Wind energy is a GREAT idea—but to use like this? Read, then see HYDROGEN--NOT below.
Project doubles up on renewables; Wind energy will produce hydrogen fuel
Steve Raabe, December 16, 2006 (Denver Post via Houston Chronicle)
- Amid gusting winds and spinning wind turbines, officials last week unveiled a $2 million research project to use wind energy to produce hydrogen fuel.
- The technology proposes to take clean energy to a new level, using a renewable resource, wind, to make a nonpolluting fuel, hydrogen, in one of the nation's first attempts to combine the two energy resources…Electricity from wind turbines is used to break down water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is captured and stored, then used to generate power or as fuel…
- The research is a joint project of Xcel Energy and the Golden, Colo.-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory…may not be commercially feasible for at least another eight years…
- The research project is expected initially to generate only relatively tiny amounts of hydrogen — about 17 kilograms a day…roughly the same energy content as [17 gallons] of gasoline…used to generate small amounts of electricity. In the future, if commercial-scale production can be achieved, scientists say hydrogen's most economical use will be as a vehicle fuel, for internal combustion engines or fuel cell-powered cars.
- Fuel cells use a chemical process to convert hydrogen to electricity. Energy lab and Xcel officials said initial hydrogen production costs are expected to be about $8 per kilogram, making the process more than three times as expensive as using gasoline to run a car. But by 2020, or perhaps earlier, they expect costs to drop to $2 to $3 per kilogram.