Comments on: Advanced biofuels are key to decarbonising transportation [Promoted content] https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/opinion/advanced-biofuels-are-key-to-decarbonizing-transportation/ EU news and policy debates across languages Wed, 29 Aug 2018 09:56:59 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 By: re-update https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/opinion/advanced-biofuels-are-key-to-decarbonizing-transportation/#comment-335104 Tue, 17 Jul 2018 10:12:24 +0000 https://www.euractiv.com/?post_type=opinion&p=1256382#comment-335104 The best and most intelligent way to decarbonise transport is simply to build hydrogen refuelling stations. Production in Japan, China and Korea is ramping up significantly, with Japan alone set to manufacture 30,000 vehicles annually by 2020, steadily rising as infrastructure is rolled out. However, they cannot make larger factories and therefore cheaper cars if the refuelling infrastructure is not in place. As has been argued ad infinitum, the chicken and egg argument has been resolved – government is the chicken, and essentially will at some point have to realise that if a genuinely sustainable transport system is required, that neatly and efficiently fits together with greater renewables growth (without just adding to the electricity bill required of the massive expansion in infrastructure EVs need, when storage and other issues remain a perennial problem): they will have to put some money towards it.

We are living in a critical time for the planet and our ongoing safety, let alone prosperity as the merciless increases in temperature start to effect various dependencies we currently rely on; such as imported crops and grain production. This will lead to severe societal disruption in the regions we import oil from (€400 billion a year in oil and gas). We already subsidise these industries far too much, and are simply not reading the writing on the wall.

Expenditure on on-site hydrogen electrolysis is not luxury spending; it is vital if we are to ever wind in the amount currently exiting the economy and chaining us to a cycle of destruction.

Hydrogen dispensed at the pump is now officially down to $6/kg in the US via Nel refuelling stations, with various trucking corridors in the process of being set up. These vehicles will travel 1,900 km on a single tank, all produced via solar and wind and a cost that is competitive enough – even in US gasoline prices – with conventional trucks. $6/kg is half the cost of petrol in the EU on a per km basis; so this opens up many opportunities if investments are made. Batteries are very unlikely to ever compete on range and refuelling time, even if we are able to source the raw materials. And fuel cells now use tiny amounts of precious metals, so this is not an issue. And electrolysers represent an immediate and tangible business proposition as they provide many services to the grid; they only need to be run about 75% of the time and can therefore switch off when demand is high, as well as other services all of which provide a revenue stream.

Hydrogen and electrolysis are the way forward for transport – we will never enable a meaningful zero-carbon transition using biofuels. If anything, this fuel should be used as biojet only as this is the only area where the logistics of changing fuel type are complicated.

Without hydrogen we have zero energy transition.

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