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Monday, October 18, 2004

A Million Wind Turbines to Support an Hydrogen Economy?
In recent years, many people wrote that as oil reserves are diminishing, we should use hydrogen to power our cars. Before going further, it is important to remember that hydrogen is not itself a source of energy, but a carrier of the energy produced by fuel cells. And if we want a greener world, all this hydrogen needs to be produced by renewable sources of energy.

In "Hydrogen economy looks out of reach," an article which invites controversy, Nature mentions the paper of two UK authors, a professor of economy and an energy consultant. They say that to convert all cars and trucks in the UK to use hydrogen would require 100,000 wind turbines or 100 nuclear stations. And these numbers would have to be multiplied by 10 for the U.S.: one million wind turbines or 1,000 nuclear plants.

By looking at their calculations, I have the feeling that the authors forgot that technology evolves at a rapid pace. Wind turbines will be more powerful and more efficient twenty years from now. This should significantly reduce the above numbers. Also, the two authors didn't take a look at other alternative energies.

So, even if an hydrogen economy is not for tomorrow, it will not be necessary to spoil our landscapes with huge wind farms. This analysis looks at the authors' calculations.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 1:51 PM Comments (0)
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