Memorandum submitted by the Campaign for
a Hydrogen Economy (CHEC) (U30)
CHEC proposes two ideas both of which relate
to some degree with both the areas of interest detailed in the
Terms of Reference of the consultation (ie UK policies on greenhouse
gas reductions and role of UK Government as Chair of G8 and President
of the European Council).
1. NEED FOR
1.1 The Sahara has a massive cost-competitive
solar energy resource (solar thermal as distinct from more costly
PV). Solar thermal collectors, essentially mirrors and their structures,
covering just over 1% of the area of the Sahara could supply the
equivalent of all global electricity. Significant quantities of
drinking water would also be produced in the process.
1.2 The western plateau in Morocco is a
region where there are relatively high wind speeds. The region
could supply about 40% of the European Union's electricity.
1.3 The electricity produced by both solar
thermal and wind schemes would be transmitted in both cases by
the same cables which would form a Trans-Mediteranean Grid with
low-loss (high voltage dc cables passing underneath the Mediteranean
Sea at several locations).
1.4 The scale of the resource would enable
Europe to meet much of its energy needs of the future. The electricity
could be used to generate hydrogen for transport (including next-generation
hydrogen powered aircraft) and for storage as necessary.
1.5 The development of the Saharan renewable
energy resources could significantly improve the environmental
performance of Europe and the economic development of Saharan
Africa and further afield. Such development could reduce tensions
and unwanted migration between Africa and Europe.
1.6 Much research has been conducted by
the "TREC" Development Group (details and pdf below).
Note the group includes various partners from the African/Middle
Eastern countries rather than a European-led initiative which
may be seen as exploitative. Secretary of State Margaret Beckett
referred to this issue at the DEFRA conference on Sustainable
Development in London earlier this year in a response to a plenary
question by the Chairman of CHEC.
Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation
TREC Paper for Arab Thought Forum and Club of Rome, Amman 2003.
Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation
"TREC" for development, climate stabilisation and good
The TREC Development Group
Formed by initiative of the German Association
for the Club of Rome, and of the Hamburg Climate Protection Foundation
HKF. Contact addresses:
Malek Kabariti firstname.lastname@example.org, Uwe
Mller email@example.com, Gerhard Knies firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Names of persons involved: Khalid Benhamou,
Saharawind, Morocco; Dr Abdelaziz Bennouna, Centre Nationale de
la Recherche, Morocco ; Hans-Jrg Brgmann, Dipl-Ing, Germany; Gregor
Czisch, Dipl-Phys, ISET, Germany; Hans-Josef Fell, Member of Parliament,
Germany; Dr Ing. Manfred Fischedick, Wuppertal Institut, Germany;
Dr Armin Haas, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research,
Global Change & Social Systems, PIK, Germany; Dr Ing. Michael
F Jischa, German Association The Club of Rome, Germany; Dr Malek
Kabariti, National Energy Research Center, Jordan; Dr Gerhard
Knies, Hamburg Climate Protection Foundation HKF, Germany; Harry
Lehmann, DiplPhys, ISUSI, Institute for Sustainable Solutions,
Germany; Klaus-Peter Lehmann, Dipl-Ing, elexyr, Germany; Dr Paul
Metz, European Business Council for a Sustainable Energy, e5,
Netherlands; Dr Axel Michaelowa, HWWA, Germany; Uwe Mller, German
Association The Club of Rome, Germany; Dr-Ing. Hani El Nokraschy,
Germany/Egypt; Honorat Satoguina Dipl. EBA, Benin; Dr Christian-D
Sch½nwiese, University of Frankfurt, Germany; Dr-Ing. Franz
Trieb, DLR, Germany.
See the German Aerospace Centre website for
research into solar thermal technologies and African/Europen grid
2. POLICY TO
2.1 There is a substantial resource of tidal
energy (height as distinct from stream) particularly in the Severn
Estuary, Liverpool Bay and the Thames Estuary which could be exploited
by tidal lagoon schemes, a technology proposed and patented by
Tidal Electric Ltd. A small number of large lagoons in the Severn
Estuary alone could supply about 6% of UK electricity.
2.2 The company's technology has been reviewed
positively by AEA Technology and very recently WS Atkins /ABP
(MER). However the technology has been severely hampered by a
secret and inaccurate DTI cost briefing to politicians (including
Lord Sainsbury, Stephen Timms MP and Welsh Assembly ministers).
The inaccurate briefing was based on the estimated output costs
of a tiny lagoon scheme proposal in a remote area of Alaska.
2.3 The economies of scale of the Severn
Estuary could not be more different. A small (60MW) scheme is
being proposed for Swansea Bay with a generation cost of about
3-3.5 p/kWhr. Larger schemes would likely be in the 2-3 p/kWhr
range. Lagoons in the Severn Estuary are considered to be a far
preferable option than the Severn Barrage by it least one major
2.4 TE Ltd would like at least some positive
comment from the DTI to at least not dissuade investor interest
or discourage the Crown Estate's co-operation. However, if capital
funds were available for specific scheme environmental assessment
at least or some policy which could enable a government LOAN for
a 10 year pay-back period then the available resource might significantly
be developed before 2020.
2.5 The construction of any particular scheme
would be dependent on an environmental assessments and other planning
and navigational considerations. Lagoon structures could actually
provide wildlife habitat and a coastal defence role.
2.6 For further information about tidal
lagoons and the company Tidal Electric Ltd contact: email@example.com.
or visit the Tidal Electric website.
