Music starts at 2:40.

Below, Michael Liebrich on Twitter with a thread on the practical realities of shipping hydrogen.

Michael Leibrich on Twitter:

Shipping liquid hydrogen is not going to be a thing. To understand why, you need to understand that hydrogen is basically liquid, -253C escapey, explodey expanded polystyrene.

 What this means is that any comparison with LNG is, ahem, bollox. We cracked LNG shipping, but it’s the most expensive gas on the market. And shipping the same BTUs as liquid hydrogen would require 3-4 times as many ships. Because of physics, not lack of learning, scale, etc. 

Liquifying hydrogen is also a complete bear. It currently consumes 35% to 45% of the Lower Heating Value of the input. If you don’t know about LHV and HHV, or about ortho-para isomer conversion, please read more and tweet less about liquid hydrogen!

 Then there’s the fun stuff. Hydrogen, which is liquid at -253C and much less dense than LNG, is likely to have up to 9x more boil-off (ie loss during transit, of which only part fuels the ship) and 2x more “sloshing”, which is dangerous. 

Can liquid hydrogen re-use infrastructure created for LNG? Power supply and docks, sure; 70% of pipelines may be re-purposed. But not the liquefaction and gasification plants, compressors, storage tanks, etc. Vital to listen to independent experts! 

OK, are we done with the absurd notion of transporting liquid hydrogen? In fact, LH2 will have no role anywhere in energy and transport. The only way to transport hydrogen economically is by pipeline. Or of course as ammonia, or in metal hydride or liquid organic carriers. 

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Now that Republicans have retaken the House of Representatives by a narrow margin, fears have been raised that they will try to chip away at the Inflation Reduction Act, landmark legislation that includes massive funding for clean energy and climate action.
Bur the results of the election made clear that among the young, climate action and the energy transition are broadly popular. Moreover, renewable energy, battery production, and EV production are producing big job gains in solidly red areas – to the path for Republicans is not entirely clear.

Houston Chronicle:

Speaking at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt this week, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, argued the United States should pursue “rational environmentalism” when it comes to climate policy.

“Radical environmentalism is what we mostly see. And that perpetuates solutions that are downright scary and foolish,” he said. “Let’s not lie to our children and scare them to death and tell them they’re going to burn alive because of (climate change).”

What Crenshaw and other Republicans are looking for is a more measured climate policy that allows for the continued use of oil and natural gas, energy sources the United States has in abundance and are critical to economies of states like Texas. But with the White House and Senate still under Democratic control, Republicans’ opportunities to undo climate policies all together are limited.

The tax incentives and funding for clean energy that make up the Inflation Reduction Act have already been approved for many years to come, making the bill “very durable” against efforts to undermine it, said Matthew Davis, legislative director at the League of Conservation Voters, an environmental group.

“The chances the Congress will repeal or do serious damage to (the Inflation Reduction Act) seems to be diminished considering the outcome of the election,” said Scott Segal, a Washington energy attorney whose clients include oil and gas companies.

House Republicans, however, will have the opportunity to hold oversight hearings on Biden’s climate policies and bring more scrutiny on the federal agencies.The Interior Department’s handling of offshore drilling permits for oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska is likely to attract a lot of attention from the GOP after the Biden administration raised the possibility earlier this year of halting leasing in years to come.

The GOP’s most eloquent spokesperson on climate is, of course, Senate Candidate and former football player, Herschel Walker.

Utility Dive:

If it seems like we’ve seen this show before, it’s because we have. When the Affordable Care Act became law in early 2010, it, too, was quick to draw starkly partisan responses: praise from supporters who saw it ushering in a transformation of American health care and vows from detractors to bring a quick end to this latest affront to personal freedom. What followed was a years-long battle with about 8 million to 10 million Americans’ access to heath insurance hanging in the balance each election cycle.

The renewable energy industry is accustomed to this political roller coaster. For some who felt the IRA might be too good to be true, the potential for a drawn-out political battle seemed likely. Legal and political experts — including some whose experience includes the ACA itself — say a complete repeal of the IRA seems unlikely. But that won’t prevent it from remaining the subject of political rhetoric for years to come, they say, even as renewable energy advocates renew calls for policy stability.

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For a brief time, nuclear plants in Ukraine were no longer connected to the grid, meaning they were totally reliant on generator power in the case of an emergency, a perilous situation.
Now, for the moment, power has been restored, but Russia’s attacks on the Ukraine grid may have moved the war into a dangerous new phase.

