Hydrogen Fuel is the FutureNovember 5, 2014
HydrogenFuelNews.com has released the results of its latest survey.
The survey questioned readers about what they believed would be the dominant form of renewable energy within the next 10 years. Survey respondents claimed that hydrogen fuel will become the form of energy that meets much of the world’s power and industry needs over the next decade, with hybrid energy systems and solar following behind.
Approximately 27% of respondents believe that hydrogen fuel cells will begin playing a major role in the world’s energy make up within a decade. Many believe that hydrogen has more potential than both solar and wind power, despite the fact that these two forms of energy have become mainstream and hydrogen has not. One of the reasons hydrogen is seen as more promising than wind and solar is that the energy production of fuel cells is not influenced by weather. During inclement weather, solar energy systems produce lower quantities of electrical power, mostly due to the fact that cloud cover can block sunlight. Weak wind currents also affect the energy production of wind turbines, but fuel cells can produce large amounts of electricity in any environmental condition.
Another reason why hydrogen is gaining popularity has to do with its attraction to automakers throughout the world.
Fuel cells are becoming a popular alternative to traditional internal combustion engines and powertrains, serving as an environmentally friendly solution for the transportation sector. There is little competition when it comes to clean transportation, of course, as there are few, if any, solar or wind-powered vehicles that will be coming out in the coming years.
Survey respondents also showed strong support for hybrid technology, particularly that which combined fuel cells with solar power. Conventional fuel cells derive the energy they need to generate hydrogen from natural gas, but hybrid systems can solar power in order to generate hydrogen, which is a more environmentally friendly solution.
There is a growing need to become more environmentally friendly due to the potential impacts of climate change.
Over the past several years, climate change has become a problematic issue that has received much attention, but very little action has been done to mitigate its impact. Major science organizations throughout the world, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and agencies involved in the United Nations, agree that climate change is, indeed happening. Greenhouse gas emissions throughout the world have been on the rise since 1990 and these emissions have contributed to warming temperatures across the planet. Higher temperatures have caused glaciers to melt, leading to higher sea levels and climate change is expected to have a dramatic impact on agriculture in the coming years.
Hydrogen is not yet mainstream, especially when compared to solar and wind power. While fuel cells have been used for industrial purposes for many years now, these energy systems are relatively unpopular for utility-scale energy production and commercial use. Next year, the auto industry will be launching a range of fuel cell vehicles, which may help boost the popularity of these energy systems and show off their potential, but there are still many challenges to overcome before fuel cells may be considered viable in other fields. Within the next 10 years, technological advances in fuel cell technology may make these energy systems less expensive and more efficient, allowing them to enter the mainstream alongside wind and solar power.