Home | Introductory Video | "Why Do We Need Fusion Energy?" | Press Room | Article One | Article Two | Article Three | Article Four | Article Five | Article Six | Article Seven | Article Eight | Blog | Series Master Diagram | About the Series | Volume I | Volume II | Volume III | About "The Institute " | "The Institute" | Become A Member | Member's Sign-in | Founder - Author | About Seminars | Book Signing and Education Tours/Seminars | Write Your Elected Representatives | Your U.S. Representatives and Senators | FAQs | Contact Us
Article Six

“Initiating The Hydrogen Economy”


The dilemma we presently face in initiating the hydrogen economy of converting from a fossil-fuel-based economy to one of clean-green alternative fuels such as hydrogen, auto manufacturers have been reluctant to invest in full-scale production of hydrogen-powered or fuel-cell powered vehicles because the availability of the hyerogen fuel naturally arising from an established reliable infrastructure of hydrogen manufacture has not been available.  In order to move on to a clean, green economy we must resolve this conondrum.


Fossil fuels, because of their nature are stored pools of energy lying within the Earth’s crust: impacted plants, vegetation and dinosaurs.

However, hydrogen must be produced in n somreal-time. That is to say, prior to its required use and stored.   


Right now, hydrogen is being produced from splitting hydrogen molecules from carbon molecules contained in hydrocarbons in fossil fuels: petroleum oil and natural gas. The second methodology is by electrolysis, which is expensive because it requires electricity to be produced in order to produce the hydrogen.  Doubling electricity generation would have to be undertaken and with what fuel: nuclear, oil or natural gas?


Even with these available two present processes, there are drawbacks:

·        Both are two expensive to initiate as a source for producing hydrogen – enough of which to base a $14Trillion Dollar economy such as the U.S.A., or any other G7 economy. 

·        We remain dependent upon foreign oil and gas

·        The U.S.  remains energy insecure

·        Contributes to CO2 land greenhouse gas load on the atmosphere acting as agent for global warming, climate change, meteorological catastrophic and resulting economic and life losses worldwide.

·        America’s sons and daughters will continue to be called upon to defend American oil and gas asset interests in foreign nations to fight needless oil and gas wars of the 21sty Century which will multiple as bounded natural supplies continue to dwindle and 6 emerging economic and 27 developing nations compete with the G-7 for their share of last resources to support their growing populations and economies.

·        Continuation of environmental contamination

·        Homeland security is compromised due to unpopular foreign policy among OPEC nations.


There are a number of non-fossil fuel or alternative energy technologies now in use:

·        ~20% from thermonuclear fission powerpalnt technology including the 12 new plants either in planning or construction phase

·        ~7% from wind, solar and geothermal, and biomass

·        ~5% from hydro.


In the U.S.A., we would have to double our present output generation of electricity in order to build a reliable infrastructure for production of hydrogen.


It would seem likely that doubling solar farms or thermonuclear fission powerplants would have to double in number or solar farms would have to become much more numerous than what we have now.


Further, when contemplating doubling electricity output we must keep in mind that there are significant unresolved issues with the two technologies that offer the best approach at this point in time.   Even if a national policy to proceed to a clean-green hydrogen economy were to be initiated by aand Executive Order by President Baack H. Obama, building the necessary hydrogen generating infrastructure would rely upon solar and thermonuclear fission technologies.  The  challenges ahead with these two technologies are:

1.     Solar requires expensive materials that have not yet been perfected for mass manufacture and are being researched at six American universities, presently.

2.     Solar requires constant human maintenance and verification of

proper operation in the field.

3.     Solar requires huge tracts of dedicated land mass.

4.     Solar requires a back-up system to ensure utility grid reliability under the PURPA Law, usually by the fossil fuel natural gas.

5.     With thermonuclear fission technology, there are siting objections to new plants.

6.     With thermonuclear fission technology, the issue of waste burial has not yet been resolved in the U.S. Congress with Yucca Mountain as the final depository as national policy.

7.     ≥99% Pure hydrogen requires a technology that can reach 950° C. operating temperature. 


In Canada and the U.S., some very unique entrepreneurial companies have begun their own campaign to help develop the production of hydrogen by a home-by-home basis.  While their efforts are commendable to begin integration of hydrogen-producing technologies, these home-based systems rely on natural gas to produce the hydrogen and are costly to the homeowner. 


Secondly, not everyone in the nation is a homeowner and not all homeowners have garages and/or laundry rooms set aside for such technology.  Required ventilation and proper ductwork is an additional cost to the homeowner. Condo and cooperative apartment owners more than likely do not have the space or capability for the required ventilation and exhaust ductwork.


These new technologies are expensive and place a big burden on the individual citizen in an effort to bring online the hydrogen economy. The individual homeowner’s efforts will not be adequate to support a national economy based on the mass manufacture of pure hydrogen.


In-place infrastructure of reliable hydrogen manufacture is the number one challenge preventing us from moving onto a hydrogen-based clean green economy.


What to do?  This question is addressed in the next article offering an interim solution  to a sustainable clean, green economy.


Article Five                                                                      Article Seven
Author: Diane A. Davis, Founder and CEO
The International Institute For Thermonuclear Fusion Energy Education, R&D, Regulation, Technology And Public Policy, Inc.