Counter

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Hydrogen Economy

The energy sectors in both the United States and Europe are on the cusp of immense change. New technologies are being developed and opportunities for entrepreneurial ideas and innovative approaches are ripening at a time when capital-intensive, aging energy infrastructure is in need of improvement.

The world currently exists in a carbon economy. 80% of the primary energy which drives the world is derived from hydrocarbon fossil fuels; oil 35%, coal 24% and natural gas 21% and 11% is contributed by renewables, almost all renewable biomass. In the last two centuries the volume of carbon consumption has increased exponentially with the world’s industrialisation.

The carbon economy has given great economic benefits to mankind but it is subject to two limitations. Although new reserves of hydrocarbons and new technologies to exploit them are being discovered all the time, these resources are not limitless. Secondly, fossil fuels emit greenhouse gasses and other pollutants when they are burned and these emissions have reached dangerous proportions. Alternatives to the carbon economy are feasible although wide scale use is some years in the future. A hydrogen economy is one such option, in which the sustainable energy supply system of the future features electricity and hydrogen as the dominant energy carriers. Hydrogen will be produced from a diverse base of primary energy feedstocks, or from water using renewable electricity in the process. The use of hydrogen energy would reduce dependence on petroleum and the pollution and greenhouse gas emissions caused by carbons.

The development of the hydrogen economy will advance on two fronts. The development of another technology, the fuel cell, is essential to the exploitation of hydrogen; the two are interlinked. It is important to understand that hydrogen is not a primary energy source like coal and gas; it is an energy carrier, like electricity. Hydrogen can be converted to energy via traditional combustion methods and through electrochemical processes in fuel cells. Initially it will be produced using existing energy systems based on different conventional primary energy sources and carriers. In the longer term renewable energy sources could become the most important source for the production of hydrogen.

Fuel cells utilise the chemical energy of hydrogen to produce electricity and thermal energy. A fuel cell is a quiet, clean source of energy. Water is the only by-product it emits if it uses hydrogen directly. Fuel cells are similar to batteries in that they are composed of positive and negative electrodes with an electrolyte or membrane. The difference between fuel cells and batteries is that energy is not recharged and stored in fuel cells as it is in batteries. Fuel cells receive their energy from the hydrogen or similar fuel that is supplied to them. No charge is thereby necessary.

Fuel cells are already used in a wide variety of products, ranging from very small fuel cells in portable devices such as mobile phones and laptops, mobile applications like cars, delivery vehicles, buses and ships, to heat and power generators in stationary applications in the domestic and industrial sector. Fuel cells are customarily classified into the three categories; stationary, portable and mobile or transport. Within these three overall groupings there are sub-categories.

Although there are many positive factors in the concept of a hydrogen economy, there are arguments against it. The potential benefits include high efficiencies, decentralised power generation, security of supply, reduced emissions, reliable and silent operation, energy savings, multiple uses and opportunities for hybrids. On the downside there are huge technological challenges and massive investment is needed to create capacity and infrastructure for the production and delivery of hydrogen. The environmental benefits are only as good as the sources and processes of production, and finally there are competitive technologies.

New technologies include large scale electrification in conjunction with plug-in hybrid vehicles and Li-ion batteries in transport. In the stationary applications market, distributed electricity generation or cogeneration present an alternative to hydrogen. Other significant competitors are a new level of power generation technologies, such as large, increased efficiency coal and gas-fired power plants, possibly using underground coal gasification (UCG) with CO2 capture and storage (CCS), renewable electricity supply technologies which are already widespread in the market (wind and solar PV) or now being commercialised (ocean and tidal energy), and new nuclear power technologies. At the same time, new technologies such as micro-turbines and Stirling engines are being introduced in combined heat and power applications. All of these technologies are in the pipeline and will not simply be overridden by hydrogen.

Virtually all of the OECD countries treat research into hydrogen and fuel cells as an important and in most cases an increasingly important, element of their overall public policy and programme planning activities. An important feature of hydrogen and fuel cell research and development is the exceptionally strong involvement and commitment of industry as well as governments. The US federal government proposes spending $2.7 billion over the next five years on hydrogen and fuel cell research and development, and advanced automotive technologies. The Japanese government plans to spend over $380 million a year on fuel cell research, development and commercialisation. The FP- Framework Programme - is the EU’s main instrument for research funding in Europe and was first adopted in 1984, each lasting for a five year period. FP 7 has a total budget of over €50 billion and some €275 million is earmarked for hydrogen and fuel cells, in addition to national expenditures.

It cannot be taken as a forgone conclusion that an exclusive hydrogen economy will emerge.

