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Oct 13, 2011
I think I speak for most of us so called "anti Greens" when I say that I have no problem with someone developing a marketable fuel cell technology. I object to the government taking my money to subsidize their efforts, and incentivising designers to never to producing a market-ready model. As for Wind Power, here in California people are really into it. I was curious so I researched it. What I found was that Wind power is great for charging batteries, and lousy for running a power grid. Why? Because the wind's power and speed is not constant. So to produce a constant power supply you have to keep a diesel generator idling on standby to take up the slack when the wind dies, wasting fuel, and making it pollute more than a simple diesel generator.
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Jan 3, 2011
Funny cartoon. Transcending entropy always a challenge. Green is blue-sky, IMHO...
Jan 3, 2011
@rx7racerca: Excellent point about electrolysis of water; hydrogen would never really be produced that way on a commercial scale. I used that as my example because most people have at least seen it done in high school chemistry. Either way, hydrogen as a fuel isn't practical (on this planet).

All that being said about the myth of the "hydrogen economy", the heart is in the right place when we're thinking of continually being greener. I think I came off as too cynical. There are ways to improve practically everything we do. It starts with the mindset, and I think muindaur and others posting to this thread are on the right track.
Jan 3, 2011
@Muindaur: in addition to the good points QLFixBoy makes about the myths of hydrogen reducing CO2 emissions and being a "clean" technology, I'll add that electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen is a very inefficient process - it won't matter whether hydro, wind, coal, natural gas, or solar is used to produce the electricity, the amount of energy yielded in the hydrogen output will be much less than that used to produce it - hence hydrogen will remain an expensive "fuel" because it will always necessitate choosing to effectively waste energy (in the form of electricity), which could be more effectively used directly in another form.

The fact is, most hydrogen is actually produced from natural gas, much more efficiently than from electrolysis of water, but thanks to the inefficiencies inherent in that process, also produces less energy in the form of hydrogen than would be obtained from simply burning the natural gas, either to produce electricity, or in an internal combustion engine; again meaning it can't be competitive economically, quite aside from the fact it merely shifts the pollution from tailpipes to smokestacks of factories/refineries.

As far as the fuel cells themselves, how is an item that relies on rare metals (platinum, rubidium, etc) that are in short supply going to become cheaper? If H2 fuel cell cars were to become even a few percent of the transportation fleet, world demand for those precious metals would skyrocket, as would their cost.
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Jan 3, 2011
Well, $$$ are green...
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