Electric vehicles emit more CO2 than diesel ones, German study shows

prizrak

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Ummmm... Natural gas isn't mined, it's simply drilled for.
That's a @narf response :p was clear what I was talking about. It's still a finite resource and still has many issues inherent to fossil fuels, not the least of it being a greenhouse gas in and off itself.
 

narf

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Can't read German, is this chart only showing domestic German power production, or the source of German power consumption? I was under the impression the nuclear shutdown caused them to import greater amounts of power from surrounding countries that was indeed coal-generated.
That too isn't supported by the data, we're net exporting electricity every year. For example, in 2018 we've net exported over 50 billion kWh (about one Switzerland, Greece, or Portugal) while generating about 650 billion kWh... the last time we were a net importer was in 2002 when we net imported 0.7 billion kWh. In fact, the last few years were the biggest in net exports as far back as I have data.

The data: https://ag-energiebilanzen.de/index.php?article_id=29&fileName=20181214_brd_stromerzeugung1990-2018.pdf see "Stromflüsse aus dem Ausland" = imports, "Stromflüsse in das Ausland" = exports, with a net right below that where negative = net exports.
 

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I was listening to PM on BBC Radio 4 on the way home last night. They are running a series of spots on climate change this week and how various industries are trying to or being forced to adapt. They interviewed a senior chap from Maersk who are trying to achieve a carbon neutral fleet by 2050, which means starting to build ships with the right kind of propulsion by 2030.

I'd love to hear from anyone on this forum or anywhere else for that matter who can present a realistic way to achieve that other than using nuclear propulsion like the US carrier fleet.

What most people fail to acknowledge these days is that this whole "CO2 causes global warming" came about because Margaret Thatcher, not wishing to rely on coal power or being at the mercy of the miner's unions in the UK, needed to get the anti-nuclear lobby on her side. They discovered a little known (at the time) study by a Scandinavian scientist who had suggested that pumping CO2 into the atmosphere could help ward off another ice age which would be a disaster for Nordic countries. It was theoretical and controversial at the time.

Fewer people have died as a direct result of the nuclear power industry in total than die in the mining industry every 5 years. Or on the world's roads daily. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_and_radiation_accidents_by_death_toll

I'm not for a moment denying that the climate is changing, and there is a certain amount of data to suggest a trend towards warming as a whole (second warmest decade of the last 100 years was actually the 1940s BTW) but there is still no concrete proof that this trend is caused in part or in full by the amount of CO2 that is entering the atmosphere. What I do accept is that regardless of the causes, if this trend continues, then the planet could be in for a rough ride and that if we can slow that warming trend by reducing CO2 production then it's not a bad thing.

For those still worried about nuclear waste, the total volume of nuclear waste produced since nuclear power was invented takes up a tiny fraction of the volume of coal that is mined annually. Yes, it may be radioactive for thousands if not millions of years, but are you trying to tell me there isn't a massively deep hole miles from anywhere that couldn't be repurposed for the completely safe storage of that material?

Enough energy hits this planet in the form of solar radiation for the whole world's energy needs. We just need to focus more on harnessing more of it, but in some cases, such as that of aircraft or large container ships, battery power just isn't viable. The nuclear option is certainly viable for shipping.

And before you start suggesting that we should all stop flying, in the days after 9/11 when flights across, to and from the US were banned, the a sudden increase in average temperature of 2C across the country has been attribued to the absence of contrails across the sky !!
 

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In my mind, the future of long-distance travel, whether by cargo ship or airplane, is with liquid fuels much like the present of long-distance travel. They're high in energy density, easy to handle, well-understood, etc.

What will gradually change is the source of those liquid fuels. With enough electricity you can make liquid fuels out of thin air and magic (= chemistry). Work towards that is already underway, for example a refinery west of Hamburg is starting to mix synthetic kerosene made with excess wind power into the fuel it delivers to Hamburg Airport. It'll be a small percentage for now, but it's a step in the right direction both for green(er) air travel and for more efficient use of the varying amounts of renewable electricity we generate.
Mind you, this synthetic fuel could also be made with nuclear-sourced electricity, especially when we some day have nuclear power using less problematic materials.
 

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Now that's the kind of news and idea that should be more widely shared. Got a link?
 

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For those still worried about nuclear waste, the total volume of nuclear waste produced since nuclear power was invented takes up a tiny fraction of the volume of coal that is mined annually. Yes, it may be radioactive for thousands if not millions of years, but are you trying to tell me there isn't a massively deep hole miles from anywhere that couldn't be repurposed for the completely safe storage of that material?

That hole also has to be away from water and fault lines for the whole time that it takes to become non radioactive.


Enough energy hits this planet in the form of solar radiation for the whole world's energy needs. We just need to focus more on harnessing more of it, but in some cases, such as that of aircraft or large container ships, battery power just isn't viable. The nuclear option is certainly viable for shipping.

I don't trust corporations that behave as badly as those that run shipping to be responsible enough to operate nuclear reactors. It would be nice to see them run the current ships on cleaner fuels, but they won't.
 

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still no concrete proof that this trend is caused in part or in full by the amount of CO2 that is entering the atmosphere.
There is actually a massive amount of proof for that but that's beside the point. We can actually scrub CO2 from atmo and turn it into some useful shit so that's not a massive issue even with continued use of liquid fuels.

