No, not PerryWilliams.
“Night wind hawkers” sold stock on the streets during the South Sea Bubble. (The Great Picture of Folly, 1720)
Remember the South Sea Bubble? The Tulip Mania? No, a bit before my time. Read about them in Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds a history of panics and stampedes promoted by fake news and media sensationalism. No reason for us to be smug about these things, wait until a dispassionate history of climate alarmism is written.
Read about the hydrogen bubble spelled out by our contemporary night wind hawker.
The ﬁrst three-year phase of the scheme running out to 2024 would produce green hydrogen — where energy used to split hydrogen from water is from renewable energy sources — in the heart of coal country at Muswellbrook. Japan’s Idemitsu aims to repurpose an old coalmine once owned by Kerry Packer into a major energy hub as it looks to develop green ammonia.
Hydrogen would be transported by pipeline from Muswellbrook to the site of AGL Energy’s Liddell coal power plant, due to close in 2023, while one of Australia’s biggest renewable and storage projects at Walcha in New England could also provide supplies via a WalchaLink pipeline.
A second stage running from 2022 through 2026 would develop a pipeline from Liddell to Newcastle and incorporate a hydrogen gas power station with both the federal government’s Snowy Hydro project at Kurri Kurri or AGL’s Newcastle plant among options included as part of a clean energy precinct.
Australia’s largest aluminium smelter, Tomago, could be powered by renewables and ﬁrmed up with supplies from the power station as its owners seek a cheaper, low emissions contract to ensure the long-term future of the plant.
A third stage could see the expansion of a hydrogen pipeline to central west and New England renewable energy zones where the NSW government wants to generate $4.5bn of investment as part of a policy to incentivise the replacement of all coal-ﬁred power with renewable energy by 2042.
The Hunter hydrogen plan has been devised by Energy Estate, an advisory business to the renewables industry, which is working with the Beyond Zero Emissions think-tank backed by Atlassian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes.
By way of a rejoinder, a note drafted for circulation by the Energy Realists of Australia.
Despite the media hype for green hydrogen around the world, there is still virtually no significant volume of green hydrogen produced. Almost all the hydrogen in use comes from the traditional hydrogen extraction method relying on steam and natural gas. And for good reason – this is the cheapest way of extracting hydrogen.
Huge amounts of electricity are required for the electrolytic process and states that are struggling to keep the lights on will have to upgrade their nuclear capacity and/or expand RE exponentially.
Most of the energy is lost in the chain from production, storage and transport to final use. Green hydrogen is the most inefficient form of energy storage known to man.
Another factor that is particularly significant in Australia is the need for large quantities of very clean water for the electrolysis. This may not be an issue for the small pilot projects that will be funded by Government grants but it will preclude large-scale commercial production.
And there is more. Alan Finkel on Getting to Zero.
I picked up Finkel’s Quarterly Essay as an impulse buy because it was near the cash register at the newsagent. A bit different from the usual temptations but this is not your usual newsagent because they stock The Spectator. My copy did not turn up in the letterbox, hence the trip to the newsagent. The quarterly essay people publish long comments in the following edition so I will take a punt…
BONUS. This is the article that Alan Moran described as the leader of the worldwide coal industry hauling up the white flag.