Guest commentary in the Westfalenpost – Prof. Dr. Zoz about the energy turn, electromobility and CO3 emission (published on Saturday – August 3, 2013). The simultaneously published online version on the newspapers website can be found here.
A translation of the original text follows:
Concerning the energy turn, electromobility and CO2 emission
First of all it should be said in advance that it is self-evidently correct to keep the impact of us humans onto this beautiful planet as low as possible and to reduce it where applicable, too. We have seldom done the planet any good, maybe never. And in the same way it is true that fossil fuels are way too good to burn.
The Energy Turn is nothing new since man has always searched for improvement and progress. Our ancestors burned what was nearby and easy to grasp. Today we heat with fuels from far away and great depths. These fuels often become utilizable only because of complex technological understanding. So we build our way to the future with ever new technologies to bridge the gap.
If we finish the thought with our human brain the wellbeing of our power supply can only be found in the sun (and not in the moon and stars). The sun accounts for insolation and hence also accounts for weather activities (solar, wind) and the moon for ebb and flow (tidal power plants). Geothermal energy would be a temporary bridge, since today we believe that the sun will last longer than it will take for the Earth to cool down. We should refrain from extensive biomass plants since the few areas under cultivation which we have, are way too good for that.
No-one knows if the earth will burst tomorrow or if the sun flies away next winter. And it will remain equally unproven here when the moon will collide into Earth or crumble.
Beside Germany’s core problem that unfortunately isn’t even addressed any longer (No future without children), the availability of power will definitely be the crucial technological basic prerequisite for the continuance and further improvement of the excellent unprecedented living conditions in this beautiful country.
And as if for lack of anything better to do we step up to shoot our own supply of energy that once was the safest and therefore best in the world, without good cause. Energy turn definitely and everywhere – but please not without a proper timeline. And if the question for the right time isn’t allowed we most certainly do something wrong. Likewise I really hope that we agree on that an energy turn will not happen (yet) if we would starve or freeze over it.
By what right does someone believe to be allowed to impoverish us here in Germany because two dozens of nuclear piles need to be switched off while elsewhere in the world hundreds of nuclear plants are maintained, planned and built.
And it isn’t enough to focus on further extension of solar- and wind power hoping that it will suffice sometime. The sun won’t start shining at night and the wind won’t blow permanently just because of that!
Hence we need vast amounts of energy storage – a fact which we strangely enough only realize today. And now please not hydropower again. Hydropower is good and right but all of Germany’s hydropower would suffice for less than 30 minutes to maintain this country.
And yet it is the electro mobility that is perfectly obvious as a solution of the problem. Regenerative-electric driving does not only mean saving precious fossil fuels considerably but also having gigantic energy storage available.
But for this please not again the astronomical scenario of millions of battery-driven vehicles all standing wired in parking blocks and start smoldering in Munich when steel is made in Duisburg.
To the best of my belief hydrogen can provide the solution. It offers the opportunity to store energy non-toxically and comparably economically in masses. Incidentally a car driving with hydrogen is also on the way “electromobile”. Everyone is talking about this kind of hydrogen generation while using regenerative excess energy by now as “Power to Gas”, which unfortunately is somewhat misguided – or rather – not sufficient. Even here you have to think it through to the end.
Converting wind- or solar power to hydrogen (by electrolysis) with subsequent reconversion to power would mean an energetic fiasco and we all don’t want to experience how for example natural gas from Russia or Azerbaijan becomes so expensive that the aforementioned procedure might be commercially profitable.
The way things are at the wall socket we are currently used to pay only a fraction of what we usually pay for the same amount of energy at the gas station. Hence, if we manage to replace not “cheap electricity” but “expensive fuel” with hydrogen we would already have won today.
Through the usage of fuel so much gross margin much would roll in that the stationary reconversion to electricity (Power to Gas) can be covered with it. Hence it should be called: “Power to Gas to Fuel” ! And maybe that is exactly why the company Zoz is nominated for the Deutscher Umweltpreis 2013 (German Environmental Price 2013) for “Power to Gas to Fuel”.
