Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hydrogen Cars Won't Make a Difference for 40 Years

Wired has a piece on how experts say it 'will be 40 years or more before hydrogen has any meaningful impact on gasoline consumption or global warming, and we can't afford to wait that long. In the meantime, fuel cells are diverting resources from more immediate solutions':

"As a climate strategy, it's not very good," said Dr. Joseph Romm, executive director of the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions and author of The Hype About Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate. "We don't have the time."

Climate experts and alternative-fuel researchers, including some hydrogen proponents, agree that hydrogen is at best a long-term solution. In the short and medium term, however, other technologies offer far greater benefit at far less cost: Cleaner internal combustion engines, hybrids and plug-in hybrids.

Some worry that these near-term solutions are being short-changed. But hydrogen advocates counter that the answer isn't cutting hydrogen funding, but increasing funding for research into a wide variety of alternatives to oil.

"The few million we're spending to change our energy policy is like sending one platoon to Normandy," said Paul Williamson, director of the Hydrogen and Alternative Energy Research and Development program at the University of Montana. "It's just not going to happen."

Read in full - 'Hydrogen Cars Won't Make a Difference for 40 Years'

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