Hydrogen for decarbonisation, yeah right!

MBIE H2 vision p41 figure

MBIE A Vision for Hydrogen in New Zealand, Sept 2019 (Figure 15)

Here’s what we think about MBIE’s A Vision for Hydrogen in New Zealand, what’s yours?

  1. We are extremely concerned about the overarching push for hydrogen. With our climate crisis, we need urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pressure on natural resources, to pull back from exceeding planetary boundaries. We also need to build societal resilience and adaptation to crises. We do not have the time or luxury for unproven technology and ‘Think Big’ projects.
  2. Given the urgency for real climate action, development of brown, grey and blue hydrogen cannot be a genuine or effective transition pathway, because of its reliance on fossil fuels and unproven carbon capture, use and storage. It prolongs fossil fuel exploration, mining and reliance.
  3. We ask that MBIE put forward a clear position and instigate legislation to prohibit any new brown, grey and blue hydrogen development.
  4. The narratives of ‘decarbonising industrial processes’ and ‘decarbonising gas supplies’ are misleading. Like fossil fuel-derived urea, ‘green urea’ made from green hydrogen will also release nitrous oxide when applied on farms, facilitate overstocking and fuel climate-damaging industrial agriculture. Blending hydrogen into the existing gas network is full of problems and again, prolongs fossil fuel reliance and status quo.
  5. Green hydrogen is extremely energy intensive to produce and store. Consideration of its development and application must first be thoroughly assessed and compared with all other energy options. The goal of any development needs to be resource conservation, security and resilience, and social wellbeing, not economic profits. Making green hydrogen for export does not make environmental, social or economic sense.

Our full submission can be downloaded here.

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