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The Role of Hydrogen in a Future Sustainable Energy System


“The concept of a hydrogen economy has been proposed several times in the
course of the 20th century. A first wave of interest (approximately
1970-1980) was triggered by the first oil crisis, and motivated by the
concern for dwindling fossil energy sources. The second wave (1980-1990)
considered hydrogen as the vector for the storage and transportation of
solar and hydroelectric energy. Progress in low temperature fuel cell
technology triggered the third wave (1990-2000) in search for hydrogen
as the ultimate clean fuel for transportation. Building on this
momentum, activities in recent years (since approximately 2000) are again
motivated by the limited availability of oil and gas based fossil energy sources
and their negative impact on the global climate through the emission of
greenhouse gases (mainly CO2), as well as by the need to reduce the
dependence on imported energy resources.”