A couple of days ago, I published a story about the first hydrogen home in East Amwell, New Jersey and this got me to thinking about how the hydrogen highway system would eventually roll out in this country. It may begin in the bigger cities, as is the common thought, or perhaps the process will take root in the small rural towns across the nation.
There is a small, rural town in Indiana, called Reynolds that has been nicknamed BioTown. The residents and city officials plan to convert the small city to run off its natural resources. Reynolds is a corn, soybean and hog farming community that is trying to switch its vehicles to run on E85 ethanol and generate electricity from the city’s animal and human waste.
In another earlier posting, I talked about the University of Minnesota Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, which approved a grant to turn hog manure into hydrogen. Perhaps when the pieces to the energy independence puzzle start falling into place, small towns like Reynolds will one day use their animal and human waste to generate hydrogen for the city. The transition may be haphazard to a degree such as making the transition to ethanol first, or using waste to produce methane for power. Eventually, though, I believe all roads will lead to hydrogen since it’s the cleanest source of energy we have surrounding us.
In regards to small, rural towns becoming the first to achieve energy independence, doesn’t it make sense that going green will be a truly grassroots movement?