Today Slashdot referred to an article at Physics Today about the "Hydrogen Economy". I just submitted the following letter using Physics Today's form for Letters to the Editor.
Dear Editor,If you feel the same way, i urge you to write and submit your own letters. Or please tell me what is wrong with my thinking. I just don't understand how three established scientists can publish something containing such blatant contradictions. Why do proponents of hydrogen keep presenting hydrogen as a new energy source?
Hydrogen is an energy carrier, not an energy source.
In Physics Today 57(12), Crabtree, Dresselhaus, and Buchanan write, "Hydrogen, like electricity, is a carrier of energy, and like electricity, it must be produced from a natural resource." The authors point out that "it does not occur in nature as the fuel H2," yet contradict themselves by describing hydrogen as a "promising alternative to fossil fuels".
Until fusion becomes practical, hydrogen is not a naturally occurring energy source. It therefore cannot replace fossil fuels, which are a naturally occurring energy source.
Although hydrogen has promise as a compact energy storage medium, to call hydrogen a replacement for fossil fuels is inaccurate and irresponsible.
University of California, Berkeley