Roadmap to a Hydrogen Economy?


A friend of mine sent me an invitation to a webinar called the “Roadmap to a Hydrogen Economy and Review of Alternative Energy Technologies.” I hope he doesn’t regard my response as indelicate or ungracious:

Thanks! I’ll try to check this out, even though I’m in complete disagreement with the thesis, for two reasons:

1) The idea that “The planetary fossil fuel system will be replaced by a transition to a hydrogen based system” is false. We’re going to retrofit our 3.5 million square miles (of the continental U.S.) with a delivery system for hydrogen? Not in a million years.

2) That the idea is impractical is only part of the problem; it doesn’t make any sense. It’s like saying “we’re replacing gasoline with steam or compressed air.” OK, there is chemical energy in gasoline that can be released, but there isn’t in water or air. Where’s the energy going to come from to evaporate the water or compress the air? If you want hydrogen, where’s the energy going to come from to, e.g., electrolyze water?


About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.


  1. I suppose it will take a few decades. I’d say 3 to 10 decades. Certainly sooner than a million years. Basically when the technology becomes financially attractive it will happen. Where will the energy come from to produce the hydrogen. We’ll have to be over producing solar to cover those times the sun is not shining. Same thing with wind. We plan the wind and solar capacity to far exceed what is typically needed and store the excess energy in Hydrogen.

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