Climate Catastrophe

Yeah he’s quite wrong as well. We basically only have Salah on the right and a ton of others on the left, so obviously our left-wing is very dense at the moment.

That’s what I was alluding to. The last I read about it, it was nigh-on impossible to pipe anywhere long-distance safely because it just leaks everywhere, rendering its viability null. The superior energy density is pointless if you can’t use it…

I think there is, it’s just terribly costly at the moment.

However, it’s the distribution that would be a problem I think?

You’ve also got to factor is mining all the crap for the batteries, shipping it, making them, shipping them, fitting them, then lugging them about for the life of the vehicle (F=MA) and then disposing of them afterwards. Hydrogen just needs a very well make tank and a bit of platinum. Comparably simple and certainly easier than an IC engine.

The renewed drive to hydrogen has a lot to do with how cheap renewables are - the two cheapest forms of generating electricity in the world today are photovoltaics and wind. But both face significant challenges with intermittency/dispatch which can be significantly resolved with storage. If wind energy is going to go to waste (not be generated in fact), pushing it into hydrogen as mass storage makes sense. There is simply no way that technology based on elements like lithium can reach the scales needed.

Do utility companies actually look towards batteries and hydrogen for grid-level storage? I thought the interest would be elsewhere such as gravitational storage or the heat stored in sand solution?

There’s an experimental plant near us in Germany to produce hydrogen from excess wind power. It isn’t intended for fuel, though. There are big requirements for hydrogen to produce ammonia (fertilisers etc) and as a replacement for coal in steel production.

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Of course the one advantage of having millions of high capacity battery vehicles connected to the grid is their batteries can be used in reverse. They’re never all on the road at the same time and plug in when demand is highest, end of the working day. Then charge overnight. Swings and roundabouts but a great place to put surplus wind power. Would take some smarter infrastructure but not impossible. Tesla do it now. They would. #elonfanboy

They are looking at all of them, but both gravitational and heat-sand have significant drawbacks of their own. Batteries and hydrogen have attractive deployment characteristics, and the use of lithium-ion at utility scale has exploded in the last seven years - often in conjunction with renewable deployment to create ‘firm wind’ or ‘firm solar’. See for example:


Lots of systems do it now. Tesla actually copied the technology from a direct competitor in the battery market.

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Compressed gas is another solution although I don’t think it is suitable for everywhere. There is a plant in Germany, Kraftwerk Huntorf, that was built as storage for a nearby nuclear power plant. The nuke plant is closed now but I think the storage facility is still in used. From memory, it stores around 1 GWh although I’ve no idea what the efficiency is like.

Round trip efficiency for that technology is 65-75%. There is a compressed air system deployed just off Toronto in Lake Ontario, right next to Toronto Island airport. I suspect very few people are aware of it. Someday one of those ‘balloons’ is going to escape and surface and it will be like a Canadian Godzilla movie…

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But #elonsmart #elonkingoftheworld!

Do you have any sources for that? Would be keen to read more about it.

About what, in particular? Increasing use of energy storage at utility scale? Or the gravitational and thermal energy storage systems?

Energy storage solutions at utility scale, especially anywhere I can find evaluations of the relative strengths and drawbacks.

Given the Climate nutters are saying it’s the end of the world we may never see a decent Liverpool midfield again in our lifetime

The 2022 IEA grid-scale storage report gives a useful overview, though light on pros-cons

Thanks, appreciate it!

Something which is related to climate change in quite a lot of way although even more geopolitical in nature.

But it’s hard to delink the IWT with politics