What Is Blue Gas? Investment Hype Or Something Credible

Blue gas

 

What is Blue Gas?

It appears that the success of Tesla while silencing a lot of naysayers has given some marketers ideas to conjure up, investments that could deliver Tesla-like yields.  Tesla is so successful that every car manufacturer has jumped onto the EV bandwagon. So now, a new fuel called blue gas is being marketed as the battery killer.  The technology that is being marketed as nothing but hydrogen, albeit blue hydrogen and the sales point is that it does not emit any harmful emissions.

So what makes it blue, well, it is created from a carbon-neutral process as opposed to the grey or regular hydrogen.  According to woodside.com, this is how blue hydrogen is manufactured

Blue hydrogen is made from our natural gas through the process of steam methane reforming (SMR). While CO emissions are generated during SMR, we are committed to managing these through market offset or technical abatement to offer a carbon-neutral product. Green hydrogen is produced from water using renewable power.

Elon Musk’s take on Blue Gas

He seems to think the concept of blue gas is mind-boggling stupid and instead of being called fuel cells they should carry the label of “fool cells”

Arval, part of the French bank BNP Paribas Group, lists the following positives and negatives:

  • Faster refuelling compared with charging an electric car – 3 to 5 minutes just like a gasoline vehicle.
  • No harmful emissions; only water.
  • Impressive range of around 300 miles, on a par with conventional vehicles.
  • Good efficiency levels; fuel cell powertrains are much more efficient at getting energy out of hydrogen than traditional cars are at getting energy out of gasoline or diesel.

The negative factors are:

  • Refuelling locations are sparse.
  • Although the cost of fueling a hydrogen car would be similar to traditional fuels, developing the technology isn’t cheap, nor is storing or moving hydrogen itself.
  • The electricity must be renewable otherwise there is no CO2 gain. Forbes

Blue Gas is not economically viable for now

The falling cost of producing hydrogen from renewable power offers a promising route to cutting emissions, but governments need to step in and provide $150 billion of subsidies over the next decade to scale up the technology, according to research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).  Reuters, However, the massive losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic mean that such an idea is now moot as few governments are going to look to fund something that might or might not be viable after the damage wrecked by the coronavirus.

Why Electric trucks will be the future of the trucking industry

Adding a scenario of an electric truck with a 400-kilometre range, Hoekstra found that “it blew diesel and hydrogen out of the water with very little downsides” while adding that “Catenary is great too but requires international institutional cooperation” – a result Hoekstra is not holding his breath over.

The conclusion of Hoekstra’s research, based on a modern truck needing on average 1.3kWh/km and studies of how companies around the Port of Rotterdam drive, was that “a 1.3*750=975 kWh or 1 MWh battery can provide almost all trucks with the means to drive all day and charge overnight in the garage.”

This, of course, warrants questions about weight, but by redesigning trucks with electric motors close to the wheels, you save 3 tonnes using a 1MWh battery weighing in at 6 tonnes. thedriven

If Blue Gas was a threat, experts would not need to hype it up

If blue gas was a viable option, then there would be no need to come out with bombastic pitches. The hype surrounding blue gas is huge; it appears that most of the experts are high on some illegal substance for no sane mind could honestly attach their name to some of the claims being put forward.

For example, despite all the nonsense being pushed out that blue gas will mark the death of Tesla, nothing has happened so far. Take a look at TSLA’s stock price, does it look like investors are running away from Tesla. On the contrary, they can’t seem to get enough and the stock’s performance over the past several years, especially post coronavirus is a clear reflection that investors feel that the outlook for TSLA is very bright.

EV’s vs Hydrogen Fuel cells

EV’s have the advantage of being first. Hydrogen fuel cell-based vehicles will need to play catchup and that’s if they even make it to the starting line.  The cost of EV’s continues to drop as batteries become more efficient and cheaper to produce. Telsa is ready to produce a million-mile battery and push the cost of down to $100KWH

Recently, we reported Tesla has been applying for a lot of intellectual property related to battery cells, like a new electrode for its 1-million-mile battery. Tesla plans to produce this new million-mile battery itself, but it apparently also plans to have a production partner

“Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) is ready to produce a battery that lasts 16 years and 2 million kilometres (1.24 million miles), chairman Zeng Yuqun said in an interview at company headquarters in Ningde, in southeast China’s Fujian province electrek

TSLA’s is at an important junction

Tesla is moving to profitably after losing hundreds of millions for years on end.  Blue gas players are facing an uphill battle as no government is going to subsidize them in the post coronavirus world

Tesla said Wednesday that it turned a profit in the fourth quarter of 2019 and was ahead of schedule on its latest model, offering renewed confidence as it enters what could be a pivotal year.

The electric-car maker reported $105 million in net income for the quarter. Although that figure was down from the $143 million it reported for the previous quarter, investors were far from daunted. Tesla’s shares rose 12 per cent in after-hours trading. NYTimes

Blue Gas has almost no footprint compared to EV’s

Despite all the hype surrounding blue gas fuel cells, they are decidedly more expensive than the batteries used on EV’s and there is almost no filling up network for blue gas. On the other hand Charging stations for EV’s are in an uptrend.

The global Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Market is set to gain momentum from the rising number of electric vehicles across the world. It would, in turn, affect the capabilities of charging stations, namely, load profiles, generation capacity, and transformer loading levels. Additionally, technological advancement in wide-area communication technology would affect the market positively. This information is provided by Fortune Business Insights™ in a recently published report, titled, “Global Electric Vehicle Charging Station Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Charger Type (Fast, Slow/ Moderate), By Application (Commercial, Residential), and Regional Forecasts, 2019-2026.” The report further states that the Electric Vehicle Charging Station Market size is projected to reach USD 264.80 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 31.1% during the forecast period. However, it stood at USD 27.21 billion in 2018.Globenewswire

Supercharging stations are rising fast

Tesla’s network for supercharging stations continues to grow; it takes only 30 minutes to fully charge a car at these stations.  Tesla has 1,971 Supercharger Stations with 17,467 Superchargers.

Charging costs are approximate. Charging cost estimate assumes Supercharger cost of $0.26 per kilowatt-hour. Gasoline cost assumes 21 MPG for Model X and Model S and 28 MPG for Model 3 at $2.85 per gallon. Cost may vary depending on the vehicle location, configuration, battery age and condition, driving style and operation, and environmental and climate conditions. Tesla

Therefore, one can conclude that despite all the hype surrounding blue gas, the industry will need to significantly boost the supply and work on lowering the cost of production.  Hence until someone commits huge amounts of money, don’t expect any great strides from this sector and for now blue gas is a long shot.

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