Decarbonization of Europe‘s Primary Energy Mix

Pursuant BP-Energy Statistics Europe measuring Energy invariably in Million Tonnes Oil Equivalent Europe uses 2,000Mtoe Primary Energy (or 86 Exa Joule). Under applied conversion efficiencies for 60% thereof are allocated to 3.9PWh Electric Power just representing net 14 Exa Joule, whereof 54% are CO2-free Primary Energy and 1% Bio-Energy. However 45% Power generation emits 1.3Gt CO2 or 0.72t CO2/MWh electricity. Hence Paneuropean Electricity comes at a footprint of 0.33t CO2/MWh. Or from another perspective it can be said that the Power sector currently contributes 30% of total (fossil) CO2 emissions.

Electro-mobility at roughly 200Wh/km therefore comes at a Carbon footprint of 66g CO2/km. For Electrolysis Hydrogen mobility this would go up to 160g CO2/km. If in contrary „Grey Hydrogen“ fuel was used, it would just be 46g CO2/km. To achieve that by Paneuropean Power, CO2 footprint would have to get below 0.1t CO2/MWh (approximately the case after total phase out of coal power without increasing Natural Gas Power generation). For comparison current European emission standards for [ICE] Internal Combustion Engines shall decrease from current gas/oil vehicles at >100g/km to 95g/Km in2020 and 2025 81g/km resspectively 56g/km in 2030. Hence for a start even „Grey Hydrogen“ Mobility could comply 2030 targets and save 5.4t CO2 per Tonne of Hydrogen!

By the way the indicator of CO2 savings per Tonne of Hydrogen made available for specific sectors might be an interesting benchmark! In Expert-language called the CO2 Multiplier of Hydrogen, might give best orientation in what to focus on to prevent de-industrialization by de-carbonization. Otherwise the dilemma between Paris COP21 commitment penalties and hypocritical non holistic paradigms, never scalable sufficiently in time will potentially kill Europe‘s social achievements! For instance the CO2 Multiplier for steel industry would be 14t CO2/t Hydrogen! We could start right now with any „Gray“ or „Blue“ Hydrogen (produced by pre- (or post) production Carbon (dioxide) Capture to take out the time pressure for „Green“ Hydrogen sources. Burning „Grey Hydrogen“ in stead of (Natural Gas) Methane on the other hand can just save 2t CO2/t. Using it in a „cold oxydation“ for Fuel Cell electricity 0.44t CO2/MWh or 6.4t CO2/t „Grey Hydrogen“.

European unity spirit has been suffering substantially under last 15 years‘ dominance of German interests. Automotive industry protectionist policies vis a vis US emission regulations even formed the basis for Diesel-Gate. During the last decade Germany’s praised Renewable Energy Law built rank growth of capacities irrespective of locations and adequacy of available transmission lines. Unsatisfactory utilization ratios therefore forwarded electrolysis developments. In compensation for loss of business from Germany’s political Nuclear Exit potentially affected domestic conglomerates were given explicit political support without anybody daring to ask twice where and how electrolysis should be applied. From a European context, the meanwhile excogigated „All Electric“ paradigm completely neglecting any water related sustainability issues have ironically given Nuclear Power new perspectives. Tragically irrational concepts of „Carbon Neutral“ firing carbonaceous matter already in the planetosphere repressed any progress in usage-efficiency improvements. Question is what sense does it make to develop new expensive „Carbon-free“ infrastructures while increasing lavishly inefficient or even non-used matter discharging its Carbon into atmosphere in any case? So far EU-definitions of Bio-Economy have not even recognized such „Green Carbon“ as resource for its objectives.

In other words, whatever has been held out as Climate Actions was driven by other interests than developing Clean Affordable Energy for All [SDG7]. Responding to „Fridays for Future“ and „Climate Rebells“ protests by offering more of that same missrepresentation of SDG13 will indebt policy even deeper on Future Generations! Of course the so far strongest motive for all this contrariness is large conglomerates‘ and infrastructure sovereigns‘ existing assets‘ impairment or obsolescence defence. It will happen anyhow once Europe will have waited until e.g. China will have demonstrated its Low-Carbon Eco-civilization – but then it will be too late to compensate employment losses by employment from the new potential qualitative growth sectors, as climate action delinquencies will force Europe to import the equipment embodying its Technologies disregarded domestically since already a decade which by then will be topped with no more to catch up cummulated experiences.

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