The Dirtiest Power Project in the World

And why it’s a good idea

Rosemary Barnes
Climate Conscious

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An old coal gasification plant (Canva)

Could you come up with a more emissions-intensive way to generate electricity than the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC)’s newly operating pilot plant? Situated in Australia’s Latrobe Valley in Victoria, they take brown coal, gasify it to make hydrogen, and release the CO2* into the atmosphere without carbon capture. Then they truck the hydrogen gas to a port 160 km away, use one-third of its energy contents to liquify it, and ship the liquid hydrogen 8000 km to Kobe, Japan where the eventual plan is to use whatever hydrogen remains after conversion losses** and leakage to run fuel cell cars or generate electricity. Vastly more complex than simply shipping the coal and using that to make electricity, and with far higher CO2 emissions too.

The HESC project is complicated and dirty (Rosemary Barnes)
The standard coal supply chain is simpler and cleaner than the HESC plan (Rosemary Barnes)

Yet I — an engineer who’s spent her whole career fighting climate change — think it’s a great idea.

I am not even joking.

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Rosemary Barnes
Climate Conscious

Clean technology development consultant | “Engineering with Rosie” on YouTube bit.ly/3hVkrLb