The Hydrogen Economy

We’ve been hearing about the “hydrogen economy” for a long time.  NASA was developing fuel cells in the 1960s and United Technologies started commercializing stationary power plants in the 70s.  Jeremy Rifkin wrote about it in 2002.  The Bloom Box got a lot of attention in 2010.  In 2013, several US states agreed to pursue a mandate for a percentage of zero-emission vehicles, including fuel cell electric vehicles, to be sold in their jurisdictions.  The Hydrogen Initiative was launched in Europe in 2018, building on the work of the EU’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, a robust public-private partnership begun in 2008.  An even broader international consortium was launched only last month.  Companies, governments, and research institutes around the world have been pursuing the vision of a hydrogen economy at an increasing pace and with more tangible breakthroughs every year.  I was struck early this year, for instance, by the fact of South Korea’s enthusiastic embrace of hydrogen.

Now there’s a new, comprehensive report just out from the International Energy Agency:  The Future of Hydrogen.  You’ll find it at the IEA’s web page for hydrogen.   Continue reading

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The Climate Candidate

Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington, is running for the Democratic nomination for President.  He’s a seasoned politician, having served in the House of Representatives from two different districts in Washington, first from the rural eastern part of the state and later from Seattle.  He’s in his second term as Governor.  What is unique about Inslee’s campaign for the presidency is his focus on climate change as his primary issue.  He sees this campaign cycle and this time in history as critical for the success or failure of our efforts to overcome the climate crisis.  He seems to have some company:  According to new polling, climate change is now the top concern of Democratic voters and independents who lean Democratic.  And, not incidentally, a new report indicates that experts from 28 global think tanks have now ranked “mitigating and adapting to climate change” as a top priority for policy makers. Continue reading

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