The Renewable Hydrogen Economy?

What is hydrogen’s evolutionary place? Human economies have added more efficient energy systems over time. Fire provided heat, light, and protection. Strone, iron, and bronze tools made foragers and later farmers more efficient. Agriculture converted solar energy into food on lands cleared by fire and planted with tools. Fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas, enabled tremendous increases in earth and goods movers as well as land modifying equipment that built great roads, monuments, dams, and buildings. What is next—wind, solar, and hydrogen to power an all-electric world? Surplus wind and solar energy can produce needed hydrogen.

Who is pushing? California is planning a hydrogen economy in transportation, manufacturing, and electricity production. Daimler has a hydrogen fuel cell large truck unit. Smaller trucks will be battery operated with charging electricity from hydrogen backing up wind and solar. So is the next economy one fueling greater efficiency with hydrogen and fuel cells.

Why Renewable hydrogen?

  • The use of hydrogen greatly reduces pollution. 
  • Hydrogen can be produced locally from numerous sources. 
  • If hydrogen is produced from water we have a sustainable production system.

Why not hydrogen?

  • Still too expensive.
  • Not getting the attention it deserves.
  • Lacks needed infrastructure.
  • The Hindenburg Effect.


Forbes  at

Hydrogen Energy Center at

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By Court Smith

A mechanical engineer who became a cultural anthropologist.

After a 34-year career as a professor at Oregon State University, Smith became an emeritus professor in 2003, and maintains interests in human interaction with natural resources. He focuses on contemporary domestic society and how to create more socially and environmentally just options for the future.

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