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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why Hydrogen is a Bad Idea


#1 Commercial hydrogen usually comes from natural gas.
The vast majority of commercial hydrogen comes from processing natural gas. This is because it's cheaper and easier to extract hydrogen from natural gas than through the electrolysis of water.
But let's say for a minute that we were going to get our hydrogen from water. Why would we use that electricity to extract hydrogen? Why not just use it to charge up the electric car? Oh right… Energy company profits would be at risk.

#2 A new national hydrogen infrastructure would be needed.
To build a national infrastructure of commercial hydrogen filling stations would take decades and would probably rely on the current natural gas pipelines like Honda's Home Energy Station. Why not stop using fossil fuels and stick solar panels on out homes instead? Oh right… Energy company profits would be at risk.
In Honda's defense they have also been testing a solar powered system to make hydrogen from the electrolysis of water. Honda seems to be way ahead of the curve and have their irons in many fires. Smart people at Honda.

#3 The largest proven natural gas reserves are in Russia and Persian Gulf.
The largest natural reserves of natural gas in the world are located in Iran and Russia.Why the heck would we want to choose to experience, peak oil, peak coal, and then peak natural gas. Why not start building the world's largest renewable energy system right here in our own backyard? Oh right… Energy company profits would be at risk.






Conclusion
I'm really happy that Obama has assembled the team of smart people he has. Decisions like the DOE cutting way back on Hydrogen is incredibly smart.Hydrogen fuel cells are sexy sounding technology for a fossil fuel sourced fuel. Eventually when it's possible to make vast quantities of hydrogen from the electrolysis of seawater and the electricity used to make it comes from renewable sources (solar, wind, wave, hydroelectric) then the real green promise of Hydrogen might be realized. But this would take decades so it makes a lot more sense to stop throwing tax dollars away on it.

If the energy companies are so hot to see hydrogen happen let them pay for it. Haven't we let them raid public funds long enough with their pocket presidents and oil wars?
Electric cars, while not super sexy today, are a better long term solution and plug-in hybrid technology is here RIGHT NOW! Plug-in hybrids are the best transition technology because for local trips they never have to fire up their gasoline engines. Who knows maybe someone will figure out a flex-fuel plug-in hybrid too… now that would be cool. Battery and charging technology is also advancing very quickly making quick-charge electric cars a more likely near-term possibility.

I'm not on anyone's payroll and I write what I think. What you see here are my humble opinions. If you take a little time and do the research yourself you'll see I'm right. In the end we can make it all happen by simply voting with our dollars. Choose to buy a new car when they deliver a car worth buying. I'm holding out for at least 100MPG.

1 comment:

troy said...

GREAT JOB LEE. IT TELLS IT LIKE IT IS. TELL ALL HI AND WILL KEEP EYEW ON THIS SITE. TROY