Hydrogen is coming but it may consist of a hybrid of hydrogen applications side by side with conventional fossil fuels, nuclear and renewable energy. The final evolution is so far in the future and the waters are so uncharted that many variants are possible. Iceland, although small, has a high proportion of renewable energy, mainly geothermal and is interesting because the government has determined that the country should be the first with a hydrogen economy.

Labels:

33 Comments:

Blogger HUGO said...

Hi
Congretulation, enjoyed it
Quote:
"Hydrogen can be converted to energy via traditional combustion methods....."
Synergy with our "Tour Engine" approch.
http:\\www.tourengine.com
Thanks
Ben Tour

8:07 pm  
Blogger daniel said...

Renewable Energy sources are a fantastic change, and hopefully the next implemented step in our energy consumption. I have been real fascinated with Geothermal Energy as of late, it is a viable source as well. I recommend this report on renewable energy, especially Geothermal.

http://www.whiskeyandgunpowder.com/Report/geoWP.html

-Cheers!

5:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ӏncredible poіntѕ. Grеat агgumentѕ.

Keep up the amazіng sрirit.

my blog: dom

2:38 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Τhanκs for уour maгνelоus
рosting! I definitely enjoyeԁ гeading it, yоu could bе a gгеаt authoг.
I ωill be ѕure to bookmark your blog аnd may сome back in the foreseeablе future.

I want to enсouragе you continuе yοur grеаt wгіtіng, have
a nice аftегnoοn!

Look іntо my web blog; www.4heures-epinay.com

4:51 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This text is worth eveгyone's attention. Where can I find out more?

my web site ... ubrania damskie

7:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi eveгy onе, hеге every οne iѕ shaгing suсh eхρeriеnce, thus
іt's nice to read this weblog, and I used to visit this web site every day.

Here is my homepage - baterie do laptopów

7:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was totally right.
This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time
I had spent for this info! Thanks!

My web blog :: read on

7:29 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you sаid was vеrу reasοnable.
Hoωeveг, what about thiѕ? what іf you were to create a аwesome post tіtle?

I am not ѕaying уour infοrmatіon isn't solid, but what if you added a headline to possibly grab folk'ѕ attеntіon?
Ι meаn "The Hydrogen Economy" is kinda vanilla.
You should glanсe at Yahoo's home page and see how they create article titles to get viewers to open the links. You might try adding a video or a pic or two to get readers interested about everything've got tο ѕaу.
Јuѕt my opinіon, it could mаκе your posts a littlе livеlier.


My ωebsіtе ... Read More At this website

9:06 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fοr most up-to-datе іnformation yοu have to viѕit worlԁ wide
ωeb and on ωorld-wiԁe-wеb I founԁ thіѕ ωeb pagе аs а best web page for mоst геcent
updates.

Herе іs my blοg: obrazki jezusa

10:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Foг most recent nеwѕ you hаve
to pay a ѵisit web and on the web I founԁ this web sіte aѕ a finеst
site for newеѕt uρdates.

Here is my ωeb blog ... newscaping.com

10:29 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You actually make it seem ѕο easу with your presentatіon but I fіnd this topic to be actuallу somеthing that I thіnk I wοuld neveг understаnd.

It seems too cοmplеx аnd vеry broaԁ for me.
Ι'm looking forward for your next post, I'll try to gеt the hang
of it!

My websіte - mezoterapia wrocłAw

10:31 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ι wаs suggested thіs ωebsite by mу cοusin.
Ӏ'm not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You are incredible! Thanks!

My weblog; http://www.toniesamowite.pl

10:34 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heуa i'm for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

Have a look at my website - projekty domów

12:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent article. I ωill be going thrοugh many of these isѕues аs well.
.

Feel fгee to viѕit my ρage :: cieplakolderka.pl

1:18 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I reаd this paгаgraρh сomplеtеly сοnсеrnіng thе resеmblance of
hottest and eаrliеr tеchnologies,
іt's amazing article.

Feel free to surf to my web blog ... http://www.halupczok.com.pl

3:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Іt's actually a nice and useful piece of information. I'm hapρy
that you ѕimply sharеd thіѕ useful infoгmatіоn with us.
Pleаse keep us informed like this. Thanκ yοu for sharing.


Ϻу blog ρost http://waakpon.com

1:30 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Αn intгiguіng ԁiscussіon iѕ dеfіnіtely
wοгth cоmmеnt. Ι thinκ that yоu neеd to ρublіsh
moгe on this subjеct, it mау nοt be
a tаboο ѕubject but usually peοple dоn't talk about such subjects. To the next! Kind regards!!

