More useless energy policies
The Australian Minister for Promoting Useless Energy thinks hydrogen fuel, carbon capture and storage, soil carbon, and biofuels are priorities for energy policy and greenhouse gas reduction.
If that's the best our leaders can come up with, Australia should have voted Green last election to speed the inevitable recession and blackouts that will eventually kill this tsunami of energy nonsense.
"Hydrogen" does not supply net energy — burning it can return some of the energy used to produce it from hydrocarbons or electrolysis of water. It is an expensive, explosive gas that makes less sense than Snowy 2 — more energy in than out!
Moreover, we have no infrastructure that can safely store, distribute, or use hydrogen in our transport fleet, energy network, or smelters. Governments should not force energy consumers or taxpayers to promote Canberra's thought bubbles — let the "green hydrogen" entrepreneurs risk their own or shareholders' money.
"Carbon capture and storage" is another dumb idea. To capture CO2 emissions from coal, gas, or biomass power stations consumes a lot of energy to separate, store, pipe, and pump it underground (hoping it will stay there). It would be far better to leave non-polluting CO2 in the lower atmosphere and surround every power station with crops and forests hungry for the CO2 plant food so essential to their growth.
Trying to extract CO2 from the atmosphere is even dumber because the mighty oceans will quickly release CO2 from their huge stores to restore equilibrium between atmosphere and oceans. Even if it could be done, it is a bad idea — why steal plant food from grass, crops, and forests?
"Soil carbon" is green-speak for what every sensible pastoralist tries to do — increase the humus and biological activity in soil. The quickest way to do this is via keyline/contour ripping to retain water in the soil (as shown in Australia by P.A. Yeoman) and by managed periodic heavy impact of grazing animals to promote pasture growth (as shown in Africa by Alan Savory). But it is total nonsense to turn "carbon farming" into a costly rural rort run by a bureaucracy of soil-samplers and modelers who think it will cool the climate.
"Biofuels" are another way to waste energy, food crops, and trees to do jobs better done by coal, gas and oil — a crime against humanity and the environment.
If our Minister for Promoting Useless Energy is determined to sequester and store carbon, there is only one sensible way: restore the forestry industry. Harvest mature forest trees for poles, posts, sleepers, paper, cardboard, or dance floors. Then replant with new trees. Young trees grow rapidly and extract much CO2. But old trees reach a stage of carbon equilibrium when the CO2 they extract in summer is equal to what they lose as leaves, branches, and trunks fall to frosts, droughts, bushfires, and termites.