Circularity: Home Heating with Hydrogen
Is Is Hydrogen the Best?
We are all looking for the best, the cleanest and the most efficient fuel to drive our cars and heat our homes. There is much hype about all sorts of "opportunities" to be greener, doing our individual part to cut greenhouse gas emissions. One of those is the use of hydrogen to heat our homes.
Following, at Sustainable Circular Economy, we examined that question based upon substantive information provided by Recharge in their article, "Revealed / What 18 Independent Studies all Concluded About the use of Hydrogen for Heating."
The result? Study after study showed that such a scenario would be highly unlikely due to the costs and inefficiencies involved.
Some of the Studies
Management consultant McKinsey also came to the similar conclusion in its 2022 study, The net-zero transition: What it would cost, what it could bring, while the International Energy Agency (IEA) found in its Net Zero by 2050 report that its least-cost pathway would include less than 2% hydrogen use in de-carbonizing buildings.
As well, the European Program Director at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), an energy-focused independent multinational non-governmental organization suggested, with all independent studies reviewed, "virtually none of them identified heating with hydrogen as a good option for a number of reasons.
Why Not Use Hydrogen?
Cost and Efficiency
“The cost of heating with hydrogen is much higher than other clean heating options such as heat pumps and district heating. As well, it may not be the best for the environment. If a proposed switch is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, using hydrogen, even green hydrogen may not cut it. Green hydrogen requires about five to six times more renewable electricity compared to a heat pumps. This means five to six times more generating capacity, more resources and more land with habitat lost.
Using Heat Pumps
Heat pumps are proven technology, they are widely used in all climates, and use substantially less energy than heating with hydrogen.
Using hydrogen would require either a swap-out to new appliances
- not something that readily fits within the objectives of finding better solutions through the application of circularity, or alternatively, going through an expensive refit program.
Impressive List of Report-Writers
At Sustainable Circular Economy, our mission is to do the world a world of good, helping business to make their best decisions based upon the principles of a circular economy - the impacts and benefits on the people, the planet and profit. We separate the "wheat from the chaff" as it will not do us any good to allow an "environmental direction" to become entrenched, later to be questionable, languishing on paper, when the people who were involved are long gone and we are left holding the bag.
The reports, more than 18 of them were written by academic institutions, including London’s Imperial College, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the UK’s Manchester University; research organizations such as Germany’s Wuppertal Institute and Öko-Institut, and the UK’s Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions; non-profit organizations such as the International Council on Clean Transportation and the Energy Transitions Commission; and analysts such as Element Energy, Agora Energiewende and Michael Liebreich.
For a full list of studies, click here.
Using hydrogen in the home may not give us what we are looking for. A viable and environmentally responsible solution to home use that is best for the people, the planet and profit. Without a balance of those three, we will be hard to find the use of hydrogen as a sustainable option.
Sustainable Circular Economy - Who are We?
At Sustainable Circular Economy, we are a boutique firm. We see discussion about how to get to true sustainability as critical, or all the commitments just become questionable to languish on paper when the people who made them are long gone, and we are left holding the bag.
We are 100 percent supportive of establishing goals to reduce our global carbon footprint and helping companies and individuals to do their part. Our business is helping to do the world a world of good, offering a pathway through the circular economy principled upon people, the planet and profit.
Let’s have the discussion. Ask the questions, and if you wish to know how to get there in your business, call on us at Sustainable Circular Economy. We offer a free consultation to discuss how we can help you seize an era of opportunity and innovation in the new environmental landscape.
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