Enel inaugurates hydrogen-driven power station

Jul 12, 2010
CEO and General Manager of ENEL, Fulvio Conti is pictured during the 'Ambrosetti' economic and financial workshop at Lake Como in Italy in September 2009. Enel has inaugurated a hydrogen-driven power station that it said was the world's first such facility to produce energy in significant amounts.

Italian group Enel on Monday inaugurated a hydrogen-driven power station that it said was the world's first such facility to produce energy in significant amounts.

It described the plant, in Fusina near Venice, as "a first step" in the development of hydrogen as a non-polluting energy source.

The hydrogen used is a by-product captured from refining operations at a nearby petrochemical installation.

The 16-megawatt Fusina power station produces energy for around 20,000 homes but spares the environment the emission of more than 17,000 tonnes of greenhouse carbon dioxide gas per year, according to Enel.

The station, built with an investment of 50 million euros (63 million dollars), "is the first step on a path that will lead us to a significant development over the next few years," said Enel general director Fulvio Conti.

He added that it would likely be decades before hydrogen-powered electricity could be considered financially competitive. At the moment, electricity generated by is five to six times more expensive than that produced by conventional means.

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User comments : 10

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Eikka
2 / 5 (3) Jul 12, 2010
The energy is still coming off of the petroleum. Without the petroleum products, no hydrogen. With petroleum products, CO2 is released.

The whole hydrogen deal is just greenwashing. Hydrogen is not an energy source, just like batteries aren't.
holoman
1 / 5 (1) Jul 12, 2010
The technology used by Enel and others producing hydrogen is ancient technology, inefficient, and doesn't do anything for environment.
Sanescience
1.3 / 5 (3) Jul 12, 2010
A hydrogen economy would be a boon to giant corporations who want to build vastly expensive infrastructure funded by tax dollars.

Bio fuels, especially bio-diesel, will re-use our current infrastructure, maintain jobs and expertise of millions of auto mechanics and industrial workers, and allow regular people to work on their own cars themselves.

Bio fuels are within sight, using non-food crop competing hydroponic algae and cyanobacteria, urban waste reclamation via depolymerization, and cellulose conversion of vast crop waste products (like corn and wheat stalks) or purpose grown crops on marginal non-food competing land (like switch-grass).
Sanescience
1.3 / 5 (3) Jul 12, 2010
Oh, also, microbial electrosynthesis is showing promise:

"Researchers Developing Potentially 'Transformative' Method to Produce Clean, Green Biofuels"

http://www.physor...765.html

"requires no biomass feedstock or arable land, uses far less water and requires no elaborate post-production fermentation, for example. And, once established, the microbial cells and electrode food sources don’t get used up, so they are more than 90 percent efficient at turning electrons into fuel without further processing"

DaveMart
2 / 5 (3) Jul 13, 2010
Biofuels of all sorts use phosphates. These are a limited resource with only a few concentrated sources.
Since phosphates are essential to grow food I would rather walk to the shop to buy food than drive there to discover it did not have any.
DGBEACH
5 / 5 (1) Jul 13, 2010
*Eikka* Petroleum use will not go away for a long time still, this is just one way to mitigate the nasty affects the refining has on the environment. Once we have completely moved on to synthetic plastics and electric-based propulsion systems only then will we see the earth start to heal itself...won't be during our lifetimes though, unfortunately.
MichaelExe
not rated yet Jul 13, 2010
Hydrogen is not an energy source, just like batteries aren't.


E=mc^2 and NUKULAR FEWGEON.
david_42
not rated yet Jul 13, 2010
"The hydrogen used is a by-product captured from refining operations at a nearby petrochemical installation."

Which is most likely from the cracking of natural gas. This wastes 75% of the energy.
Sanescience
1 / 5 (1) Jul 13, 2010
DaveMart: You didn't understand a work I wrote except "biofuel", did you? Your comment shows complete lack of critical thinking. You, sir, behave as an ill informed lemming.

MichaelExe: Yes, hydrogen may some day power fusion power plants, but not any time soon. The referenced Hydrogen Economy, has a specific meaning and it is not hydrogen used as fuel for fusion processes.
Shootist
1 / 5 (2) Jul 17, 2010
Hydrogen is not an energy source, just like batteries aren't.


E=mc^2 and NUKULAR FEWGEON.


Yeah.

H2 is not an energy source for chemical reactions. It costs more energy to produce H2, whether from water or ammonia than will ever be obtained from its combustion.
Shootist
Jul 17, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.