Hydrogen for decarbonisation, yeah right!

25/10/2019
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.


Press release: Petroleum companies under pressure

08/10/2018

protest-outside-todd-2oct18-kc.jpg

The pressure is building against oil, gas and coal companies in Aotearoa who continue to push for fossil fuel extraction with increasing community calls to curb climate change. Protesters will be gathering outside Todd Energy, Beach Energy and OMV tomorrow Tuesday 9 October. Read the rest of this entry »


Fossil fuel economics – a fairy tale

17/04/2015

It is encouraging to hear the World Bank calling for a halt to fossil fuel subsidies and a collective international binding agreement for a zero-carbon world by the end of the century. But how a carbon tax will make this happen remains a big question mark. History has shown us that we cannot rely on big corporations to move away from their old habits and lead the change needed for the better: How BP had invested in low carbon technology for decades just to abandon them for greater economic gains is a typical example.

In the mean time, the fossil fuel industry has been found to be operating dangerously in New Zealand, with over 130 incidents recorded in the last two years while the government continues to push for more drilling. They want us to believe that NZ can get rich on oil like Norway did. But even the Norwegians know: “When we wake up from this oil bubble … we will realise we will never have a fairy tale like this again.”

So let us get off fossil fuels and move on to more sustainable, democratic, decentralised energy systems that benefit communities and the planet. “We need a managed and fair transition, not a massive oil shock which could plunge the already fuel-poor into further hardship and breed economic and social pandemonium. If today’s anti-oil social movements continue to strengthen, this could happen: through pressure from shareholders, the erosion of oil companies’ social licence, the physical disruption of operations by local resistance, the boom in renewable energy, and public pressure on governments to take more decisive climate action”.