repercussions of human driven climate change and its complicated link to our worldwide
humanity’s present and future energy demands are possibly the ultimate
challenge in the world. Today, hydrogen is widely considered as one significant
element of a prospective energy resolution for the twenty-first century
(Hayhurst, 2003). It is capable of helping
in matters of environmental releases, feasibility and energy security. Hydrogen
has the possibility of providing energy in transportation, disseminated heat
and power production and energy storage structures with minimal or no effect on
the local and global environment. Nevertheless, any change from carbon-based
fuels like the fossil fuels energy system to a hydrogen-centered economy comprises
noteworthy scientific, technical and socio-economic barriers. This paper aims
to discuss the causes and effects of hydrogen power on political and economic
grounds, which is the basis of the rising global interest in hydrogen power.
Additionally, it scrutinizes some of the crucial issues regarding the future
development of hydrogen as an energy route.
Political Causes and Effects of Hydrogen Power
The chances that hydrogen may replace petroleum will have several impacts on the international setup. States that resort to hydrogen as a forthcoming fuel capable of substituting petroleum will definitely end their reliance on oil reserves. Presently, this has turned out to be a major political concern as the United Kingdom and the United States are both engaged in major military and political matters with countries that keep large oil reserves. Through resorting to hydrogen as a substitute for petroleum, several of these concerns could be faced and resolved through a civil approach (Derwent, 2006).
The price of oil reliance has never seemed any clear according to what had been basically been an environmental issue for a long time has suddenly turned out to be a deadly serious intentional issue. Oil is a tolerance that people can no longer meet the expense of, not just due to it will come to an end or turn the world into a steam bath. The reason for these determinations is because it relentlessly leads to global war. What the world needs is a big as Apollo-scale determination to unravel the power of hydrogen, a virtually limitless source of energy. The technological development is at a tipping point as terrorism offer as political earnestness, most customers are prepared for a substitute (Hayhurst, 2003).
According to Winter (2006), the US government policy regulates the policies and acts that offer insight into the governing principles of the Department of Energy Hydrogen program. Thee energy independence and security act of 2007 includes provisions to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, increase production of clean renewable fuels, protect consumers, increase product, building, and vehicle efficiency, promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and improve the energy performance of the federal government.
In case hydrogen is to be considered as the new petroleum substitute the biggest social impediment that must be defeated is the opposition to revolution. Society in general is not too keen on change unless there is a very good cause, especially when current technology does the job and availability is not an issue at present. In contrast, oil reserves are bound to be depleted in the nigh future and when this time reaches, every civilization is certain of checking out for an alternative to provision of the energy required. This required energy is the exact ones that petroleum and other oil products could be capable of producing (Winter, 2006).
Internationally, the governments of various nations have shown support to the hydrogen power program with economic aims. Several nations regard hydrogen to be a vital tool to handle enduring energy security, ecological and economic apprehensions. Nonetheless, to realize this hydrogen future, international associations in all expanses of hydrogen energy growth, from study to technology authentication to enactment, are necessary. The cases of ongoing efforts signify the present-day global obligation to hydrogen as a latent long-term answer to the world’s energy demands.
Throughout the first oil disaster in the 1970s, the International Energy Agency was instituted as a diplomatic body dedicated to securing energy source, economic development and environmental sustainability via the enabling of collaborative determinations. For over and above twenty years, the International Energy Agency has reinforced collaborative research undertakings centered on the progress of advanced energy technologies. To accelerate implementation of these research activities, several International Energy Agency Implementing Agreements have concentrated on pioneering hydrogen research and growth in all sectors of the economy. The Implementing Agreements aim at seven expanses counting technology, energy security, the environment, economics, the market, deployment and outreach. In November 2003, energy ministers from sixteen countries signifying eighty five percent of the world gross domestic product (GDP) combined to produce the International Partnership for a Hydrogen Economy. This partnership program is an important global determination to maximize cooperative partnerships amongst nations and to encourage haring of empirical and research outcomes (Winter, 2006).
Large-scale modifications to the energy government in the past have instigated step-modifications in the development of Western civilization. The changeover from horses and water wheels to coal was the motivating drive behind the industrial revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The expansion of the petroleum industry in the 20th century has shaped modern life as we know it, with its large commercial enterprises, highly federal economic set-up and densely populated town regions. The connecting of coal, oil and natural gas has assisted in great economic development and empowered those in the industrialized world to appreciate an unparalleled level of comfort. Nevertheless, the doles of fossil fuel use have come at a cost. There exist energy security risks for countries like the United Kingdom and the United States which are turning out to be increasingly dependent on the import of fossil fuels from diplomatically unstable areas. The by-products from the burning of fossil fuels results to air pollution that affect the well-being of human beings and other wildlife (Newell, 2008).
