Could cheapest energy be right under our noses?
A JIMBOOMBA man claims he has the answer to Malcolm Turnbull's energy dilemma, which hit crisis point last month when the hot weather caused power spikes.
Norwegian ex-pat Peter Ervik said his invention, which he uses to power his car, house and office, could be the secret needed to convert coal-fired power stations to hydrogen hybrid energy.
He said his hydrogen fuel cell generators would save the prime minister from having to follow through with his proposal to allow the country's "green bank" to fund carbon-capture and storage schemes for new coal-fired power stations.
Mr Ervik said his generators made hydrogen gas from water, which he said was a cheap and clean way to create energy.
"There's a staggering 1967 litres of gas in one litre of water and there is no pollution from it as it reverts back to water when hydrogen gas is burned," he said.
"Hydrogen gas is relatively cheap. I pay about 3 cents per litre of water delivered to my house and I am getting almost 2000 litres of gas for only 3cents. That is cheap at 0.0015 cents per litre.
"A carbon capture and storage scheme is based on extremely expensive but poor technology. It is also dangerous to the point that no insurance company in the world will underwrite the public liability."
Mr Ervik, 72, said alternative plans to create energy by injecting LPG or natural gas into coal-fired power stations while the coal was being burned were rejected by CSIRO in the 1960s.
That method was too expensive and dangerous, he said.
The lack of safety guarantees were partly to blame for Mr Ervik's power cell invention not getting traction in Australia.
But that has not stopped him from looking abroad and he hopes to sell his generators in China, which has an Emissions Trading scheme which would pay him for his clean energy.
His invention is based on the science that made the world's first hydrogen bomb, which was manufactured in Mr Ervik's home country.
"What I have done is to miniaturise the process so it can fit into an already tiny engine compartment of a car or a computer," he said.
"But I can make it any size to suit the requirement. My devises are only in the molecular stage so there is no radiation, no storage of hydrogen or any harmful problem except to make sure it is safely used."