Pawel Zajac ICSS 309 Dr.

Heskiaoff Essay Questions: Which of the obstacles to the hydrogen economy seem least surmountable? Two methods- Stream reforming of coal and natural gas, and electrolysis of water via renewable energy sources. As our natural resources such as fossil fuels become scarce, what direction do we turn to as the best alternative none other than renewable energy. Through a technological perspective, hydrogen is the best source of energy storage compared to its competitors. Its advantages also include that it essentially eliminates pollution through fossil fuels, because it is a completely clean technology. There are no environmental dangers like oil spills to worry about. Limiting greenhouse gasses through a process of a perfect cycle in which electrolysis produces hydrogen from water, and the hydrogen recombines with oxygen to create water and power in a fuel cell. And economic dependence from the Middle East and its oil reserves. The theory of renewably based hydrogen economy? This scenario presents electrolysis as our main technology in which wind farms and photovoltaic modules will split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is then distributed to houses, industries and everywhere hydrogen power can be provided. The gas can be used in several ways such as powered boats, cars, and tools. It can also generate a fuel cell to power homes and provide direct burning for hot water and cooking. The idea seems amazing, although the only problem is that it does not really exist. I believe the biggest obstacle in itself is creating a full scale hydrogen economy. The system needs to be perfectly linked in order for it to work. For example, the process of electrolysis needs to be delivered to homes through a "pipeline", which is the backbone of the system and through the eyes of economics that is what will make the system fluid and cost effective. We cannot forget that hydrogen is not naturally occurring but it must be synthesized and also that it is not a source of energy but only a carrier or energy. “More energy is needed to isolate hydrogen from natural compounds than can ever be recovered from its use. Therefore, making the new chemical energy carrier form natural gas would not make sense, as it would increase the gas consumption and the emission of CO2. Instead, the dwindling fossil fuel reserves must be replaced by energy from renewable sources.”(physorg) The set-back is that there is no hydrogen pipeline or any hydrogen infrastructure in which to test the cost effectiveness of powered houses, cars, utilities, etc. Hydrogen Pipelines would need to eliminate or become an integrated part of a proven system that already delivers energy to us with great efficiency- as our own utility grid which a system that has been well developed for many years has not reached many parts of the world!

abundance of hydrogen in the Universe. A fossil-Fueled hydrogen economy is a gamble at best and a nightmare at worst. because the production of hydrogen depends on the availability of energy and water. burns to water. and improved durability. while plausible is not very welcoming from a green standard point of view.The second method Steam Reforming. will it really be worth all that capital funding as opposed to finding and developing a new source of energy instead? . as much as oil and natural gas are today." Bottom line is that even if electrolysis technology program should continue to target cost reduction. etc. Hydrogen generated in this process produces just as much C02. “The advantages of hydrogen praised by journalists (non-toxic. Person of a higher authority such as the "Department of Energy should solely emphasize component development and systems integration to enable electrolyzes to operate from inherently intermittent and variable-quality power derived from wind and solar sources. both of which are increasingly rare and may become political issues. utilization and storage of hydrogen are still major technical issues. enhanced system efficiency.) are misleading.” (physorg) The production. What this option does is leaves us shifting our dependency to a commodity who future is in serious question.

A cap is the ONLY certain way to limit pollution on a global level.” Issues in Science and Technology (Spring 1998).”in general believes that without a global aggreement. Paul Cicio. transportation. and in particular the major emerging economies. The "cap" sets a limit on emissions. the primary driver of global warming. or come in under. Unlike some pollutants.S. what do you think will happen to pollution levels? So what comes to mind is. A cap should limit emissions on an economic wide scale covering electric power generation.S. In “A Low-Cost Way to Control Climate Change. the less they pay.If the regulatory bodies in charge of assigning permitted pollution limits or caps change the limits over time. and large manufacturers. capping domestic emissions will inevitably damage the economy. helping companies innovate in order meet. First it would make domestic production drop and become less competitive in the global market. For example if cap limits change over time. natural gas. which is lowered over time to reduce the amount of pollutants released into the atmosphere. their allocated limit. Byron Swift argues that the “cap-and-trade” featureof the U. 2 policy changes of the many that have happened over the decades since it startedA)minimize potential competiveness impacts on the US industries B) Encourage strong climate action by other countries. all of CO2 goes in the upper atmosphere and has a global effect and not a local. polluting entities much have permits or allowances per ton of carbon which in total of all allowances will equal to the cap. Whether it be China emitting 100Billions tons or 50 ton and the United States producing the same as long they don't produce more than 100Billion each. The "trade" creates a market for carbon allowances. With a proper strategy industries can be allowed fewer allowances each year if gradually the cap is met less and less. from “Competitiveness and Climate Policy: AvoidingLeakage of Jobs and Emissions. so it is in their economic incentive to pollute less. This brings us to Cap and trade which is I believe the most environmentally and economically sensible approach to controlling greenhouse gas emissions. if this is sector . On the other hand. where do we start? Pollution levels may rise in any way shape or form. is it global or to the individual sectors? What does this mean to the economy if these rules get are on a domestic scale? In theory if the cap is enforced globally then pollution levels should fluctuate with the levels in which industries are allowed to emit greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. The U. Congress passed the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to oversee that industries abide by not engaging in production that would degrade the environment. In order for this system to work. The less they emit. Acid Rain Program has been so successful that a similar system for implementing the Kyoto Protocol’s emissions trading mandate as a cost effective means of controlling greenhouse gases should work.

untested.physorg. China." (Timetogetsmarter. which in turn balances the system either http://timetogetsmarter. Ulf Bossel www. (CSS) that is more expensive than solar energy. The most sensible would be that the pollution levels may stay exactly where they are due to the fact that as industries who are producing less pollution will offer their allowances to companies to produce more. carbon storage and sequestration technology. Eileen Claussen believes that environmental rugulations have little to do with trade patterns.timetogetsmarter. b) by allowing them to pay other drivers who were going over the limit to promise to now go under the limit. most of the impact will be through the consumer level. If the standard is set correctly. polluting and more expensive methods of energy production such as coal and nuclear. What cap and trade will do for our pollution levels if the cap is lowered? As stated there are a few ways to go about it in this intertwined system. it would not matter if the pollution is reduced in Japan. Even though she states that controlling greenhouse gasses will affect the industrial production. both are consuming. or the United states because it would be reduced on a global level. "Trying to constantly lower the speed limit and average gas used per American by allowing wealthy companies and drivers to a) buy permission to continue to go over the limit and pollute the air with an additional 2 billion metric tons of carbon a year. (a-x)=(b+x) The cap(x) stays the same and the pollution levels at this point are at the mercy of the industries and whether they use up all the quota allowed. A good example of this is giving Big Coal $10 billion for an end-of-pipe dream — an unproven. less expensive renewables like solar and "Why a hydrogen economy doesn't make sense" . Some companies may find it very easy to meet their cap quota and to reduce their .based trading can lead to how a company can benefit or fall through investments and innovations. Whether that may be down to the individual or Global? This is a very vague scale considering a person is consuming a product and an industry is consuming natural resources. than they do to clean. leading to more cutting edge technology for pollution cuts and incentives to invest in cleaner Current proposed cap and trade bills give more money to dirty. even with current pricing that ignores coal’s huge social/environmental costs! This is why I believe it is very important that cap and trade must be realized as a system in which the cap line is not merely arbitrary. Sources: www. c) by allowing them to pay drivers already going under the speed limit to promise to go slower and d) by paying people around the world who are now walking or bicycling to promise in the future not to buy a car. and others may find it a challenge due to the fact that now you can buy and sell allowances.