Hydrogen—The Hot New Energy Source
In light of ever-increasing energy costs, consumers continue to look for alternative sources of power to meet energy demands. For many, the first things that probably come to mind when considering “green energy” are solar and wind power, or perhaps converting to an electric vehicle in lieu of a gasoline-powered one. There is another source of energy out there that isn’t getting the same coverage, and that’s hydrogen.
Hydrogen has been available as a power source for a while but up until recently hasn’t been the most available or affordable. However, in the last few years, it’s been making a comeback. Where many industrial sectors have been utilizing hydrogen in order to meet goals for lowering greenhouse gas emission standards and decarbonize for years, the transportation and energy industries have been making more recent public and noticeable strides in bringing this technology to the foreground.
Microgrids or non-wire alternatives (NWAs) have been popping up in many new locations, both in the US and around the globe. NWAs utilize distributed energy resources at local levels and can provide communities, emergency services campuses, and other facilities with power directly, without having to rely on “the grid” for power. Many of these NWAs are being built using hydrogen fuel cell technology. In addition to using fuel cell technology, many of these NWAs use electrolysis onsite to produce their own hydrogen, which is part of what makes them so reliable. Electrolysis is the passage of an electric current through ions to the negative and positive electrodes.
In the transportation industry, companies are investing more into designing and producing hydrogen fuel cell powered cars and trucks. The first hydrogen fuel cell electric car was made by Honda back in 2008. In more recent years, both Toyota and Hyundai have come out with models of their own. These newer cars get an estimated 250 miles out of a 17-gallon tank.
Though hydrogen fueling stations are sparse in most of the country right now, New York and California are both increasing their construction. The Department of Energy’s Hydrogen Earthshot Initiative combined with the 2022 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will increase the use of and production of hydrogen and drive down the domestic cost as well.
Interested in exploring alternative energy sources and microgrids? Walden’s environmental professionals are experienced with providing site-specific and customized engineering and consulting services for the development and implementation of renewable energy projects. If you are looking to learn more about the benefits of cleaner energy, please contact Walden Environmental Engineering at 516-758-1273.