Re-envisioning the role of hydrogen in a sustainable energy economy

Andrews, J and Shabani, B 2012, 'Re-envisioning the role of hydrogen in a sustainable energy economy', International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 1184-1203.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Re-envisioning the role of hydrogen in a sustainable energy economy
Author(s) Andrews, J
Shabani, B
Year 2012
Journal name International Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume number 37
Issue number 2
Start page 1184
End page 1203
Total pages 20
Publisher Elsevier Ltd
Abstract This paper addresses the fundamental question of where hydrogen might fit into a global sustainable energy strategy for the 21st century that confronts the three-pronged challenge of irreversible climate change, uncertain oil supply, and rising pollution. We re-envision the role of hydrogen at national and international strategic levels, relying entirely on renewable energy and energy efficiency. It is suggested the time for an exclusive 'hydrogen economy' has passed, since electricity and batteries would be used extensively as well. Yet hydrogen would still play a crucial role: in road and rail vehicles requiring a range comparable to today's petrol and diesel vehicles; in coastal and international shipping; in air transport; and for longer-term seasonal storage on electricity grids relying mainly on renewables. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are proposed where medium and long distance trips are required, with plug-in battery electric vehicles reserved for just short trips. A hierarchy of spatially-distributed hydrogen production, storage and distribution centers relying on local renewable energy sources and feedstocks would be created to limit the required hydrogen pipeline network to the main metropolitan areas and regions by complementary use of electricity as a major energy vector. Bulk hydrogen storage would provide the strategic energy reserve to guarantee national and global energy security in a world relying increasingly on renewable energy. It is recommended that this vision next be applied to specific countries by conducting detailed energy-economic-environmental modeling to quantify its net benefits.
Subject Energy Generation, Conversion and Storage Engineering
Keyword(s) Battery vehicles
Energy security
Fuel cell vehicles
Global sustainable energy strategy
Hydrogen economy
Renewable energy
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2011.09.137
Copyright notice © 2011, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0360-3199
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