By Jorgo Chatzimarkakis – Even one year ago hydrogen would have been regarded as an interesting niche technology – but rather science-fiction than a future cornerstone of the European Green Deal. As with many other important historical disruptions, the pandemic has also led to viewing this technology from a different angle on a global level. This became visible this very week when John Kerry visited Berlin in order to prepare a joint approach with the Europeans towards the next big climate conference: The former US- Vice-President mentioned green hydrogen continuously at the same level as electrification. And this mirrors the importance that has been attributed to hydrogen by the Europeans already a year now, starting with the launch of the European hydrogen strategy in July last year.
Including renewable produce hydrogen into the energy, mobility and industry scenario leads to major shifts with regards to policies, investments and overall expectations. And this is good because we have to use the technology which helps us to quickly achieve palpable results in the “battle” for zero-emissions that we all strive for. But this situation unequivocally leads to distribution struggles. The issues on the agenda are: Who should be favored by which legislation? Who should be invited to conferences preparing big decisions? Who would be justified to receive public funding? Who will be favored by private investment?
Picking up a thought mentioned already: We do not need to focus on technology A versus technology B, but maintain technological openness and focus on those solutions that allow us to achieve our goals in the best way. I believe that even the advocates for an all-electric scenario have rightly understood that hydrogen will most probably become the other leg of the energy, mobility and industry transition next to electrification. more>
Posted in Business, EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy, History, How to, Nature, Science, Technology
By John Fialka – The Department of Energy is preparing to use the massive computing power of its national laboratories to tackle a daily scourge of American life: traffic jams.
The effort is aimed at more than just improving motorists’ moods. If it works, it could cut U.S. transportation fuel consumption up to 20% and reduce auto emissions.
A second goal is to recover as much as $100 billion in lost worker productivity by unsnarling rush hour traffic jams in U.S. cities over the next 10 years.
Two years ago Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., selected Chattanooga, Tenn. (population 182,799), as the guinea pig for their first traffic-cutting experiment.
The city, nestled among the hills and ridges of the southeastern corner of the state, is ranked among the nation’s top 20 most traffic-congested cities.
The first step for NREL scientists was to make a detailed computer model, or what it calls a “digital twin,” of the city’s traffic patterns to isolate and then explore solutions to its snarled rush hours.
“Chattanooga provided an ideal microcosm of conditions and opportunities to work with an exceptional roster of municipal and state partners,” explained John Farrell, who manages the vehicle technology management program for NREL.
“Eventually, the plan is to apply these solutions to larger metropolitan areas and regional corridors across the country.” more>
Posted in Business, EARTH WATCH, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, History, How to, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Climate change, Earth, Skills, Technology, Traffic congestion
By Frédéric Simon – While fossil gas is often seen as a transition fuel towards a fully decarbonized energy mix, GE Gas Power sees low-carbon gas as “a destination technology” with the potential to convert power plants to run 100% on clean hydrogen by 2030.
“Today, we have a 50% hydrogen capability for combustion in our largest baseload gas turbines” used for power generation, said Martin O’Neill, vice president at GE Gas Power.
The company’s objective, he explained, is to continue research and development in order “to advance the percentage of hydrogen combustion capability towards 100% by 2030,” he told a EURACTIV event earlier this month.
However, getting there would require a rapid scale up in the production of clean hydrogen, he added. And that will only be possible if multiple sources of low-carbon hydrogen are added to the mix, including so-called “blue hydrogen” where emissions are somehow captured and stored. more>
Posted in Business, EARTH WATCH, Economy, Energy & emissions, History, How to, Nature, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Climate change, GE, Hydrogen, Industrial economy, Internet, Skills