Economy: Hydrogen

Physics Today (which unfortunately uses the Netscape Logo on their site) has an in-depth article about the Hydrogen Economy. Here are some parts I liked.
[...] Hydrogen is abundant and generously distributed throughout the world without regard for national boundaries; using it to create a hydrogen economy?a future energy system based on hydrogen and electricity?only requires technology, not political access.
The natural world began forming its own hydrogen economy 3 billion years ago, when it developed photosynthesis to convert CO2, water, and sunlight into hydrogen and oxygen.
A major attraction of hydrogen as a fuel is its natural compatibility with fuel cells. The higher efficiency of fuel cells?currently 60% compared to 22% for gasoline or 45% for diesel internal combustion engines?would dramatically improve the efficiency of future energy use. Coupling fuel cells to electric motors, which are more than 90% efficient, converts the chemical energy of hydrogen to mechanical work without heat as an intermediary.
The investments in R&D are large, the outcome for specific, promising approaches is uncertain, and the payoff is often beyond the market's time horizon. Thus, early government investments in establishing goals, providing research support, and sharing risk are necessary to prime the emergence of a vibrant, market?driven hydrogen economy.
[George Crabtree]
There's also are related article on long term energy supplies:
Nuclear energy. Uranium fission plants in the US are presently supplying less than 8% of our total energy demand. Were the current nuclear technology expanded to provide the electricity now supplied by coal (about 23 Q), the estimated US uranium resources would be exhausted in about 35-58 years - less than a human lifespan.
In short, I figure the hydrogen economy will probably start to arrive during my lifetime definitely within Victor's lifetime.


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