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The Hype About Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate Paperback – Jul 15 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press; 1 edition (July 15 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559637048
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559637046
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 15.7 x 23 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #753,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F David Doty PhD on July 4 2004
Format: Hardcover
Joe Romm's marvelous new book, The Hype About Hydrogen, is "must read" for policy makers, environmentalists, researchers, activists, investors, and all citizens who want a sound and honest appraisal of the possibility of a future "hydrogen economy". Dr. Romm's broad expertise in energy-related R&D is evident throughout this long-overdue and objective look at the seriousness of its technical challenges. For several years, a handful of insightful scientists around the world have been trying to get their voices heard regarding the serious issues that seem likely to prevent a hydrogen economy from becoming a reality for at least 40 years. Sadly, even the professional scientific journals and institutions, apparently fearful that the truth might jeopardize funding of pet projects, have hesitated to give audience to the daunting scientific objections to a hydrogen economy.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released a detailed study, The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs, early in 2004 that was the first step by a distinguished body toward an objective look at the hydrogen economy. On the heels of this study especially, it seems irresponsible for Energy Secretary Abraham to continue to actively promulgate the fantasy that hydrogen will solve our energy problems.
Joe's book, like the NAS study, points out in a clear, and scientifically sound manner why (1) hydrogen fuel cells are not likely to become cost competitive in vehicles, (2) hydrogen fuel will likely always be too expensive, (3) FC vehicles do not help reduce greenhouse gases, (4) the hydrogen infrastructure hurdle is immense, and (5) we must begin now taking meaningful steps to reduce CO2 emissions.
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Format: Hardcover
Romm, a skilled but disingenuous academic, makes hay with his has-been political credentials in an effort to sway public sentiment away from desperately needed government hydrogen funding and toward his dead end pet projects. Carefully ignoring important information counter to his argument, he builds a case against the clean air and energy security promise of hydrogen energy that has outraged the core of the hydrogen community.
In "Responses to Joe Romm's Seven Points on the Hydrogen Economy", C. E. "Sandy" Thomas, long time leader of high level studies on hydrogen safety and efficiency, and now President of H2Gen Innovations, tears apart Romm's thesis thread by thread. This freely distributed white paper can be found at the web sites of EV World and the International Clearinghouse for Hydrogen Based Commerce.
A few of Sandy's key observations:
"Joe says that it took PV and wind 20 years for a 10X drop in price, therefore the 100X drop that he portrays for FCVs would take many decades. He concludes that a major breakthrough in fuel cell technology is required. Christine Sloane of GM reports that they are within a factor of 10 now (if mass produced) in the range of a few hundred $/kW without any breakthrough."
"Hydrogen produced by the H2Gen's HGM natural gas reformer at the fueling station or fleet operator's garage would cost less per mile than taxed gasoline. We estimate that the life-cycle costs of owning and operating a hydrogen FCV would be $2,290 less than owning and operating a conventional gasoline car..."
"Joe Romm claims that a storage breakthrough is required before FCVs will be practical.
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Format: Hardcover
This book gives the reader a very good idea of the daunting technical, economic and environmental issues to be tackled in the transition to the hydrogen economy. Clearly, we need to take some tough measures to contain global warming until a hydrogen economy is ready.
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