WetEV wrote:This is the last 10% problem in renewable energy. It is going to be more expensive than the first 90%, might even be far more expensive and inefficient. As long as it works, and the total cost isn't outrageous...
It will never pan out as a back-up; it is just too expensive.
I'm not sure about that. The material costs of batteries quickly outstrip the costs of fuel-cell storage at rather quickly as storage time increases.
SageBrush wrote:A mix of a more inter-connected grid, pumped hydro, batteries and solar thermal have it beat by a country mile. And for that last 1% ? Use NG for all I care.
I'm all for pumped hydro, but it is not a viable solution in places like Florida. That's why touting successes like in Norway and Portugal only get us so far.
Likewise there are limits to the interconnected grid approach. It can be extremely expensive and at the end of the day, there are times when there is nearly zero renewable energy being generated over the entire grid. This happens in Europe fairly regularly.
And, frankly, I think hydrogen will have a larger role in our future than solar thermal. Simply put, I do not think solar thermal plants can compete with solid-state technologies such as PV. We'll see.
At the end of the day, I DO like the approach of putting hydrogen into natural gas pipelines, as Germany is beginning to do. One reason I like that approach is that it can leverage much existing infrastructure (both pipelines and gas turbines) to assist in the transition. At the same time, I think we need to implement the higher-efficiency portions of the solution first, including things you have mentioned like pumped hydro, grid improvements, but also things like daytime BEV charging (using BEV net metering) and ARES.
In short, my position on hydrogen is this: keep doing the research but stop diverting subsidies from BEVs to things like H2 FCEVs. That is just slowing down progress toward a more-sustainable solution.