobson and Robert Howarth. 

Their paper, “How green is blue hydrogen?,” was peer reviewed and published in Wiley’s open access journal Energy Science & Engineering, which has an impact factor of 4.07. As a note, it is a pay-to-publish journal, as many are these days, but is not a predatory journal with low standards. The Bauer et al paper was in ChemRxiv, a pre-publication journal without peer review allowing early access to papers, also a common model in academia at present, and not necessarily indicative of quality. Given the peer review, however, Jacobson and Howarth’s paper should be considered to be slightly more reliable by this metric.

In assessing the Bauer et al paper, I did not question their assumptions on their life-cycle assessment process, something that they tout as being a key part of the expertise and differentiation that they bring. They assert directly that the Jacobson and Howarth paper was inferior in this regard.

“Finally, the more recent analysis does not follow best practices in LCA as it, for example, takes into account neither GHG emissions associated with capital goods nor those originating from transportation and geological storage of CO2; and it relies on data for natural gas supply only in the US context.”

It’s worth noting that the first two points in this would increase the greenhouse gas emissions, and are a fraction of the GHG emissions related to upstream methane emissions in both models, so they are immaterial to the larger point. It’s good that Bauer et al include them, but immaterial as a complaint against Jacobson and Howarth. 

The last complaint, that it is US-specific, may or may not be accurate, as one of the references is to a study of 16 gas-producing regions being published in a book I don’t have access to (and neither do the authors of the Bauer et al paper, as far as I know). Howarth has testified regarding atmospheric methane and extraction globally. Certainly, Howarth’s publication history is US-centric, so this may be a fair comment, but as we’ll see, Bauer et al leverage this to arrive at radically different numbers, and for a great deal of their publication focus on US results as well.

The approach I’ll take in this piece is the same as in my initial assessment of the Bauer et al paper, in that I’ll extract key portions, add context where necessary, and discuss them. Further, where there is significant difference between the papers, I’ll highlight it and examine which arguments I think hold most merit.

“We undertake the first effort in a peer-reviewed paper to examine the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of blue hydrogen accounting for emissions of both carbon dioxide and unburned fugitive methane.”

This strikes me as relatively humble. They acknowledge that this hadn’t been done before, saw the need, and took it upon themselves, as experts in climate change and solutions, to do the first assessment and publish it for discussion. They weren’t doing a hardcore LCA process per Bauer et al and not claiming that, but were looking at the material elements.

“Our analysis assumes that captured carbon dioxide can be stored indefinitely, an optimistic and unproven assumption.”

As always when reviewing Jacobson’s work, I find conservative estimates and choices. In the major study of 143 countries and how they could deliver all energy services with renewables by 2050, there are no unknown or in-development technologies chosen. They note later in the paper that the majority of carbon “sequestration” is for enhanced oil recovery, and that not only can CO2 escape from these more porous facilities, it does, so they are simply not calculating this, but assuming permanent storage.

“In this analysis, we consider emissions of only carbon dioxide and methane, and not of other greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide that are likely to be much smaller.”

This is another conservative choice, as nitrous oxide (N2O) has a global warming potential (GWP) of 265 compared to methane’s 86. And when hydrogen is burned, nitrous oxide is created as well. Burning things in our atmosphere, made up of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, causes a chemical reaction in which some of the nitrogen and oxygen combine into nitrous oxide. The last point to make about nitrous oxide is that it’s also bad for the ozone layer. In general, it’s a bad idea to be creating it if we don’t have to, which is another reason to avoid burning things unless we need to. Most of our burning of fuels for energy needs to stop. However, the major anthropogenic sources of nitrous oxides are agriculture, with combustion playing a smaller role.

It’s an obvious place where a follow-on study would reasonably include nitrous oxide emissions due to their high GWP. And full lifecycle consideration of hydrogen as a combustion fuel would necessarily need to consider them as well. 

It’s worth noting that the purportedly superior LCA approach of Bauer et al is entirely silent on nitrous oxide, and so should be considered as differently flawed from an LCA perspective, something that they might want to consider.

Subset of Table 1 from Jacobson and Howarth's paper

Subset of Table 1 from Jacobson and Howarth’s paper

It’s also worth noting that the capture rate of CO2 being considered is at the top end of the majority of implementations that the more recent paper by Bauer et al use. That paper had identified a range of 50% to 85% from the vast majority of existing implementations, and then noted that over 90% was being achieved in a few locations, albeit with significant unstated caveats.

This is, once again, a conservative choice based on what is being done in the real world in the majority of cases, and does not unduly burden the analysis with the bottom end of 50%, although many attempted power station CO2 capture systems often performed very poorly.

This is part of the set of calculations performed to assess the three scenarios. The first was for no CO2 capture at all. The second was CO2 capture only from that created from the SMR process. This is similar to capturing the CO2 that bakes off of limestone as it is converted to quicklime for cement, but not capturing the emissions from burning natural gas or coal to create the necessary heat. The third is for also capturing the CO2 emissions from the natural gas generation unit powering the process.

One of the dirty secrets of carbon capture is that it’s an energy intensive process. Whether it’s Global Thermostat’s sorbents from Corning in a batch process or Carbon Engineering’s continuous process, you need to put a lot of heat energy into the capture medium to get the CO2 back out. And while Global Thermostat intentionally tries to use waste industrial heat, the rest of the CO2 capture world just burns natural gas. That’s certainly what Carbon Engineering does, and while it has one carbon capture technology for its air carbon capture, it has to use two completely different technologies in succession to capture the half ton of CO2 it creates burning natural gas for every ton of CO2 it gets from the atmosphere. As I wrote years ago, carbon capture is expensive because physics.

It’s worth pointing out that the 92% figure that Bauer et al cite for Petra Nova excludes the gas cogen unit built specifically to power the process, and the emissions of that cogen unit were not counted in the 92%, and in fact only represented the periods when the capture facility was actually operating. It’s also worth noting that it was scaled up from its original target of a 60 MW coal facility to a 250 MW coal facility because “the original design of a 60 MWe facility was deemed insufficient to meet the CO2 needs of the oilfield” for enhanced oil recovery.

As a reminder, virtually all carbon ‘sequestration’ done today is for enhanced oil recovery, and for every ton of CO2 injected into tapped out oil wells, 0.25 to one ton of crude is recovered. When used as intended, that crude produces more CO2 than was injected, up to three times as much. Petra Nova and Boundary Dam in Saskatchewan, both cited by Bauer et al, were both enhanced oil recovery CO2 providers and both failed economically.

All of this is to say that I find Jacobson and Howarth’s 85% figure to be more compelling than Bauer et al’s, conservative and still actually in favor of “blue” hydrogen.

Bauer et al are not ignorant of this, by the way. They state that current “blue” hydrogen test sites are only capturing 50–60% of plant-wide emissions, yet use 93% CO2 capture at hydrogen steam reformation plants in their modeling, and assert that approaching 100% is likely.


And so ends part one of my assessment of Howarth and Jacobsons “blue” hydrogen LCA, comparing and contrasting it with Bauer et al’s. So far, Jacobson and Howarth have an edge. But in the next piece, some truly remarkable variances between the two studies emerge which make it clear, at least to me, which paper to place credence in.

 

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

 

 


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Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/09/27/howarth-jacobson-blue-hydrogen-assessment-stronger-than-bauer-et-al-part-1-of-2/

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