Letter: Why transporting hydrogen by truck is self-defeating

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In relation to your story “Big Oil calls for realism on green transition” (Report, March 25), I would like to highlight one critical point preventing the US from reaching this more sustainable future. Currently the US Department of Energy artificially puts the transport of hydrogen over pipelines and onsite production of hydrogen at a competitive disadvantage to road transport by not accounting for the CO₂ impact of the so-called vehicle miles travelled (VMT) in the delivery of hydrogen. Every hydrogen delivery truck travels one way loaded and returns home empty. All of these delivery miles travelled today are fuelled by diesel, and DoE’s hydrogen CO₂ intensity methodology accounts for none of the emissions. As a result, hydrogen producers and potential hydrogen users do not demand pipelines or onsite production, because truck delivery is perfectly acceptable. The end results are taxpayer-funded hydrogen projects that in the near term have CO₂ footprints (from diesel-fuelled delivery) greater than the hydrocarbon-fuelled applications they were originally meant to displace. In the medium term, this effectively eliminates consideration of pipelines and onsite co-located production. Longer term, it negatively affects the economics, availability and market readiness for hydrogen. Read Full Article