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Thread: : Al Gore - A Generational Challenge to Repower America
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On Mon, 28 Jul 2008, Matthew Miller wrote:
> > Building a hydrogen distribution system is not going to be easy, or cheap.
> > But it does have one HUGE advantage over sticking with the current system
> > that we have... it is sustainable.
>
> What sustainable source of energy is going to be used to produce the
> hydrogen? The US gets half it electricity from burning coal and 95% of the
> hydrogen that is produced is done so using petroleum. Hydrogen would only be
> evo friendly if generated using nuclear power (so more plants need to be
> built), but producing hydrogen would still be a wasteful use of that energy.

I am assuming we build more nuclear power, as it's the only means I can
think of that could replace petroleum use.

> > Batteries are expensive and take forever to recharge and have a limited
> > lifetime.  In the future we might solve these problems, but with the
> > technology we have NOW we could make hydrogen work.
>
> I'd rather use electrical energy to charge batteries than waste half the
> energy producing hydrogen.

Charging batteries is not 100% waste free.  Then there is the energy
cost to make and dispose of the batteries when they wear out.  Hydrogen is
still not as efficent, but it's pretty close.

> I don't advocate doing nothing, it's just that hydrogen isn't going to be a
> solution. I also don't look for solutions to be only technical, there is
> going to be a societal aspect as well regarding transportation, urban
> planning, etc.

The reason I don't see batteries is the social aspect.  People are used to
filling up their cars at will, not planning ahead for a 4 to 8 hour
recharge cycle.  Makes long trips rather impossible too.

Batteries are not going to help trucks, and that is where hydrogen can get
a foothold.  Trucks already have a seperate system in desil, and you can
build your refueling along interstates and major trucking lines.  Expand
from there.  Add government support to the mix and it can go much faster.

But I would be equally happy if we moved to electric cars and cleaner ways
to generate the power too.  I just think hydrogen is a better long term
move.

Unless we suddenly invent superconducting capacitors and can run cars off
those.  That would be nica, but currently a fantasy.

--
Ian Smith
http://www.ian.org
<Pine.LNX.4.64.0807281512200.8726@www.sportsmogul.com> 7bit

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Subject (change) : Al Gore - A Generational Challenge to Repower America

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