“Water and Energy”
We know from the famous equation of Albert Einstein, that a tiny amount of mass is a vast storehouse of energy. But even the molecular Hydrogen as a result of water decomposition, is a promising energy source of the future. However, the amount of energy we use to split water into Hydrogen and Oxygen is higher compared to the amount of energy that Hydrogen can generate using Fuel cell using Fuel. But we can mitigate this problem by using renewable source of energy such as PV solar, Solar (thermal), wind energy, geothermal energy, and ocean thermal energy conversion. The cost of renewable energy is still expensive for two reasons;
- We are used to cheap energy from fossil fuels for decades, and we have already recovered most of these investments.
2. A complete switch over to renewable energy technologies will require massive new investment. Unlike the investments we made on fossil fuel infrastructures over several decades, we have to invest on renewable energy infrastructure on a massive scale, and we have to deploy them in a shorter span of time, simultaneously all over the world. Currently there is no such infrastructure in renewable energy industry in existence.
Meanwhile the unabated emission of carbon dioxide by fossil fuels is causing global warming. There are many skeptics on the science on global warming. Such skepticism does not stem from the fact that they have a concrete proof but, ‘such skepticism’ serves their vested interest. Politicians who are in power do not want any increase in the cost of energy, which becomes unpopular among people may eventually, throw them out of power. They say they want to serve people with low cost energy but, neither politicians nor the common man understands the consequences of such measures.
It will be our future generations who will face the brunt of this skepticism, by facing fuel shortage or unaffordable cost of fuel, erratic climate change, and frequent natural catastrophies.It is time for the world to act decisively and swiftly and move towards renewable energy, by massive investment and creation of new skills and jobs on a very large scale.
The companies who have massively invested in fossil power plants, and the governments who depend on the support of such companies and who want to keep the energy cost low, because of its popularity, are the major skeptics of global warming. The hidden cost of environmental challenges and its consequences is much higher than the savings, due to cheap fossil fuels. It requires a paradigm shift and a sense of social justice, in the minds of Governments and companies. It is not all that difficult to switch over to cleaner technologies. In fact most of the technologies are already available and it requires only a ‘will, bold decision and leadership’ by Governments.
Any clean energy solution should be sustainable in the long run. Hydrogen can meet not only the sustainability but even the transition from fossil fuel to Hydrogen will be smooth. To start with all existing fossil fuel infrastructures can be modified towards Hydrogen generation, and fuel cell based power generation infrastructures. Of course this will require large investment but compared to a complete shift to renewable energy, it will require only a relatively smaller investment. For example, all fuel stations can be converted into Hydrogen stations by simply installing steam reformers, including LNG based fuel stations. All gasoline based automobiles can be either fitted with Hydrogen IC engines, or converted to fuel cells cars similar to Honda FXL models. If the Governments all over the world can agree for such conversion and a complete shift to Hydrogen economy then, it can become a reality in the next decade. We have to focus on ‘Renewable Hydrogen’, which can come from seawater, a waste source of Hydrogen using renewable energy sources, and ‘Bio-hydrogen’ using from waste organic matters. The future generation will not only have a cleaner and affordable fuel but, a more sustainable future!