The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have just delivered the nation’s Hydrogen Posture Plan to Congress. The delivers a roadmap for government and industry to pursue in order to transition over to a hydrogen-based transportation system.
While calling for other alternative technologies in the near-term such as advanced battery technology for hybrid vehicles and biofuel technology for ethanol and biodiesel vehicles, the long-term plan calls for hydrogen as the ultimate, environmentally-friendly source for meeting the nation’s transportation energy needs. The plan calls for the advancement of clean coal, nuclear, wind and solar power for production of hydrogen.
The Hydrogen Posture Plan also appeals to Congress on the level of national security. Reducing dependence upon foreign fossil fuels and generating alternative energy domestically is thought to be a secure and rational plan.
The Hydrogen Posture Plan aims to promote research that will lower the cost and increase durability in such areas as hydrogen production, storage, delivery, fuel cells and end-use applications. Sufficient safety codes and standards for handling hydrogen also need to be employed.
The aim of the Hydrogen Posture Plan is to ready hydrogen technology for commercialization, overcome any barriers that exist and make sure that the market is able to meet the needs as consumer demand climbs.
The three key milestones that the Hydrogen Posture Plan is targeting include first, that hydrogen can be produced from domestic sources at the equivalent to $2 – $3 per gallon of gasoline, untaxed. Second, light duty vehicles running on hydrogen must have a range greater than 300 miles per tank. Third, PEM fuel cells, to be commercially viable, must come down in costs to $30 – $45 per kilowatt and be durable enough for 5,000 hours of service (life of the vehicle).
The Hydrogen Posture Plan also states concerns about cutting down greenhouse gases that contribute the global warming and staying economically competitive with other countries. The plan notes that hydrogen research and development is now a worldwide effort and not just a national effort. For instance, Japan is spending $324 million per year on hydrogen R&D as compared to the U. S., which is spending $400 million. Europe, Asia, Australia and other countries in North and South America are also spending millions of dollars in advancing hydrogen research as well.