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Hydrogen power and Bush

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Let me first say that caring about your environment does not make you a leftist. Not caring about it simply makes you an idiot.

Second, 1.2 billions dollars toward developing hydrogen fueled cars is like having enough money to buy half a sandwich for lunch. It’s just enough lunch so you don’t starve. The Bush administration has thrown out that figure just so they can talk like they are doing something about the problem. And, yes, it is very possible to make progress on this issue. Bush simply doesn’t care. Or at least he cares less about it than making his big business buddies happy.

Third, and finally… Hydrogen power is simply a big pile of bullshit that will only continue to fill the pockets of oil companies and Bush knows it. Since you haven’t done YOUR homework on the facts, read below.

Hydrogen is not a transportation panacea—that’s the conclusion of a new calculation by two British researchers. In order for our fossil fuel vehicles to be replaced by true hydrogen automobiles, the U.S. would have to erect a million wind turbines or 1,000 extra nuclear plants. Anything else would continue to put greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and would not solve the problem of global warming.

Hydrogen is an energy carrier, not an energy source. In other words, it matters how it is produced. Most hydrogen today is made from methane, a process that releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Or it can be made by splitting water molecules with electricity—but the electricity, today, is likely to have been generated by fossil fuels.

Hence the conundrum. Unless hydrogen is produced in a way free of greenhouse gases, the global warming problem remains. But generating it without introducing more greenhouse gases is, for all practical purposes, impossible. Remember that the next time some politician preaches hydrogen-powered cars as the cure of the future.

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About Yensid

  • I blogged some relevant details at:

    The Myth of the Hydrogen Economy

    Link opens in new window.

  • Why not build a million new wind turbines, Yensid? For that matter, why not build a thousand new nuclear plants? These are far from impossible goals. Committing ourselves to either (or both) of these goals would be far better than doing nothing and continuing to burn gasoline in every automobile.

    The main advantage of hydrogen is that we can use any power source to generate it. We can start generating it with relatively dirty methods, such as from methane or with fossil-fuel powered electrolysis from water. But we are not stuck with those dirty methods forever. Hydrogen can be generated from clean, renewable sources, unlike gasoline, which will always be dirty both in its production and in its use.

    The hardest part is converting the vehicles and the fuel stations, creating the hydrogen infrastructure. Once we have that distribution system in place, we can work on cleaning up the production methods.

  • Thank God that Bush proposed the Hydrogen Car… I think they will be the prime source of transportation in our Mars Base…

    But more seriously, as you say Hydrogen is not a source of energy unless you can get fusion to work. Its not as if we have a choice in developing alternative energy, what we are using IS going to run out. A country that can get a jump on new methods of producing energy will have a giant leg up in the next 50 years.

    But that will require an administration where all policies are NOT run by the campaign advisor before being approved.

  • A hydrogen powered nation is the final answer to fossil fuel shortages and pollution. Yes, currently 90% of hydrogen is extracted from natural gas which is not a natural resource. In addition using electricity to produce hydrogen only transfers pollution sources. However,extraction technology of today leads to tomorrows improvements. Solar,nuclear and wind plants will eventually supply the world with 100% electricity putting hydrogen into the drivers seat. Also why can’t the hydrogen eventually be extracted from inside the vehicle using the battery?

  • bliffle

    Hydrogen is a pretty good way to carry energy around in a vehicle (tho it must be pointed out that petrol is more efficient volume-wise) and can easily be converted to electricity for the wheels.

    The infra-structure problems (piping hydrogen around, storing in tanks, etc.) is no harder, probably easier, than what we’ve already done the last few decades for petrol.

    Hydrogen is pretty easy to generate from water using solar power, both of which are sufficiently available to encompass the manufacturing at a variety of sites.

    Thus, hydrogen will be a good longterm solution, and a lot of fortunes will be made as the businesses to support a hydrogen economy develop.