Role of Renewable Energy for the Hydrogen Economy: Chapter 18: Renewable Energy Sources

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Abundant, reliable, and affordable energy is an essential component in a healthy economy. Because hydrogen can be produced from a wide variety of domestically available resources and can be used in heat, power and fuel applications, it is uniquely positioned to contribute to our growing energy demands, particularly in the environmentally- and traditional resource- constrained scenarios facingmany communities. However, if we are to realize the true benefits of a hydrogen economy, renewables must play a substantial role in the efficient and affordable production of the hydrogen. Renewable options that could make a substantial impact are electrolysis powered by wind, photovoltaics, solar thermal electric, hydropower, and geothermal; direct water splitting using microorganisms andsemiconductors; and the thermal and biological conversion of biomass and wastes. Researchers around the globe are working on improving these renewable technologies. As a result, costs continue to drop. Coupled with the advances in hydrogen production equipment, such as electrolyzers, renewable hydrogen production technologies can supply cost-competitive hydrogen in the near term and will,ultimately, play a substantial role in our energy supply. In addition to the potential supply of affordable hydrogen, these technologies also offer a wide variety of opportunities for the development of new centers of economic growth. Most renewable energy investments are spent on materials and workmanship to build and maintain the facilities, rather than on costly energy imports. Therefore,renewable energy investments are usually spent regionally and even locally, leading to new jobs and investments in local economies. Because of the synergistic relationship, realizing the hydrogen economy will naturally facilitate the advancement of renewables. By diversifying our energy supply, we will not only reduce our dependence on imported fuels, but will also benefit from cleanertechnologies and investment in our communities.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Title of host publicationEnvironment: The Science Behind the Stories
    EditorsS. Brennan
    StatePublished - 2004

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CH-560-35403


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