The Challenge of Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
Edited by Stefano Pogutz, Angeloantonio Russo and Paolo Migliavacca
Chapter 14: Hydrogen: Origins and Where to Go from Here?
14. Hydrogen: origins and where to go from here? Marieke Reijalt WHEN? Recent developments in the production, distribution and consumption of conventional fuels together with volatile financial markets, demonstrate the dependency of most of the world’s economies on foreign fuels and finances. To achieve the goals set out by the EU to achieve a sustainable, secure, and competitive energy system (CEC, 2006), there is an urgent need for further in-depth research on the efficient use of primary and secondary energy sources. The EU Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan), presented by the European Commission in November 2007, ‘to match the most appropriate set of policy instruments to the needs of different energy conversion technologies at different stages of the development and deployment cycle’ (CEC, 2007a), takes a step in that direction. As many clean energy technologies will be most efficiently produced and used at local levels, the SET Plan will become a useful instrument in reaching EU’s objectives only if it enables national and local policy makers to support the best combination of those technologies to develop their energy system. As outlined in previous chapters, hydrogen as an energy carrier has a unique position within a clean energy and transport system; when produced by primary energy sources and used in fuel cells, it makes the most efficient use of these sources. The use of hydrogen, produced by natural gas to power fuel cell cars or stationary energy systems, for example, is more efficient than the use of natural gas directly...
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