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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d96oct49

"Solar-Hydrogen Electricity Generation and Global CO2 Emission Reduction," L.D.D. Harvey (Dept. Geog., Univ. Toronto, 100 St. George St., Toronto ON M5S 3G3, Can.; e-mail:, Intl. J. Hydrogen Energy, 21(7), 583-595, July 1996.

Compares the relative costs and CO2 emission reduction benefits of three alternatives to present electrical generation: advanced centralized fossil fuel generation, hybrid photovoltaic-fossil fuel generation, and solar generation with hydrogen storage. In the latter, some photovoltaic arrays would provide current electricity demand, while others would be used to produce hydrogen for storage and later use in fuel cells to generate electricity. The carbon tax required to make this approach competitive with fossil fuels ranges from $70-660 per ton. One possible drawback is leakage of hydrogen from storage into the atmosphere and eventually the stratosphere, resulting in the formation of water vapor there. However, rough calculations show that for a plausible leakage rate of 0.5% per year from underground storage, the resulting global warming effect would be only about 1% of the impact of the hybrid system.

Item #d96oct50

"Hydrogen as a Future Transportation Fuel," G.D. Berry (Dept. Materials Sci., Univ. Illinois, Urbana IL 61801), A.D. Pasternak et al., Energy, 21(4), 289-303, Apr. 1996.

A smooth transition from a petroleum-driven transportation system to clean-burning vehicles with the performance and range of today's gasoline cars is plausible using high-efficiency, hydrogen-fueled, hybrid-electric vehicles. An economic and technical analysis shows that as market penetration of hydrogen vehicles increases, fueling costs would become competitive with today's gasoline vehicles. Hydrogen production at filling stations, vehicle fleets, and homes would circumvent many start-up issues and would use existing natural gas and/or electricity energy infrastructures.

Item #d96oct51

"The Euro-Québec Hydro-Hydrogen Pilot Project [EQHHPP]: Demonstration Phase," B. Drolet (Ressources Naturelles, Govt. Québec, Charlesbourg, Québec, Can.), J. Gretz et al., Intl. J. Hydrogen Energy, 21(4), 305-316, Apr. 1996.

The present EQHHPP phase focuses on advancing hydrogen applications in future potential markets related to transportation. Individual projects for 1992 to 1997 mainly concern the use of hydrogen in airborne and urban transportation and involve hydrogen safety, regulations and acceptability, and socio-economic factors.

Item #d96oct52

Three items in Intl. J. Hydrogen Energy, 20(12), Dec. 1995:

"Cost Effective Integration of Hydrogen in Energy Systems with CO2 Constraints," P.A. Okken, P. Lako, J.R. Ybema (Policy Studies, Energy Res. Foundation ECN, POB 1, 1755 ZG Petten, Neth.), 975-985. Uses the MARKAL (MARKet ALlocation) model to illustrate the integration of hydrogen in national energy systems in four extreme scenarios, reflecting four technological mainstreams (energy conservation, renewables, nuclear, and CO2 removal). Hydrogen is cost-effective in all scenarios given higher CO2 reduction targets, and would be produced from fossil fuels or from water and electricity or heat, depending on the scenario.

"Toward Sustainable Economic Growth: The Age of Energy Gases," R.A. Hefner III (GHK Co., 6305 Waterford Blvd., S. 470, Oklahoma City OK 73118), 945-948. To sustain economic growth, energy systems must increase economic productivity and competitiveness, put more people to work, and reduce environmental degradation. At the end of the 20th century, state-of-the-art energy systems are in transition from liquid oil to (gaseous) methane/natural gas. This new "Age of Energy Gases" will end with totally clean hydrogen, using basically the same infrastructure as natural gas.

"Reformulated Gasoline: Cleaner Air on the Road to Nowhere," J.S. Cannon (INFORM Inc., 120 Wall St., New York NY 10005), 987-994. U.S. legislation that takes effect in 1995 requiring the sale of cleaner reformulated gasoline in heavily polluted areas fails to take into account the world's dwindling reserves of oil, the eroding economics of using oil, and the political and military costs of maintaining access to non-domestic supplies. In contrast, natural gas offers greater emission reductions than reformulated gasoline, at lower fuel costs and with greater domestic supply and energy security. In the long term, the expansion of an infrastructure that would support natural gas vehicles could facilitate transition to hydrogen which, when produced from renewable sources, could become the optimum fuel for a sustainable energy economy.

Item #d96oct53

"The Hydrogen Option for Energy: A Review of Technical, Environmental and Economic Aspects," G. Nicoletti (Dept. Math., Univ. Della Calabria, 87030 Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy), Intl. J. Hydrogen Energy, 20(10), 759-765, Oct. 1995.

Compares hydrogen as a fuel with methane, coal and gasoline. In terms of overall technical and ecological effectiveness, hydrogen is clearly superior, but from the standpoint of safety, fossil fuels (except gasoline) are generally better. In terms of cost, fossil fuels have a slight advantage. Concludes that overall, the benefits of hydrogen justify its use as a future energy option.

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