From an energetic perspective driving with “regenerative hydrogen” makes for a fiasco. The bad energy efficiency of <40 % is often used as a knock-out criterion for “hydrogen” (incidentally the combustion engine has about the same), but is in fact immaterial. The whole scenario is based on the fact that we are not to think about energetic but only economic efficiency. It may not play a role and in fact it doesn’t play a role how much hydrogen we waste on the way because we can produce comparably endless availability of regenerative energies. At the end of the calculation the hydrogen-fuel may/should not be more expensive than gasoline. And that that matters because in comparison we don’t spend any resources and don’t emit any pollutants. The model calculation testifies profitability because gasoline is so expensive.
And it would be neat if all of that could happen today and tomorrow. The day after tomorrow would probably be enough, too. All the nonsense concerning future and environment that mostly self-pronounced experts ram into us reminds me of the cold war. People who are scared are generally easier to be manipulated. Of course I am addressing the climate treaties and the IPCC. What the gentlemen in Nairobi, Kyoto and elsewhere basically think up provides them with power over trillions of Euro or Dollar. And the politics that declare the so-called realization as true and God-given without verifying it procure the same power for themselves.
I claim that we as humanity don’t know the correlation between CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and the change of temperature in the atmosphere. That means we don’t know, if we have to report an increase in CO2 and as a result global warming, or if it becomes warmer for other reasons (does it?) and as a result the CO2 concentration increases. Hence it could very well be possible that CO2 doesn’t harm anything or anyone in this world and it could as well be possible that our influence on global warming is marginal to non-existant. Please anybody step up to refute this for me !
And as long as we don’t know that at all, I consider it irresponsible and in part reprehensible to spend trillions of Euros to spend exactly for that while we could probably appease the hunger in the world and upgrade every homeless in Germany and elsewhere to a luxury villa with a small part of the money.
To my great joy (and also surprise) our green federal state environment minister confirmed aforementioned thesis during a panel discussion last year. He said literally: “Zoz is right (actually the question came from the audience), but it isn’t 50:50 but 90:10” (50:50 means: we don’t know it and 90:10 is probably supposed to mean: we don’t know for sure).
At this point just one of the many examples for how much of a fool they want to take us: worst-case scenario – the polar ice caps melt – save yourself if you can! If all of the ice cap of the North Pole (not South Pole) melts away, when considered in isolation, the sea level won’t increase but first decrease and then return to the base level – because the cap of the North Pole swims! For all those who don’t know about the physical law of negative thermal expansion of water a practical experiment is recommended: take a glass of water, let ice cubes swim in the water and mark the filling level. Wait until the ice has melted and determine an unchanged filling level.
Apart from that without the on all sides bedeviled CO2 no blade of grass grows. If only we had more CO2 – the world would be considerably greener! Where did the ozone hole go to and where’s the forest decline got to? And where is Global Warming? Last winter was way too cold, to long and to dark for me.
The Energy Turn is right, emission saving of any kind is right, electro mobility is right – but please everything with sense and reason and without unreasonable, unnecessary and probably false horror scenarios. In this sense please also without a climate protection manager of the municipality of Wenden, who literally implied a connection between a hurricane in Brandenburg and the (alleged) fact, that “too many big Porsches” are driving around in Wenden, to the citizens of Wenden. I was there myself and ask politely for forbearance – but no one needs anything of that sort!
Sgd. Henning Zoz, 02.08.2013
End of the publication
Conclusion for Zoz Energy
If you want to say something about a topic, you should deal with it, too. If you want to reveal that a “subsidy business” is wrong, the best thing you can to is to get yourself subsidized and to demonstrate and prove it. But that is only a very small part of the whole issue this is about. To support renewable energies was and is entirely correct in principle – but in my opinion distinctly exaggerated and quasi gotten out of course. Unfortunately this applies both tactically and strategically. Strategically we are missing energy storage and the pursuit of lucrative target markets. And none of these needs to be that way.
Since Zoz busy themselves with “making renewable energy available base load compatible” and especially focuses on the energy carrier hydrogen and the inclusion of the fuel component, which is described exactly by the scenario “Power to Gas to Fuel”, the component “Renewably Generated Energy” constitutes a substantial building brick.
And that is exactly what we need the facilities of Zoz Energy for. And at the Zoz Technology Center in Olpe (ZTC) we already go the additional step to “Power to Gas”(economically pointless) and maybe the sole reasonable comprehensive step to Power to Gas to Fuel (P2H®, P2G2F®) using the Zoz-ZEV-Fleet in its phase II. The plans about the “Blue Oasis Sauer-/Siegerland” concerning this are well-known.
Prof. Dr. Henning Zoz in September 2014