July 3, 2008

The Hype about Hydrogen

One alternative energy that seems to be making a lot of headlines is Hydrogen Power - specifically its use in automobiles. Hydrogen as an energy source is no new concept; in fact, it's been around for quite some time. However, with the development of fuel cells that are able to be installed in car, Hydrogen has once again become the source of much attention. Many of the large auto manufacturers have begun small-scale deployment of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to gauge public interest.

Until recently for me, Hydrogen did seem like a viable source of energy for the car industry. However, I read through a book called "The Hype about Hydrogen" and my outlook on hydrogen as a car fuel is very bleak. It's a really interesting read and I recommend that you look through it. Some of its main points against Hydrogen are below:

  • Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in current models cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce (if not > $1 million).
  • The US would need to replace the entire gasoline fueling station infrastructure (and similar to the vehicles themselves, fueling stations would each be a large investment).
  • Current methods to produce hydrogen make it an expensive fuel and there are currently issues with the storage and distribution of the fuel.
So there you have it! All these arguments aside, Hydrogen is a very interesting energy source (there is unlimited availability), but it does seem like it will not be the answer - at least anywhere in the near future.

1 comment:

Solar Stories said...

I don't think it is as hard as it seems to switch. I think people are making it harder than it needs to be due to vested interests.