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World NewsAndrew Forrest on renewable energy sources, clean hydrogen, climate

Andrew Forrest on renewable energy sources, clean hydrogen, climate

To sort out runaway international warming, politicians need to look past catchphrases like “clean hydrogen” and perceive the analysis behind renewable energy sources earlier than making choices, Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest instructed CNBC.

“I’m asking them to do the academic analysis and research. Just don’t fall, like we are in Australia and internationally, for the quick sound bites like ‘clean hydrogen,'” Forrest mentioned Thursday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.”

“That’s like clean coal or cancer-free tobacco,” he mentioned, including that decision-makers have to ask questions round emissions from unintended or unintended leaks, the impression of methane within the environment and carbon over the subsequent 20 years.

What is clean hydrogen?

Hydrogen is a “versatile energy carrier” which may also help meet totally different energy challenges, in keeping with the International Energy Agency. It has a variety of purposes and might be deployed to assist cut back carbon emissions in sectors like long-haul transport, chemical substances, iron and metal.

Hydrogen might be produced in quite a few methods and from nearly all energy sources — a technique is to make use of electrolysis, with an electrical present splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen. If the electrical energy comes from a renewable supply like wind or photo voltaic, then some describe it as “green” or “clean” hydrogen.

Solar panels within the Indian state of Karnataka.

Jonas Gratzer | LightRocket | Getty Images

While demand for hydrogen has grown greater than three-fold since 1975 and continues to rise, the IEA says nearly all of it’s equipped from burning fossil fuels. As such, the manufacturing of hydrogen is chargeable for emissions of round 830 million tons of carbon dioxide a yr — equal to the emissions of the U.Okay. and Indonesia mixed, in keeping with the IEA.

“If you really want to stop global warming in the period of time when it’s going to be most dangerous, the next 20 years, then we need to be encouraging green hydrogen straightaway,” Forrest mentioned.

There can be a push by the fossil gas sector for carbon sequestration — the method of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide as a option to sort out international warming, in keeping with Forrest. But most of these makes an attempt are likely to fail, he mentioned.

We want to recollect the Stone Age did not finish as a result of we ran out of stones, we have to do not forget that [renewable energy] is a greater supply of gas.

Andrew Forrest

Fortescue Chairman

This yr, the world’s main climate scientists delivered their starkest warning but in regards to the deepening climate disaster. The much-anticipated report by the U.N.’s climate panel mentioned that limiting international warming to shut to 1.5°C and even 2°C above pre-industrial ranges “will be beyond reach” within the subsequent 20 years with out instant, fast and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gasoline emissions.

The 1.5°C threshold is essential as a result of past this stage, there might be an irreversible change within the climate system, locking in additional international heating.

Power crunch

Read extra about clean energy from CNBC Pro

“While there are power shortages, don’t be fooled into thinking that is from renewable energy,” he mentioned. “Without that renewable energy feeding into the grid, and feeding into all the sources of consumption, yeah we’d be in real trouble.”

The world wants management in its push to deploy capital and sources into creating renewable electrical energy and shift away from fossil gas, mentioned Forrest.

“We need to remember the Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones, we need to remember that this is a better source of fuel. This is completely carbon free. It’s infinite. Let’s get after it,” he added.


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