Hydrogen NOW!



Hydrogen NOW!

Promoting the Recognition of the Importance of Hydrogen Technologies.

Developing hydrogen technologies will enable renewable and traditional energy resources to be used to make major reductions in total atmospheric CO2 emissions.

Hydrogen NOW! is the name of our renewed campaign which we hope you will join to get the development of hydrogen technology recognised by the UK government as an essential key to the large scale development of renewable energy supplies. Hydrogen technologies will also improve the efficiency of using traditional energy sources and so yield more energy for the same amount of CO2 emission to the atmosphere.

Hydrogen NOW! online Journal will be a regular feature and each issue will carry articles supporting the urgency of the campaign to reduce CO2 emissions and to get the importance of hydrogen technologies recognised.

Each issue will be archived with an ongoing index in the current issue. This will form a useful indexed reference to the development of ideas and supporting research. This magazine archive style approach will be a record of our warnings and hopefully establish the credibility of Hydrogen NOW!. It is hoped that the articles published will not be regarded as pessimistic predictions of doom but rather as an ongoing reminder that we must get on with reducing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.

In the next few months a series of articles will be published in Hydrogen NOW! that will present the latest research findings on how we may have very little time left to control CO2. The world's climate is in a dangerous situation and we must do every thing we can NOW to get CO2 emissions falling before the middle of this century. On present trends of rising CO2 emissions we could cross a thresh hold for runaway global warming round about the year 2050.

We are already stuck with some global warming, it can only get worse in the future unless we act more quickly and on a more ambitious scale. At present we are doing too little, don't let it become too little too late.

World governments are not moving fast enough in reducing CO2 emissions because their approach is based on an assumption that global warming and it's associated effects are a linear phenomenon. They appear to assume that global warming is going to progress steadily and predictably and there is time for things to be done in traditional ways and preserve the established interests and needs of business by gradual change. They assume that taking time will only result in a bit more warming and a bit more damage that will be offset by preserving existing asset values. Things may not turn out like this as you will see in article 1 and we could all end up a lot worse off as a result.

Despite the mounting evidence of global warming and climate change there continues to be a lack of political urgency about reducing CO2 emissions. The UK government continues to relegate the importance of hydrogen to beyond 2025 and does not adequately support the development of alternative sources of energy.

Why are hydrogen technologies so important?

Hydrogen technologies will enable variable renewable sources of electricity such as wind power to be independent of the National ( electricity ) Grid with it's need to schedule supplies. This is because hydrogen made by electrolysing water can be stored and has added value as a vehicle fuel.

Using hydrogen delivered by pipeline as a gas or by ocean barge tanker as a liquid would facilitate the large scale transfer of energy to the UK from areas of low cost hydro-electricity and other CO2 free methods of generating electricity around the world such as photo-voltaic installations in Southern Europe or North Africa.

Hydrogen technology is the key to the development of fuelcells running on natural gas for domestic combined heat and power systems and for the distributed generation of electricity. Hydrogen technologies can replace inefficient traditional combustion technologies which waste up to 2 / 3 of the fuel used.

Hydrogen could even make nuclear power plants in remote secure areas economically viable. Nuclear power has the mirror image of the variable output problem that renewable energy resources suffer from. Nuclear power needs a steady constant 24 hours a day demand and so hydrogen production would be a natural application for nuclear power.

To summarise, hydrogen technologies will make the following possible:

1) Renewable energy supplies will have access to the higher value vehicle fuel market and so be less dependent on the National ( electricity ) Grid

2) Large quantities of energy could be economically and efficiently moved around the world

3) The energy recovery from natural gas could be improved by up to 50%

4) Small scale domestic combined heat and power and distributed electricity generation will become viable.

5) World energy supplies can be liberated from the monopoly ownership of fossil fuels

6) Energy supply systems can be reduced in scale to suit local demand

7) There will be no environmental limitations on the amount of energy that can be used, this will be very important for justifying energy intensive recycling of materials.

Only by increasing the efficiency of energy use and by switching to non-carbon fuels will significant reductions in CO2 emissions be achieved. Hydrogen and renewables must be developed together. If we delay the development of hydrogen technologies then we also delay the expansion of renewable energy technologies that are needed to cut CO2 emissions. The two areas of technology are very complimentary and mutually supportive.

For details of hydrogen and renewable energy and our policy for integrating renewable energy systems into the UK energy supply please see the hydrogen and renewables sections of this site.

For Hydrogen NOW! Journal click here


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Web site Manager Jill Norris