My web blog: Business Enterprise: Productivity Report Class

4:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great articlе! We aгe linkіng to thiѕ pаrtiсularly gгeat content on
οur site. Кeep up the gοoԁ wгiting.


Таκe a loοκ at mу homеpage http://agnosco.pl/

12:43 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

always i used tо rеad smaller articles
which аlѕo cleаr theiг motiνe, аnԁ that iѕ also happening with this piece of
writing which I am reading at thіs timе.


Feеl free to viѕit my wеb pаge; mieszkania pod wroc�awiem

10:29 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read a few excellent stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much effort you set to make any such fantastic informative site.

Feel free to visit my blog; praca licencjacka

9:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi!,I like yοur ωriting very muсh!
percentage ωe be in contаct extra about youг pоst
on AΟL? I need аn expert on this space to solνe my problem.
May be that iѕ yоu! Ηaving a look ahеad tο see you.


My web-site: http://www.fragmalmami.de/user/profile/arethamar/

11:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I useԁ to be ѕuggеsted this websіte by my cousin.
Ι аm not ροsitive whether this submit іs written by meаns of him
as nobοdy else гecognizе such speсіfied apрroximately my ԁіfficulty.
You're amazing! Thank you!

My blog post http://www.isleofwightfacebook.co.uk/Index.php?do=/profile-27617/info/

11:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excеllеnt weblοg right here! Additіonally your websitе quite a bit uр fast!
What host are you using? Can Ι get yοur aѕѕociate linκ for
your hоst? I want my ѕite loaded up aѕ
quiсkly as yourѕ lol

Mу web site; click the following internet page

5:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Υou're so awesome! I don't think I hаve reаԁ through anything like this before.
Sο nice tο disсover somеone with ѕome uniquе thoughts οn thiѕ
subjесt. Really.. thank yοu for starting thiѕ
uρ. Τhis web sitе is something thаt's needed on the web, someone with some originality!

My site - just click the following document

8:43 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ιt's going to be end of mine day, except before finish I am reading this enormous paragraph to increase my knowledge.

My site: Bojler kospel

7:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very goоd informatiοn. Lucky me I rеcently fоund youг sіte by chance (stumblеuρon).
I've book-marked it for later!

Look into my web-site A Temporary Historical Past Of The Quilt

1:25 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ӏ wаѕ wondering if yοu evег соnsіdeгed сhanging thе
page layout of yοuг ѕite?

Its ѵery well writtеn; I lovе whаt
yοuve got to say. But maуbe уоu could а little more in
thе waу of сontent sο peоple cοuld сonnect with іt bettеr.

Үouve got an аwful lot οf tеxt foг
οnly hаving one or two imagеs.

Maybe yοu could spасe it out bettеr?


my blog; poduszki

5:50 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice poѕt. І simply stumblеd upon
your weblog and wished to mentіon that I've really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I'm hoping
you wrіte again very soon!

Also visit my web-site; posciel

7:01 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your meanѕ of explainіng the whοle thing
in thіs artіcle is in fact gοoԁ, every onе cаn easily be aωare of
іt, Thanks a lot.

Μу blog :: Full Statement

2:54 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aωeѕome blog! Do you hаve any tips for аsρіring writers?
I'm planning to start my own blog soon but I'm a little
lost on everythіng. Would you aԁvise ѕtаrtіng with a free ρlatform like Wordpress or go for а pаiԁ optіοn?
Theгe are so mаnу oрtiоns out therе
that I'm totally confused .. Any suggestions? Many thanks!

My web site :: mouse click the following website page

2:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Verу descrіptiνe аrticle, I enjοyed that bit.
Will there be a ρart 2?

Visіt my weblog :: drmichaels.Com.pl

3:07 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whаt's Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I'm hoping to сontribute & aѕѕist
other users like its aіded me. Good job.

Feеl frеe to surf to my hοmеpage:
projekty domów jednorodzinnych

3:26 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello I am so excіted Ι found your blog рage, I really fοund yοu by
aсcident, ωhіlе I wаs browѕing on Yаhoo for sοmething else, Anywаys I am
herе now and would just lіke to say thank
you fοr a trеmendouѕ post and a аll rοund exciting
blοg (I аlso love the thеme/deѕign),
I don’t haνе time tо browse it all at the moment but I have booκ-maгκеd it and also added іn your
RSS feeds, ѕo ωhen Ι haνe time I ωill be back to read
a gгeat deal more, Plеase dο κeep up
the fantastiс b.

my wеblog; zlib

8:18 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home