I’ve stated before on numerous occasions that the upcoming solar revolution will be followed by the hydrogen revolution. This is because the two technologies complement one another so well. When an over-abundance of solar energy is produced and needs to be stored, then storing solar energy as hydrogen makes a lot of sense.
It makes so much sense that several solar-hydrogen homes have been popping up over the last couple of years and in fact, one solar breakthrough this year was when scientists discovered how to use solar panels to crack water directly without using electricity to produce hydrogen.
Producing hydrogen renewably from solar energy means critics of the hydrogen economy have one less issue to squawk about. Right now most hydrogen is produced by reforming natural gas, a fossil fuel. A smaller amount of hydrogen is produced by electrolysis by using electricity from the grid. Both of these methods are seen by purists as an impure ways to produce hydrogen.
But, hydrogen produced by renewable resources such as solar energy, takes the fossil fuel card off the table. That’s one of the reasons I’m excited to see the world’s largest solar energy farm being built in California a few hours from where I live. The solar energy farm in Fresno, CA by Cleantech America LLC will be the biggest one to date anywhere on this earth.
This solar farm is expected to be able to supply electricity to 21,000 homes around the area. The electricity from this plant will also supplant electricity now purchased from the local power companies.
The more solar energy that can either be added to the grid or replace the grid will mean that more hydrogen will be stored directly from solar energy or from a solar-to-electricity-to-hydrogen conversion. Either way this will mean that fossil fuels will be left out of the loop, hydrogen will be produced cleanly with zero emissions and in turn will deliver zero emissions when used in automobiles.
This may not be the 1960’s but this is the Dawning of Aquarius my friends. So, let the sun shine in on a hydrogen future.