It’s time to move off gas, for our wallets and our health, but Xcel Energy refuses to recognize that. While we start to move on (I just bought electric heaters to save money), Xcel keeps pushing false, dangerous solutions based on gas. Its new hydrogen project, which is explosive, expensive and unhealthy, is another example.
Hydrogen is risky. Studies show that it leaks, ignites and explodes much easier than “natural” methane gas. Hydrogen leaks form vapor clouds, which ignition plugs can easily ignite. It can be more than 10 times easier to ignite than gas.
Hydrogen hurts our wallets, too. The only “clean” form of hydrogen for our climate can cost 10 times more than our current gas system, and way more than electricity. Can we afford that right now? If Xcel doesn’t use “clean” hydrogen, it will use fossil fuel hydrogen, which worsens climate change. What bad option does Xcel intend to choose?
No matter the option, Xcel’s hydrogen will be dangerous for our health. Burning hydrogen causes more dangerous NOx pollution than methane alone, which is why it’s been condemned by health groups like Physicians for Social Responsibility and the American Medical Association. Yet Xcel, to protect its bottom line, tells us hydrogen will be safe for our health.
Future energy in Colorado needs to be safe for our health, our wallets and our climate. We need to focus on wind, solar and battery storage.