|What is the future of the hydrogen economy?|
In spite of all the hoopla about the hydrogen economy, it is important to understand that Hydrogen is not a source of energy. It is a carrying medium. If you ask, in the energy context, "What do you think about hydrogen?" that would be equivalent to asking, "What do you think about copper?" Well, it does make nice wire for conducting electricity after all.
Some even say that boron might be a better energy carrier than hydrogen.
Read about producing hydrogen on the US DOE website.
Hydrogen is normally produced by converting fossil fuels to hydrogen. This process creates greenhouse gases in the conversion process, and has little benefit over burning fossil fuels directly. Read about a process to produce hydrogen which uses only water and sunlight as inputs.
Honda to introduce a FCEV in North America, Feb. 5, 2002
"Honda has announced that they will introduce a limited-run FCEV in 2003 for the North American market. On the other hand, Toyota has decided to introduce a FCEV in Japan in the same year. Both FCEVs will use pure hydrogen. Honda plans to utilize infrastructure in North America where hydrogen supply stations are better organized and Honda has solar energy stations at their research institute. Toyota is scheduled to establish systems on their own in cooperation with petroleum makers. In Japan, the government is now thinking about establishing hydrogen supply stations.
"The two companies have been approved for public road tests by the government..."
And what are USA manufacturers doing?
A Fuel Cell Initiative Too Costly for Use in Cars, Washington, Jan. 14 (link accessible only to NYT subscribers)
"Fuel cells — which convert hydrogen into electric current cleanly, quietly and very efficiently — could turn up over the next few years in cellphones and laptop computers, and a while after that, in lawn mowers, scooters and perhaps vacuum cleaners. But not in cars, at least not soon.
"Cars, in the industry view, are down the line," said Peter Hoffman, editor and publisher of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Letter...."
Is the USA losing yet another automotive market by clinging to the past?