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Obama Says Hydrogen Not Clean Energy

Once again President Obama is proposing to cut the hydrogen budget from the DOE (Department of Energy). Apparently our President does think hydrogen has anything to do with clean energy since he is also proposing increasing spending on clean energy programs to $8 billion.

The hydrogen funding cuts that Obama is proposing will amount to a whopping $70 million. President Obama’s desire to cut the hydrogen budget in nothing new.

In May, 2009 the President proposed cutting the DOE’s budget for hydrogen in general by $100 million and zeroing out the budget for hydrogen cars specifically. Yes, the economy is in trouble right now with record deficits and if the overall DOE budget were cut for clean energy research and development I wouldn’t like it but I could understand it as across the board cuts have been proposed for months now in a number of government programs.

But, to cut hydrogen funding while increasing funding for other clean energy programs has nothing to do with reducing the federal deficit. According to the White House, “Following up on President Barack Obama’s State of the Union call for the nation to get 80 percent of its electricity from clean sources by 2035, Chu said the budget would include over $8 billion for research, development, and deployment investments in clean energy technology programs. A White House fact sheet last month said that represents a one-third increase.”

Once again the President is proposing letting Japan, Germany and the other countries in the EU get a jumpstart on the U. S. in regard to building hydrogen cars and infrastructure (and then playing catch up at some future date – perhaps).

But there is still hope. In 2009, when the President made these same proposals, Congress overturned the proposal and refunded the hydrogen program. However, with a new fiscally conservative House in session the proposed cuts may become a sad reality sometime soon.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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6 comments

  1. If it takes as much energy to make a kilogram of hydrogen(depending on the method)as it does to light a home for 2 or 3 days then one can see the substancial increase in electrical output necessary.When most of our electricity is fossil fuel carbon emitting derived even plugins could create cabon emissions and a burdon on the grid.So what is the solution for either bev’s or fcev’s?I don’t get it.
    I see these cars going to market and infrustructure going up and large corporations investing heavily.I think that what they are actually trying to say is that we are beyond the research phase and moving on to looking for even better ways to make the sources clean and that the cars are done.
    Hydrogen can be as clean as we make it that is common sense at this point .The goverments money should be invested in other places if the task of developing fuel cell cars is over. G.M,Toyota,Mercedes,Honda.Hyundai.Volks/Audi are a few of the manufactures that are several generations into their designs and are setting up tooling.Maybe the cart got ahead the horse thing or maybe you just can’t believe anything.

  2. What do you expect? President Bush was an advocate of the “Hydrogen Highway”. Nobama is not going to support it. Fine! Let the Japanese do the R&D and develop the products. They do it better anyway. I haven’t bought an American car in 30 years.

  3. Another conclusion that I have come to is that they need to get mileage out of tooling for hybrid technology.This was meant as transition or interim tech to bridge over to purely electric.Those vehicles need to sell to be able to get e.v.’s off the ground.No one will buy cars now if they know that in 2-3 years they will almost have to buy one or pay 8.00 dollars a gallon for petro.

  4. How do we fix a situation that requires a great public investment when the older people that have the money to invest will not realize any returns and the younger people that it will benefit don’t have anything?

  5. Like the fresh look. I really enjoyed this content. Appreciation for your excellent posting.

  6. Michael C. Robinson

    I went to a job fair at Portland State University and probed about hydrogen and fuel cells where some of the information I got concerned me.

    Pacific Northwest labs which is supposed to be working on ammonia borane apparently thinks that all funding of hydrogen research is going to get cut and when asked about the research downplayed it.

    PGE was interested in speaking with me about smart grid. Unfortunately,
    the focus is on using Lithium ION batteries instead of storing hydrogen and feeding it back through fuel cells at a later time. The specific area of interest is the Dalles in Oregon along the Columbia river. The grid between California and Oregon carries a lot of electricity. There is a lot of wind power now in the Dalles where the existing grid apparently can’t handle all the power being produced.

    One company that was at the job fair specialises in natural gas fuel cells intended for combined heat and power, too bad I’m a computer scientist as they don’t need programmers.

    The tooling to support battery electric cars is probably similar to the tooling needed to support fuel cell electric cars. Think about this, many of the things you have to make for a battery electric verses a fuel cell electric car are the same. No car company has to produce a hybrid in my opinion before it produces a fuel cell car. I figured Toyota would skip plug in electric hybrids, but at this time there is a demonstration fleet of plug in Prius cars.

    The Lithium needed to make the Chevy Volt’s battery makes that battery cost around $8k. This is on top of the cost of engine, motors, chassis, etcetera. With fuel cell cars there is the possibility of a vehicle that costs as little as today’s diesel electric hybrids (at least this is what Chrysler seems to be saying).

    How can Obama’s anti hydrogen bias be challenged? I hear about using chicken feathers to produce cheap carbon nanotubes so you can store enough hydrogen at low pressure to fuel your car and I am dumbfounded that the president is so prejudiced. Yes hydrogen was promoted by Bush, but this shouldn’t be seen as a Bush only thing. Hopefully nobama’s anti Bush politics to the point of absurdity will convince the American people to replace him. Add to breakthroughs in storage that bacteria can produce hydrogen from glycerol which is a waste product from bio-diesel production.

    There is a lot of promise, the technologies that exist with which to implement a hydrogen economy are impressive. Thing is, companies are afraid to go ahead with Obama and Chu saying no to federal support. This is really sad.

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