New York Times:

All three nuclear power plants under Ukrainian control are back online and will soon be producing energy at normal capacity, the head of the national energy utility said on Friday, two days after Russian missile strikes that forced utility crews to scramble to stabilize the country’s crippled energy grid and raised further concerns about the nuclear perils of the war.

Ukraine typically relies on nuclear power for more than half of its energy, an uncommonly high rate of dependence. The Russian attacks on Wednesday triggered emergency protections at the three plants and required a halt to production.

“Now the energy system is fully integrated; all regions are connected,” said Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, the chief executive officer of Ukrenergo, the national utility. He added that utility crews are prepared to react to further Russian attacks, but urged consumers to save electricity.

On Friday morning, electricity had been restored to meet about 70 percent of the country’s needs but rolling blackouts remained in place, Ukrenergo said in a statement posted on the Telegram messaging app.

“Priority was given to critical infrastructure facilities in all regions,” the statement said, adding that efforts to reconnect household consumers were ongoing in “sub-zero” temperatures.

The city government in Kyiv, the capital, said on Friday morning that water had been fully restored but that half of the city’s housing stock was still in emergency power outage mode. Without electricity, taps run dry, water purification becomes unreliable, and wastewater is either not collected or has to be disposed of untreated.

Union of Concerned Scientists:

“Russia’s ruthless attack on Wednesday signifies the beginning of a dangerous new phase in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These targeted attacks on the energy grid not only pose life-threatening risks for Ukrainians but are now also endangering all of Ukraine’s nuclear plants. Nuclear reactor safety has a critical dependence on access to a stable and secure supply of electricity from the grid.

A nuclear plant disaster would further devastate Ukrainian communities already suffering from the direct consequences of blackouts by spreading radiological contamination over a wide area, forcing additional populations to relocate, and endangering food and water supplies. Russia’s despicable tactics, meant to freeze out Ukrainians, could wind up harming neighboring countries, including Russia itself.”

Dr. Lyman also noted that unlike Zaporizhzhia, the nuclear plant that has been most directly affected by the conflict, the other three stations have some older-model reactors that may be less resistant to the impacts of a military attack—especially the two VVER-440 reactors at the Rivne plant.

“It is now clear that a safety zone must be established not only at Zaporizhzhia, but at all of Ukraine’s nuclear plants—and should extend to the entire electrical grid,” Dr. Lyman added.

UCS is actively monitoring the situation in Ukraine.

Well, you know, if you’ve been reading this blog.
This guy does a great job refuting cranky Fox Alumnus and climate denier John Stossel (again – I posted his first takedown here).
In fact, the young guy is even starting to suspect that Stossel might not be completely honest.

Below, one of the important references from the above video is this one, which goes thru some of the purported challenges to EV adoption.

RMI:

For years, commentators have been handwringing about the extraction practices, environmental and social harms, and corporate ownership of mining operations that contribute to clean energy technology, with a focus on cobalt, rare earths, and other rare ingredients of the clean energy transition.

Much like governmental, intergovernmental, and private assessments of “critical materials,” these critiques pay far too little attention to how scarcity, usually signaled by price, elicits not only mineral exploration and mine development but also a powerful set of other and faster adaptations and alternatives like efficient use, substitution, and recycling.

A major contribution to this genre comes from a New York Timesinvestigative series around cobalt in in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Times’s informative reportage sheds important light on the geopolitical as much as the human-rights ramifications of clean energy.

But the Times series, like nearly all prior “critical materials” coverage, rests on a flawed premise: that cobalt is one of the “essential raw materials needed for the production of electric car batteries—and is now critical to retiring the combustion engine and weaning the world off climate-changing fossil fuels.”

That cobalt is an essential raw material needed to produce electric car batteries is true for one class of car-battery chemistries, but others use little cobalt or none at all. Standard-range Tesla cars’ batteries use no cobalt. Battery leaders Samsung and Panasonic are designing out cobalt. The portfolio of these alternatives continues to improve and expand.

Several years ago, I wrote about “rare earths” (17 unusual chemical elements that are not geologically rare) in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and why they are not a substantial cause for concern in the transition to clean energy. For the past decade, commentators have warned (and stock speculators hyped) that China’s near-monopoly on supermagnet rare-earth elements could make the growing global shift to electric cars and wind turbines impossible—because their motors and generators, respectively, supposedly required supermagnets and hence rare earths. But that’s nonsense.

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