In an effort to beat oil dependence and save money, many drivers are looking toward alternatively fueled vehicles as an option. Hydrogen power seems the most promising overall, since it is cheap to run and is very low maintenance. Hydrogen cars currently on the market have a price tag that puts them well out of reach of the average consumer and fuel cell cars are not available on a massive scale.
Hydrogen is a colorless, odorless highly flammable gas. About 75 percent of the sun is composed of hydrogen; compared to a small fraction of the earth's composition. On earth, hydrogen does not occur naturally as a gas but is combined with other elements like water. Though once considered much too dangerous to use, it is now used to make fuel for automobiles and in other applications. Hydrogen is the most common gas in the universe. The abundance of hydrogen and the fact that it is eco friendly makes it a logical choice for use in creating green energy.
Dr. Robert E. Buxbaum, President, REB Research & Consulting. http://www.rebresearch.com April 10, 2008
There seems to be confusion about what the hydrogen economy is, and how it benefits the average driver. In my understanding, the hydrogen economy is simply the use of hydrogen as a medium of exchange among the different energy sources and their uses. This is similar to the exchange economies for electricity or gasoline.
In 2003, President George Bush promoted a hydrogen economy claiming the technology would soon be fueling vehicles while producing no pollution. He included the dream of refueling facilities that would move the gas around the country making it cleaner and reduce the United States' dependence on oil. Currently, the country is not much closer than it was then in converting the transportation currency to hydrogen.
Generating hydrogen for fuel cell power requires a chemical reaction that would separate and hydrogen for extraction. This extraction process requires energy itself, and it is the biggest drawback of hydrogen fuel cell energy over other clean sources of energy. Other sources of energy would be inevitably used within its infrastructure.
The hydrogen economy is a proposed wide-scale system that primarily utilizes hydrogen as a universal source of energy. The term was first coined by Jock Bockris during his 1970 talk at General Motors Technical Center. The system of a hydrogen economy is likened to how we primarily use oil and coal today, only it promises a much safer and cleaner future for our planet. It holds a dream and vision of ending our reliance to dirty fossil fuels, and opening a new economic chapter in world energy use.
Energy storage technologies are progressing at a rapid pace, driven by the environmental movement that gains more and more followers.