Hydrogen can play a dramatic role in our sustainable energy future, but to most it’s unclear just how that might work. The potential contribution of hydrogen has been described in various ways from the pragmatic to the fantastic. A lack of adequate information has contributed to confusion that obscures the real promise of hydrogen.
Many proponents of hydrogen claim that it can provide an inexhaustible supply of clean, renewable energy. But hydrogen is not an energy source. Like electricity, it must be produced from primary energy sources, some of which are environmentally sound. Others which are not. There is clearly a major opportunity for the use of hydrogen derived from renewable energy sources. Furthermore, the notion of an unlimited supply of any energy source will perpetuate our wasteful energy consumption patterns. We must encourage an energy philosophy rooted in energy sufficiency, using efficient and environmentally benign technologies. Hydrogen will be a key asset.
This booklet provides a primer on hydrogen, presents future potentials for hydrogen, and concludes with a vision of how hydrogen hits into the sustainable energy future.