The Challenge of Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
Edited by Stefano Pogutz, Angeloantonio Russo and Paolo Migliavacca
Chapter 12: The American Hydrogen Strategy: Cooperation in Public Policy
Clovis Zapata INTRODUCTION I will sign an executive order creating a public and private partnership that will create hydrogen highways all over the state of California by the year 2010. All across our highway system, hundreds of hydrogen fuelling stations will be built, and these stations will be used by thousands of hydrogen-powered cars and trucks and buses. This starts a new era for clean California transportation. (Schwarzenegger, 2004) The following chapter analyses the American policy for the development of hydrogen as a feasible energy carrier. It begins with a brief review of the field of economics of cooperation. This theoretical framework is used to analyse the core American federal policy structure for the development of hydrogen, which has been based on cooperative stakeholder involvement. The American federal hydrogen policy provides an important case study of the government’s role in the development of a unique technology. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has promoted the creation of partnerships and alliances between government, industry, academia and advocacy groups. This path could allow the knowledge leap necessary to overcome the basic technological and economic barriers related to the uniqueness of hydrogen as an energy carrier. Public policy constitutes a direct market signal to enhance the research and development of this specific technology. It has been based on the promise that hydrogen holds as one of the most important potential solutions to key energy and environmental challenges faced by the American economy. THE ECONOMIC THEORIES OF COOPERATION The prisoner’s dilemma, originally developed by...
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