Brief History and Aims of THE CAMPAIGN FOR A
HYDROGEN ECONOMY ("CHEC")
Inception: CHEC was founded in 2001 (initially
as the now superseded HEAUKI) as a first attempt in the UK (and
Ireland) to highlight the central role which hydrogen must play
in reducing our dependence on carbon-rich fossil fuels. The aim
has always been to bring to the attention of all concernedthe
voting public, specialists in climate, oceans, biodiversity, energy
and the associated politicsthe increasing threat which
such fuels pose to the whole earth system (and hence to ourselves),
and to make the case for renewably generated hydrogen as the fuel
of choice for all human needs.
CHEC gained a properly devised constitution
in November 2002, limited company status in February 2003 and
registered charity status in November 2003. In June this year
we established our website: www.hydogeneconomy.org.uk . This site
is at an early stage, but we have secured the help of an experienced
and sympathetic web designer to develop and enhance this site.
We now have a committee of nine with a wide spread of age, skill
and background. We are united in basing our belief in the future
of hydrogen on its importance in the protection of the climate
and the hydrosphere, the improvement of air quality and the role
it must play in reducing political conflict and enhancing collaboration
Activities 2003-04: We have divided our time
and efforts between education, publicity, knowledge-gathering
and climate activities.
Education: We have given seminars at school
and university level on climate change and its necessary relationship
to the hydrogen economy. We have given courses to senior citizens
groups, and run two 12 week courses on climate change (and hydrogen)
as an evening class for the people of Manchester.
Publicity: To the best of our ability we have
"pushed" the notion of the hydrogen economy at the media
both nationally and locally. CHEC is now known as a point of reference
to several local radio stations, and has endeavoured, not always
with success, to place letters and articles in the print media.
Knowledge-gathering: We consider it an important
part of our remit to survey the whole environmental field, and
all the associated issues which arise. We have participated in
a revealing (and alarming) conference (2003) in Brussels on the
future of the EU's energy supplies (almost entirely natural gas,
apparently), and attended many events concerning renewable energy
(eg the British Wind Energy Association July 2004, the Building
Research Establishment June 2004, the Grove Fuelcell Conference
2003). And we have ensured that the results of these visits are
available and accessible at the CHEC office. They will certainly
be put onto the website, in abbreviated form, in the near future.
Climate activities: one of the founding "energies"
for the creation of CHEC was the realisation that delegates returning
to the UK from the annual unfccc conferences (eg Kyoto 1997, the
Hague 2000) had heard nothing (and said nothing) about the promise
of hydrogen as a climate-friendly fuel. Even (and perhaps above
all) the environmentally aware groups such as WWF, Greenpeace,
RSPB and the Climate Action Network) simply refused to take hydrogen
"on board". Since then it has been CHEC's aim to attend
all these major conferences. Of the four conferences since then,
we have had a presence at Bonn (2001), Marrakesh (2001), and Milan
(2003), only omitting (because of expense) New Delhi in 2002. We
are now raising funds to facilitate the attendance of three or
four delegates to the next unfccc conference, in Argentina in
Plans and projects for 2004-05: The committee
now aims to build on the experience of the past three years so
as to become effective at the level which counts most in a democracythe
electoral level. It strikes us as supremely important that the
voting public should be aware of the following features of our
climate, air quality and related fuelling systems:
(1) The near certitude that climate change
is an established fact, that it will incur damaging changes to
our total environment, to all the "spheres": atmosphere,
hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere and so on.
(2) The air quality (indoors and outdoors)
of our towns, cities and countryside is threatened by the same
overriding menace as is our climatethe direct and indirect
effects of the use of fossil fuels.
(3) Our present dependence on fossil fuels
is a historical accident, and not a necessity ordained by nature
and technology. The alternativerenewably generated hydrogen,
which lends itself to energy storage, combustion energy, electrical
energy and mechanical energyis already within reach, and
merely requires investment, development and political commitment
for it to come into being.
It is our aim in 2004, 2005 and thereafter to:
(1) Gain official accreditation to the unfccc
(UN Framework Convention on Climate Change), so as to attend all
its conferences as named hydrogen-based campaigners rather than
as guests of less focused umbrella organisations. The first moves
to acquire this status have already been taken.
(2) Build an effective website so as to reach
out to the citizens of the UK and beyond with the hydrogen "message".
This site will comprise data, opinions (including "dissident"
opinions), an FAQ section and occasional pieces written by interested
parties. It will also contain easily downloadable A4 "sheets"
for teachers to have free instructional material at school level.
(3) Construct improved demonstration machinery
to show the public (i) how a carbon dioxide-rich volume of air
responds to incoming infrared rays, and (ii) how easy it is to
generate hydrogen from water by solar radiation and by other forms
of renewably generated electricity, both on land and marine. This
machinery will be scrupulously arranged so as not to "cheat"
its way into an audience's appreciation; its role as an indicator
and its limitations will be carefully set out.
(4) Build closer relationships with policy
makers, politicians and their advisers so as to increase their
level of "hydrogen awareness".
(5) Cultivate a special relationship with
Africa. In the view of CHEC it is in the interests both of Africa
and of Europe to work together to develop an interlocked hydrogen
economy. For Africa there would be the opportunity to gain a powerful
indigenous tool for developmentclean and inexhaustible
renewable fuel and electrical energy, and a permanently tradeable
commodityand for Europe a generous supply of energy to
meet her already heavy demands. CHEC would undertake to examine
the ramifications of such an arrangement regarding the EU, the
WTO, TRIPS, the larger fossil fuel companies, African countries
which already gain foreign exchange from the export of oil and
gas, and so on. CHEC has already established contacts with African
delegates to unfccc conferences, and will work to make these contacts
(6) Undertake the search for funding and
staffing which would facilitate the aims above. CHEC has already
benefited from several funders who have supported the running
of the office over three years, but not (so far) with enough money
to pay for salaries and expansion. We are now confident that we
will attract the resources which we need.
1 October 2004