UK prepares to make ‘big bet’ on hydrogen power

英国准备在氢能源上“下大赌注”



(英国准备发展的氢能源火车)
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The three specially built uninhabited properties have been fitted with boilers running entirely on hydrogen, rather than the natural gas that heats most UK homes — which are responsible for nearly a fifth of the country’s carbon emissions.

这三座特别建造的无人住宅安装了完全以氢为燃料的锅炉,而不是为大多数英国家庭供暖的天然气——英国近五分之一的碳排放来都自天然气。

Boris Johnson, prime minister, this week will lay out his plans for a “green industrial revolution”, and has pledged to make a “big bet” on technologies such as hydrogen, which is emerging as an area of global interest as countries adopt targets to halt carbon emissions.

英国首相鲍里斯·约翰逊本周将公布他的“绿色工业革命”计划,并承诺在氢燃料等技术上“下大赌注”。随着各国制定减排目标,氢燃料正成为全球关注的一个领域。

The Cumbrian trial, led by energy consultancy DNV GL, is one of many hydrogen projects under development in the UK as it joins other countries, such as Japan and Germany, in researching whether the gas could remove emissions from some of the most polluting sectors of the economy — including heating, heavy industry and long-distance transport.

由能源咨询公司挪威船级社牵头的坎布里亚试验项目,是英国正在开发的众多氢能源项目之一,由于它也加入了日本和德国等其他国家的行列,研究这种气体能否消除一些污染最严重的经济领域的排放——包括供暖、重工业和长途运输。

“Hydrogen has been with us as an industrial gas that is widely used for 100 years or more. What has changed ….. is a growing realisation that it could play a really important part in decarbonisation,” said Jon Maddy, director of the hydrogen centre at the University of South Wales and a member of the UK government’s hydrogen advisory council.

南威尔士大学氢研究中心主任、英国政府氢能咨询委员会成员乔恩·马迪称:“氢气作为一种工业气体已经被广泛使用了100多年。改变的是……人们越来越认识到氢可以在脱碳过程中发挥真正重要的作用,”

This has not gone unnoticed by researchers in Cumbria. “Very quickly we discovered an amazing level of interest [in the trial],” said Hari Vamadevan, head of DNV GL’s oil and gas operations in the UK.

坎布里亚郡的研究人员并没有忽视这一点。挪威船级社英国油气业务负责人哈里·万马德万表示:“我们很快就发现(人们对这项试验)有惊人的兴趣。”

Although hydrogen has long been used in industrial processes, such as the manufacture of petroleum products, currently it is largely derived from fossil fuels and is responsible for 830m tonnes of carbon emissions a year globally — equivalent to emissions of the UK and Indonesia combined, according to the International Energy Agency.

尽管氢长期被用于工业过程中,比如石油产品的生产,目前,它主要来源于化石燃料,每年造成全球8.3亿吨碳排放——根据国际能源机构的数据,这相当于英国和印尼的排放量之和。

Governments and companies now want to produce the fuel without releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — either through the electrolysis of water (known as “green” hydrogen) or by capturing and safely securing carbon emissions when it is produced from natural gas (“blue” hydrogen).

政府和企业现在希望在生产这种燃料时不将二氧化碳排放到大气中——要么是通过电解水(被称为“绿色”氢),要么是通过捕获和安全保护由天然气生产氢过程中的碳排放(“蓝色”氢)。

Supporters of this so-called clean hydrogen argue it could provide a neat answer to slashing emissions from areas such as heating and long-distance transport because it may not require behavioural change.

这种所谓的“清洁氢”的支持者认为,它可以为减少诸如供暖和长途运输等领域的排放提供一个简洁的答案,因为它可能不需要改变人们的行为。

“We’ve done a lot of research . . . that says one of the biggest things customers don’t want is disruption,” said Tim Harwood, who is in charge of hydrogen projects at Northern Gas Networks, which owns local gas grids in north-east England.

“我们做了很多研究……这说明客户最不希望看到的事情之一就是打乱习惯,” 蒂姆·哈伍德说,他在北方天然气网络公司负责氢项目,该公司拥有英格兰东北部的地方天然气网。

“If the government would mandate hydrogen-ready boilers for instance . . . they are easily convertible to hydrogen when the time comes by just simply changing a few small parts and probably half an hour disruption.”

“例如,如果政府要求使用氢锅炉的话……时机一到,它们就可以很容易地转换成氢气,只需要改变几个小部件,可能只需要半个小时的时间。”

Industries such as chemicals and steel that require high heat currently have few options other than hydrogen to replace fossil fuels, say experts.

专家们表示,化工和钢铁等需要高温的行业目前除了氢以外几乎没有其他替代化石燃料的选择。



“We need to see at least some indication of a business model before we start spending the large money,” said Ms Tveit.

特维特表示:“在我们开始投入大笔资金之前,我们至少需要看到某种商业模式的迹象。”


UK ministers have promised to respond “early” next year, while a long-awaited energy white paper, expected before Christmas, will also include plans for hydrogen. “Hydrogen has the potential to be a vital part of the UK’s future net zero energy mix,” said the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

英国的部长们承诺将在明年“早些时候”做出回应,而期待已久的能源白皮书也将包括氢燃料的计划,预计将在圣诞节前发布。英国商业、能源和工业战略部表示:“氢气有潜力成为英国未来零能耗组合的重要组成部分。”



He believes hydrogen is likely to have “niche” uses and would potentially be most useful for decarbonising heavy industry or for storing renewable-produced electricity for longer periods than batteries.

他认为,氢很可能有“小范围”用途,并且可能在重工业脱碳,或者比电池能更长期存储可再生电力方面最有用。

“I think we are totally carried away,” said Mr Lowes. “The trouble is we just don’t know at the moment because it’s never been done and there all of these uncertainties.”

“我认为我们完全被冲昏了头脑,”洛斯表示。“问题是我们目前还不知道,因为从来没有这样做过,还有所有这些不确定因素。”

Rather than count on hydrogen for heating, companies such as British Gas have backed the rollout of electric heat pumps in homes, saying it is “not clear when hydrogen will be ready for domestic use”.

英国天然气公司等公司支持在家庭中推出电动热泵,而不是依靠氢来取暖,它们表示,“还不清楚氢何时能用于家庭使用”。

Back in Cumbria, those involved in the hydrogen testing project said concerns, such as those of Mr Lowes and others will only be answered through trials.

回到坎布里亚郡,那些参与氢测试项目的人表示,洛斯等人的担忧只有通过试验才能得到解答。