FUEL CELLS: STILL 20 YEARS AWAY?
Fuel cells and particularly those fuelled by hydrogen have been ‘20 years away’ for some time now. We no longer believe this to be the case for three very good reasons:
Firstly, there are commercial organisations around the globe that are aggressively pushing the commercialisation of the technology. The inherent technology performance is no longer the issue, it is now a question of moving from a cost base that is appropriate for demonstration projects to one that competes with traditional electricity generation technologies to displace fossil fuel technologies on a commercial basis.
Secondly, there are geographic pockets around the globe that realise the potential global leadership that can be achieved by supporting the roll-out of hydrogen to achieve energy security with the added bonus of zero emissions. With economies such as Japan, China and California taking leadership in the automotive deployment of hydrogen fuel cells for the consumers over the next 5 years, sufficient refuelling will be deployed to make the infrastructure question insignificant. At a high level in China the expectation is that hydrogen fuel cells are 10 years away, but crucially what is meant here is that we are 10 years away from so called ‘new energy vehicles’ (including BEV and HFCV) being the only choice available.
Thirdly but most importantly, the planet needs the transition to a low carbon economy to happen now, if humanity waits 20 years we will severely limit the quality of life for huge parts of not just the global population but also for future generations.
Bramble Energy’s mission is to enable a hydrogen economy from the basis of cost leadership. This is not just a commercial drive but the desire from us all to make a real difference. With everything we know about our industry’s technologies and the developments happening around the world, it is safe to say that the next 10 years are all about hydrogen and fuel cell technologies growing to ubiquity.
Dr Tom Mason
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