The Sustainable Hydrogen Economy
Identifying and building a sustainable energy system is perhaps one of the most critical issues that today’s society must address. Replacing our current energy carrier mix with a sustainable fuel is one of the key pieces in that system. Hydrogen as an energy carrier, primarily derived from water, can address issues of sustainability, environmental emissions and energy security. The hydrogen economy then is the production of hydrogen, its distribution and utilization as an energy carrier. A key piece of this hydrogen economy is the fuel cell. A fuel cell converts the chemical energy in a fuel into low-voltage dc electricity and when using hydrogen as the fuel, the only emission is water vapor. While the basic understanding of fuel cell technology has been known since 1839, it has only been recently that fuel cells have shown their potential as an energy conversion device for both transportation and stationary applications. This talk will introduce the sustainable hydrogen economy and address some of the issues and barriers relating to its deployment as part of a sustainable energy system.