Andrew Forrest on renewable energy sources, clean hydrogen, climate

To deal with runaway world warming, politicians should look past catchphrases like “clear hydrogen” and perceive the analysis behind renewable power sources earlier than making selections, Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest instructed CNBC.

“I am asking them to do the tutorial evaluation and analysis. Simply do not fall, like we’re in Australia and internationally, for the short sound bites like ‘clear hydrogen,'” Forrest mentioned Thursday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.”

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

What’s clear hydrogen?

Hydrogen is a “versatile energy carrier” which may also help meet completely different power challenges, in line with the Worldwide Vitality Company. It has a variety of functions and may be deployed to assist scale back carbon emissions in sectors like long-haul transport, chemical compounds, iron and metal.

Hydrogen may be produced in various methods and from nearly all power assets — a method 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 “inexperienced” or “clear” hydrogen.

Photo voltaic panels within the Indian state of Karnataka.

Jonas Gratzer | LightRocket | Getty Photographs

Whereas 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 liable for emissions of round 830 million tons of carbon dioxide a 12 months — equal to the emissions of the U.Okay. and Indonesia mixed, in line with the IEA.

“In the event you actually wish to cease world warming within the time frame when it should be most harmful, the following 20 years, then we must be encouraging inexperienced hydrogen straightaway,” Forrest mentioned.

There’s additionally a push by the fossil gasoline sector for carbon sequestration — the method of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide as a approach to deal with world warming, in line with Forrest. However most of these makes an attempt are inclined to fail, he mentioned.

We have to keep in mind the Stone Age did not finish as a result of we ran out of stones, we have to keep in mind that [renewable energy] is a greater supply of gasoline.

Andrew Forrest

Fortescue Chairman

This 12 months, the world’s main local weather scientists delivered their starkest warning yet about the deepening climate crisis. The much-anticipated report by the U.N.’s local weather panel mentioned that limiting world warming to shut to 1.5°C and even 2°C above pre-industrial ranges “shall be past attain” within the subsequent 20 years with out fast, fast and large-scale reductions in greenhouse fuel emissions.

The 1.5°C threshold is essential as a result of past this degree, there may very well be an irreversible change within the local weather system, locking in additional world heating.

Energy crunch

Learn extra about clear power from CNBC Professional

“Whereas there are energy shortages, do not be fooled into considering that’s from renewable power,” he mentioned. “With out that renewable power feeding into the grid, and feeding into all of the sources of consumption, yeah we might be in actual bother.”

The world wants management in its push to deploy capital and assets into growing renewable electrical energy and shift away from fossil gasoline, mentioned Forrest.

“We have to keep in mind the Stone Age did not finish as a result of we ran out of stones, we have to keep in mind that this can be a higher supply of gasoline. That is utterly carbon free. It is infinite. Let’s get after it,” he added. | Andrew Forrest on renewable power sources, clear hydrogen, local weather


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