The problem of hydrogen completely replacing all forms of fossil fuels in the global energy industry (and, by extension, the economy) is now gaining strategic importance. If experts’ predictions of substantial success of the new global trend in the next 15 years, and absolute success by the turn of 2040-2050, are accurate, the whole world economy will undergo a profound shift.
According to OPEC figures from 2018, the global economy used 98.7 million barrels of oil per day for all purposes. 44.4 million barrels were spent on motor transportation, 13.4 million on petrochemicals, 12.8 million on industry, 6.5 million on aviation, 4.9 million on electric power, 4.1 million on sea transport, 1.8 million on railway and other forms of transportation, and 10.8 million barrels on other requirements.
All of these components, with the exception of petrochemicals and, most likely, other necessities, will be effectively replaced with hydrogen, according to advocates of the “new energy transition.” This means a 76 percent reduction in worldwide demand for “black gold,” resulting in the collapse of the oil industry and the economy of all countries whose economies are heavily reliant on oil income.
Similar prospects exist for coal, whose consumption is expected to decline to zero, and natural gas, whose global consumption of 3.918 trillion cubic meters (Rystad Energy data for 2020) accounts for more than 65 percent of electricity generation (24 percent of total global electricity generation) and provides heat to the population.
The rest is used to make plastics and other chemical goods, so it will continue to exist even in the worst-case scenario. However, this will result in a multiple, several-fold, and avalanche in temporal rates, as well as a reduction in demand for “blue fuel,” with severe economic and geopolitical repercussions, comparable to the effects of “oil refusal.”
On the other hand, proponents of “total hydrogen energy” overlook the apparent realities and, in some cases, even the rules of physics in their plans and projections. The majority of their calculations are based on expectations, which are mostly based on populist and political factors, which are sometimes combined to the point of full indistinguishability.
As a result, a detailed structural study of the problem of hydrogen energy’s genuine possibilities and their influence on the Russian Federation’s long-term political and economic strategy is required.
The idea of “hydrogen energy” has ideological requirements.
The formal justification for the “world’s desire to convert to hydrogen” is the necessity to prevent global warming. Despite the fact that the scientific estimates used in its explanation show significant bias, the worldwide scientific community thinks that the average global temperature is rising, which leads to large-scale global changes. From the rise in real average temperature and the resulting change in climatic zones to the melting of glaciers, which results in an increase in the world ocean’s level.
Venice may vanish off the face of the Earth if its level increases by one meter; if it rises by two meters, Amsterdam and 80 percent of the Netherlands’ area would be submerged. With a rise of 2.5 meters, Hamburg and other German towns lying on the Elbe floodplain, up to 100 kilometers from the current shoreline, will be entirely flooded.
S.Petersburg faces a same destiny. Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, New Orleans, and other US towns will be “washed away” along a strip up to 200 kilometers inland if the sea level rises by 3 meters. London and the great bulk of the British Isles will be submerged if the sea level rises by 5.5 meters. Shanghai and 70% of Western Europe will “wash away” at 6.5 meters. The negative repercussions of this procedure will have a significant impact on Russian Federation territory.
It is reasonable to anticipate that a large portion of the world’s population will suffer as a result of all of the above. According to projections, in the third quarter of this century, three-quarters of Europe’s population and the great majority of Africans would have to relocate because, if the world ocean’s level rises by 7 meters or more, the whole center section of the continent will become the sea. The magnitude of the economic and humanitarian destruction makes a precise estimate impossible.
Although there is no total agreement among scientists on this topic, it is officially accepted that global industry, which releases around 33 gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere and is the primary contributor to the development of the “greenhouse effect,” is to blame. As a result, it is decided that emissions must be significantly reduced, ideally to zero. Steel manufacturing and other energy-intensive industrial operations, primarily in the energy industry.
The notion of “hydrogen energy” has political and economic requirements.
Aside from “environmental protection,” there are two additional compelling grounds for a required “transition to hydrogen.” The first is a financial one.
In instance, the total value of the European Union’s goods and services exports in 2020 was $6.27 trillion. Imports total $6.21 trillion. The European economy is losing profitability as a result of the depletion of open markets for economic expansion, economic sanctions, and other causes. Furthermore, energy carriers account for roughly a third of import prices, with foreign sources accounting for 75 percent of overall EU consumption and a steady trend toward future increase.
According to the European Union’s political leadership, such a scenario risks destabilizing the European economy and putting the European Union at an unacceptably high danger of being fully energy dependent on oil and gas exporting countries. This might result in the EU’s political independence being lost at any time.
Furthermore, an attempt to shift European energy “to gas” in order to reduce “oil dependence,” which reached 86% in 2015, and then the implementation of the European Energy Charter, which aimed to shift gas trade from long-term contracts with fixed obligations to “free market relations,” both failed. Current European gas hub quotations have risen to $838.2 per thousand cubic meters, which is three times more than the typical safe level and is utterly detrimental to the European economy as a whole.
In the United States, a comparable situation exists, albeit it differs somewhat in key areas.
As a result, the Western world is increasingly convinced of the necessity for an early transition to another energy source that Europe and the United States could independently generate in infinite amounts. As a result, all energy carriers will be imported no more.
Furthermore, the notion of “converting to clean energy for the sake of the environment” sets the conditions for the collective West to reclaim global control over the rest of the globe by imposing a “carbon tax” on other nations.
Its basic premise is to impose extra import tariffs on any items and services that are associated with the usage of “dirty” energy sources and/or raw materials. According to available sources, if Europe implements such a measure, it will result in a 16 percent rise in taxes on Russian items sent to the EU. According to various estimates, they will result in a loss of profitability of Russian exports to Europe of between 1.1 and 7 billion euros per year. We will lose €655 million in profit on iron and steel exports, €398 million on nitrogen fertiliser exports, and gas and oil supplies may be entirely cut off.
However, reducing everything to money is not the best approach. The carbon tax will allow the West to essentially choke any rival country’s economy, lowering its profitability and, as a result, raising poverty levels in that country. To the point that these states’ capacity to fulfill their social commitments to the populace is jeopardized.
In effect, the carbon price becomes a type of “poverty tax,” causing the gap between the living standards of “clean Western nations” and the “filthy others” to widen. And, because poverty will force the “losers” to stay within the framework of “dirty,” but less expensive, energy, they will lose financial resources for technological modernisation and will be forced to become a financial colony of the Western world, because there will simply be no one else to sell goods and services to them. The circle will be complete when economic backwardness begins to preserve the technological one, which in turn strengthens the economic one.
In reality, technological imperialism will emerge as a result of this. In terms of the global climate agenda, the first world nations have chosen such a political and technological tool to exert pressure on the remainder. Because the technology has been tried and proven to be effective, the “green” agenda will only grow in prominence.
Steps to put the “hydrogen economy” concept into practice in the EU
It’s worth noting that, as previously said, the notion of “hydrogen energy” includes two connected aspects: geopolitical and political-economic.
Despite the collective West’s stated unity, the United States is doing very little to execute it in practice. Their major goal is to take control of the e-commerce industry.