The United States Supreme Court cases regarding nuclear power and connected subsidiary matters shows a clear development in the roots for judicial judgment making over time. In the beginning, the Court depended profoundly on federal preemptive action to apply Congress’s determination in the promotion of nuclear power. However, it deferred to security and environmental choices by the Atomic Energy Commission and its controlling descendant, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. On the other hand, as the arrangement of the Court improved and the concerns included greater setbacks to federal preventive measures, the Court has accountable in favor of nation’s rights in zones not openly associated with health and safety concerns regarding radioactivity. To validate these conclusions, the Justices appealed that they did not unfavorably affect Congress’s determination to support nuclear energy.
Private nuclear power has remained a contentious issue from its inauguration in the year 1954, when Congress passed the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (Newell, 2008). This enactment was aimed at removing the Atomic Energy Commission’s federal cartel on the possession, proprietorship, and usage of particular radioactive resources. From that time, the Supreme Court has offered certiorari on numerous matters concerning nuclear power and related accomplishments. Nuclear actions have frequently been reinforced by the Court for three whys and wherefores namely its interpretation of Congress’s pro‑nuclear power decree as articulated in the original Atomic Energy Act. It is also as a result of its having an extremely respectful attitude towards the persistent mysteriousness of technical know-how born of A‑bomb confidentiality. Nonetheless, exclusions were made to the initial dependence on federal preemptive actions as the Court’s conformation changed and nation’s rights turned out to be more influential in the majority’s opinions.
The Supreme Court’s cases concerning nuclear power evidently show how the Justices understand the law to promote their insights of society’s objectives. Initially, the Court depended on a sweeping view of federal preemption to further what it saw as Congress’s intent to promote nuclear power. Later, as the composition of the Court changed, growing concerns about states’ rights caused the Court to limit federal preemption to matters of health and safety related to radiation. Other commonly additional issues were realized to be inside the purview of the states. Resolutions allowing the states to practice their power were warranted as not tampering with Congress’s aims.
In case hydrogen turns out to be a global fuel able to substitute for petroleum, at least in the car industry, numerous major repercussions might occur which will have radical effects of the current global economic meltdown. Oil companies most definitely will not profit from this revolution as they depend on cars using on petroleum as that is their energy source which they vend. In the event that no need for petroleum arises, several companies will most certainly cease to operate and this will most certainly have some implications on the economy. Despite the fact that alternative fuels are being experimented and verified, the conservative usage of petrol is still far from defunct. The business of oil is still a flourishing multi-billion dollar trade which is not set to give way to substitute energy sources.
In a nutshell, sustainable development in the
car manufacturing sector has had major improvements and advances in recent
years. For example, BMW car company has joined the other car corporations in advancing
their progresses in ecologically friendly cars by presenting the first full
size superfluity sedan with a hydrogen ICE past the prototype stages (Holland,
and Provenzano, 2007). However, this was
not as successful as initially anticipated, mainly due to the fact that after
the hydrogen tank runs out after 100 miles, the engine switches back to petrol
and the emissions rise once again.
A mainstream of the other car companies have no less than one model which they have verified new alternative types of fuels and some have released these hybrid models into public use. These models are far more ecologically friendly compared to their antecedents with low carbon releases. The use of low release substitute fuels is a massive progression to a workable future. Hydrogen has big capability as an ecologically clean energy fuel and as a means of minimizing dependence on imported energy power. Just before the use of hydrogen in playing a bigger energy responsibility and turning out to be a widely used substitute to gasoline, several new facilities and systems must be established. People will want facilities to manufacture hydrogen, keep it, and transport it and this will need cost-effective fuel cells. In addition, most consumers will necessitate the technology and the teaching to securely use it.
Hydrogen can be generated from different domestic feedstock by use of a variety of process expertise. Hydrogen-containing mixtures like fossil fuels, biomass or even water can be a source of hydrogen. Thermochemical systems can be employed in the large scale production of hydrogen from biomass and from petroleum products like coal, natural gas and petrol. Power produced from sunlight, wind and nuclear sources can be used to produce hydrogen through the process of electrolysis. Solar energy alone can also enhance photolytic manufacture of hydrogen from water, by the use of advanced photo-electrochemical and photo-biological system process.
The United States presently uses nearly ten million tons of hydrogen every year for industrial uses, like the manufacture of fertilizer and decontaminating petroleum. In case hydrogen-powered automobiles are to develop into the norm, people will need at least ten times more. This will result to the production in an effectual and ecologically friendly manner.
Fig 1: Hydrogen Production by Alkaline Electrolysis (Lipman, 2011).
While allowing for the production measures, the price of electricity needed for the electrolysis process forms one of the impediments to ecological energy necessitated. Currently, Hydrogen Energy Center is investigating on alternative sources of power like wind, sunlight, tidal and hydro as renewable sources of energy that can be sought for. Wind producers have been considerably enhanced in past few years and can generate electricity for 0.4 US dollars per kWh which is economical with conservative means of producing electricity. In case the site has sufficient wind then there is considerable prospective for a hydrogen generation facility.
On the other hand, small scale hydrogen production holds assurance for sites where indigenous generation and use are influential factors. In addition, tidal power gathers impetus and protest march projects have been fruitful. In that regard, Hydrogen Energy Center is functioning hand in hand with inventors to initiate plans for a long term tidal electrical production showcase project in New England. Developments with solar systems of photovoltaic cells endure the least cost of generating electricity. Provided the reliable climate and a cluster of situations solar is a viable solution, it will become a success.