I'd love to hear from anyone on this forum or anywhere else for that matter who can present a realistic way to achieve that other than using nuclear propulsion like the US carrier fleet.
If the idea is to be carbon neutral (leaving out other types of pollution for now) they can run on biodiesel just as well as the type that comes from the ground. I also remember seeing something about using massive sails to use less fuel.
 

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I agree with your position, but didn't Germany have fully functioning nuclear plants they decided to shut down a few years ago for flimsy reasons? They're changing alright, just in the wrong direction.
Unfortunately, yes. However, they have been heavily investing in clean renewables.
 

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If the idea is to be carbon neutral (leaving out other types of pollution for now) they can run on biodiesel just as well as the type that comes from the ground. I also remember seeing something about using massive sails to use less fuel.
Yes but with an expanding population you get into the food vs fuel conflict. We are already clearing too much forest to make way for agriculture when we should be planting more trees to help absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere.
 

prizrak

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Yes but with an expanding population you get into the food vs fuel conflict. We are already clearing too much forest to make way for agriculture when we should be planting more trees to help absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere.
Let them eat cake.
 

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Now that's the kind of news and idea that should be more widely shared. Got a link?
The actual project I had in mind because it's local: https://www.heiderefinery.com/en/press/press-detail/kerosyn100-taking-to-the-skies-with-green-fuel/

If you want to nerd about the chemistry involved, here's a thread to pull on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer–Tropsch_process
Hugely simplified, all it takes to convert hydrogen and carbon back into hydrocarbons with stored energy to release upon burning is energy. You'll of course lose energy in every step of the way, just like you lose energy charging up a battery or shipping crude oil around.
 

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Energy density means you don't have to carry as much fuel, but when you have to produce 200% of your actual energy use it doesn't play much of a role.
Sure, but we throw away a lot of energy. One could easily have a Nuclear plant generate hydrogen at off peak hours since Nuclear reactors don't have the response time to adjust their power output keep up with market demands. For renewables, it is often the case that a wind or solar farm might encounter an unforeseen wind current or sunny day, but if the grid isn't buy energy from said farms due to miscalculated weather patterns on their part, they could easily generate hydrogen and sell it later.
 

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Indeed, power to gas/liquid only makes sense when you have excess electricity because the chemical steps are more lossy. When electricity is scarce it's more efficient to charge batteries with much lower losses in vehicles that can work on batteries (e.g. medium length commuters) and use the fuel saved there in vehicles that can't work on batteries (e.g. flight, long range shipping).
 

prizrak

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That requires a robust water supply, fine in a coastal area but might be problematic somewhere more inland. There is also the problem of storage and transportation. The only real way to store H is under high pressure otherwise you end up with massive and leaky tanks.

I also see @narf's point, and this is something he mentioned years ago in a similar discussion here, it is more likely that we are going to end up with a mix of different technologies than "one right to rule them all" because of different duty cycles.
 

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Hydrogen storage is solved by not storing hydrogen. See above (16:24Z) for a more detailed explanation, with a little more energy you can turn hydrogen and carbon into liquid hydrocarbons to transport and store like you transport and store petrol.


Oh btw, you can store some hydrogen without any high pressure or liquification by injecting it into the natural gas grid. I think the German grid already gets a few percent of hydrogen byproducts from somewhere, works fine as long as you stay below some low double digit percentage that I can't be bothered to google right now :p
Our gas grid alone stores a few days' worth of gas supply, not counting tanks, caverns, etc.
 
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prizrak

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Hydrogen storage is solved by not storing hydrogen. See above (16:24Z) for a more detailed explanation, with a little more energy you can turn hydrogen and carbon into liquid hydrocarbons to transport and store like you transport and store petrol.
But then you are losing even more energy with all the conversions, what would really be the point? Might as well burn hydrocarbons directly.
 

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But then you are losing even more energy with all the conversions, what would really be the point? Might as well burn hydrocarbons directly.
The point is that you're inserting electricity into the process at the beginning, not fossil fuels. That electricity could be nuclear, renewable, pedalbikists, whatever.
As output you get high-density storable transportable energy.
 

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By now I am 85% convinced hydrogen is the way forward.

So far, every proper car company has hydrogen tech ready (fuel cells), but what is stopping the car industry is a lack of available hydrogen. Just imagine, pouring hydrogen in like petrol in 2 minutes, full range again.

So what makes me think that it will change soon?

Steel industry will try to reduce emissions by firing their ovens with hydrogen instead of coke:

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/thyssenkrupp-switch-hydrogen-based-steel-production-2050

Several companies in Germany will start trials on this in the next years.

Another example are hydrogen trains, which also already run in regular service in Germany:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/17/germany-launches-worlds-first-hydrogen-powered-train

Ships are also being tested

https://www.ship-technology.com/features/hydrogen-ship-propulsion/


So my prediction is, within 10 years, we will be able to have hydrogen available like petrol now, it is just a matter of upscaling the production, using clean energy to produce it and build a delivery network. But the demand for hydrogen worldwide is rising rapidly, so the business case gets better and better for companies to produce it.
 
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