Why not hydrogen? Global energy expert responds to hydrogen fuel question

Marta Bonifert, executive director of the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, has sent in her response to an Eco-Business reader’s sustainability question as part of a joint question and answer initiative with the Global Energy Prize.

Question: Why not hydrogen?

Since water is the earth’s most abundant resource, why is no country pushing for hydrogen fuel as a primary source of energy?

  • Alvin Q.

Response: energy to make energy

In future, hydrogen will likely be a significant energy resource. And hydrogen’s availability on earth is mainly in water form, but to generate hydrogen energy from water requires locating other energy sources to do that, and these sources must be renewable. Otherwise, we’re just offsetting the problem. Scientists are working to solve the problem, and while hydrogen will be an essential pillar or energy supply, it will not be the only one.

Marta Bonifert is the executive director of the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), an international organisation based in Hungary.

The REC assists with solving environmental problems through the promotion of stakeholder cooperation, free information exchange, and public participation in environmental decision making.

Ms Bonifert is also a member of the International Award Committee chosen to determine this year’s Global Energy Prize. The award-winning scientists on the panel provide a global perspective on a wide range of topics that directly affect Asia, for example, renewable energy industries, nuclear power production and public sector environmental decision-making.

For background on the barriers to ubiquitous use of hydrogen power, see this concise, if slightly dated report from the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

About the Global Energy Prize

The Global Energy Prize was established in 2002 by a group of Russian scientists, with the support of major energy corporations. This international award is granted for outstanding scientific achievements in the field of energy which have proved of benefit to the entire human race. Since its inception, the award has been granted to 22 scientists from Great Britain, Iceland, Canada, Russia, the USA, Ukraine, France, Germany and Japan. Awarded annually, the prize fund amounts to 30 million roubles (approximately $1m USD) and is divided among the Laureates. The President of the Russian Federation participates in the awards ceremony held in St Petersburg each year, which is accompanied by a Laureates’ Week celebrating the work of the winning scientists.

Learn more about the Global Energy Prize

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