German energy storage expert Dirk Uwe Sauer recommends that relatively wealthier countries like Germany and Canada start investing $10 per person annually on hydrogen technology.
For Germany, that would add up to approximately $33 billion over the next 40 years.
For Sauer, hydrogen is the way to store renewable energy in the future. Pumped hydro is too limited by geography. Batteries can only provide short-term relief, measured in hours. Hydrogen gas is therefore really the only realistic option left.
He imagines huge installations, where excess energy from the grid is used in the electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen gas, which is then stored in underground caverns with some 500 million cubic metres of volume. The hydrogen can then be used in fuel cells or converted to methane for conventional gas turbine generators.
This approach will cost more than what we are paying at the moment, but it is the way to go if we are to reduce carbon emissions.
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