Fig 2: Estimated Hydrogen Production Costs (Source: EIA, 2008)
Above and beyond electrolysis, the generation of
hydrogen has been realized through a catalytic reaction of unused aluminum. The
final products are given include hydrogen, and alumina which can be recycled to
manufacture aluminum. Additionally, Hydrogen Energy Center is in a discourse
with the Canadian firm that embraces the obvious. Notwithstanding the generation
of hydrogen, the daily usage and approval of hydrogen ought to be carefully implemented.
Hydrogen currently is used to drive commercial buses both by interior
combustion engines burning a mixture of hydrogen and other sources of fuels merely
by hydrogen contained in fuel cells. Hydrogen is implemented in numerous
commercial uses from welding metal to dying cloths to manufacture of
electronics, plastics and agricultural fertilizers. In case a renewable economically
feasible production practice of hydrogen can be attained, the benefits will be extensive
to several firms. As a result, a number of the demonstrating grounds for particular
production approaches can be developed locally to yield hydrogen for these firms
(Holland, and Provenzano, 2007).
Fig 2: Estimated US Hydrogen Potential From Renewable Sources (Lipman, 2011).
Renewable sources of energy are habitually limited for marketable use owing to their intermittent obtainability. Occasionally, the wind fails to blow or the sun fails to shine, so hydrogen can be the serious link employed as a storage medium to source power throughout these times. According to Holland, and Provenzano (2007), hydrogen can be used as a portable source of power for conveyance by being crushed and kept in small reservoirs for applications resembling gasoline or propane. Considering the increasing usage of hydrogen and technical developments, the liabilities of production, dissemination and product manufacturing will become increasing inexpensive. Progressive partnerships programs between business, state, universities and non-business organizations will be the basis to a supportable energy economy.
In investigating the possible role of hydrogen in the energy in the economy of the future times, a hopeful view should be considered. All the technology required for implementation is feasible but a great deal of development and refinement is necessary. A negative method would apparently dismay further insights concerning an important and maybe the most rational alternative for the yet to come ages. A limited number of alternative energy systems involving hydrogen have been deliberated and have proved that hydrogen would become a viable supplementary source of energy obtained from nuclear power. Moreover, hydrogen could be obtained from coal the approaching future. Technological developments could regard hydrogen as an energy supply in an economic realism (Winsche, Hoffman, and Salzano, 1973).
The overall cost of energy to a house provided with hydrogen fuel relies on the proportion of the necessities for direct fuel usage to the necessities for electrical usage. A better direct employment of hydrogen as a power minus conversion to electricity minimizes the total cost of energy provided to the domestic because of the greater expenditure of electrical broadcast and distribution. Therefore, hydrogen fuel is especially nice-looking for usage in domestic housing uses where the majority of the energy needed is for thermal power. Even though a considerable amount of study is required before any hydrogen energy distribution system can be realized, the essential advances are within the ability of present-day technological development and the system could be rendered gorgeous economically (Winsche, Hoffman, and Salzano, 1973).
In conclusion, this is a subject that requires more
detailed study. Nearly all security aspects of hydrogen consumption will have
to be inspected, specifically the problems of security in the domestic usage
and the long distance transportation of hydrogen using conduits at very high
pressures. In that regard, it becomes important to note that the various energy
scheduling agencies ought to outline the manner of applying hydrogen energy distribution
systems in the energy sector of the world’s economy. The preliminary change to
hydrogen energy obtained from obtainable fossil fuels like coal ought to be reflected
together with the long variety assessment of all the hydrogen sourced from
nuclear energy. Consequently, it is necessary that the examination and
technological possibility of a hydrogen energy production be implemented in the
present-day. It is of crucial significance to the world economy to develop some
all-purpose fuels that can be generated from an assortment of domestic energy supplies
and minimizes our reliance on imported oil.
Derwent, R. et al. (2006). Global environmental impacts of the hydrogen economy”, Int. J. Nuclear Hydrogen Production and Application, 1, 57-67.
Hayhurst, C. (2003). Hydrogen power of the future: new ways of turning fuel cells into energy. New York: Rosen Pub. Group.
Holland, G. B., & Provenzano, J. J. (2007). The hydrogen age: empowering a clean energy future. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith.
Lipman, T. (2011, May 5). An Overview of Hydrogen Production and Storage Systems with Renewable Hydrogen Case Studies. Retrieved from www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/pdfs/renewable_hydrogen_workshop_nov16_heydorn.pdf
Newell, P. (2008). The Political Economy of Global Environmental Governance. Review of International Studies, 34, 507-529.
Winter, C. J., 2006. Energy policy is technology politics – the hydrogen energy case: with an eye particularly on safety comparison of hydrogen energy to current fuels. Int. J. Hydrogen Energy., 31, 1623-1631.
Winsche, W. E., Hoffman, K. C., & Salzano, F. J. (1973). Hydrogen: Its Future Role in the Nation’s Energy Economy. Science, 180, 1325-1332.