By on December 31, 2008

The bailout-beggar line just got a little longer, as Green Car Congress reports that the US Fuel Cell Council is requesting a cool $1.17b of your hard-earned tax dollars (kudos for making the smallest handout request in months!). The money would come in the form of full funding for a number of programs authorized in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, including deployment programs; development of a refueling infrastructure; learning demonstrations; building domestic manufacturing capability; accelerating public-private research; and investing in fuel cell transit programs. And they aren’t leaving it there, either. A July 2008 study by the National Research Council estimated that a total public-private investment of about $200 billion would be required from 2008 to 2023 to support a transition from gasoline to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, at which point fuel cell vehicles would become competitive with gasoline-powered vehicles. Or, as we find so many causes for repeating, not. Though hydrogen fuel cells offer more long-term promise than say, ethanol, we’re still talking about some serious pie in the sky. At an appropriately astronomical cost too. Sorry kids, but if we’re to spend government money on something like this, I’d like to see it go towards lithium-ion battery development, which shows more medium-term promise and doesn’t require a new ground-up infrastructure.

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5 Comments on “Hydrogen Industry Wants $1.17b Of Your Money (With More To Come)...”


  • avatar
    jkross22

    You want the money for this? Go to NASA and convince them to shave it off their budget. Or better yet – how about raising the money from venture capital firms that determine this indeed is the wave of the future.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    Sorry kids, but if we’re to spend government money on something like this, I’d like to see it go towards lithium-ion battery development, which shows more medium-term promise and doesn’t require a new ground-up infrastructure.

    Totally agree, especially with the “if” part. Ideally, I think the companies should take on the research and development costs, then reap the benefits if they are sucessfull. Did the government pay for the development of a gasoline distribution network 100 years ago when that was the new technology? Of course not, and why should they pay for a hydrogen distribution network? If it is such a good idea, it will grow on its own eventually supplanting gasoline.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    If hydrogen ends up being the fuel energy storage medium of the future it will not require any infrastructure.

    Two of the most common sources for hydrogen are natural gas and water, which people have access to in their homes.

    However, it requires huge amounts of energy to convert water or natural gas into hydrogen, on top of the waste/use of that water or natural gas.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_vehicle#Production

    Hydrogen is rather universally accepted as a scam.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_vehicle#Criticism

    The future is much more likely going to be plug-in hybrids with small internal combustion engines to provide power during long trips. Basically the Volt, although GM may not be the company to perfect the technology.

    Like ethanol, hydrogen is just a special interest fleecing of America.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    “Though hydrogen fuel cells offer more long-term promise than say, ethanol, we’re still talking about some serious pie in the sky.”

    No. Hydrogen is nonsense just like ethanol.

  • avatar
    maniceightball

    It’s refreshing to be in the company of people who understand how futile a hydrogen-based energy economy is.

    I’m fairly weary about bailing out GM and its Detroit brethren, but understand why we’re somewhat stuck doing it. This, though, is a crock of horsecrap. I’m sick of my taxes funding nonsensical alternative fuels that anyone who’s taken a freshman-level physics course would see right through. The second law of thermodynamics should be required understanding for any politician who lays their porky hands on these bills (including, unfortunately, the president-elect, who is sadly misguided about the viability of ethanol, ICE hydrogen, and FC hydrogen).


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