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Renewable Energy

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A Big Breakthrough with Hydrogen

It looks like a big step forward for clean energy. MIT researchers have announced that they’ve found a new, cheaper way to extract hydrogen from water. The new process should make it far easier to store solar energy. You can read all about it here:

Solar Energy Storage Made Cheap, Efficient, Science Daily 

Solar Power Breakthrough, Technology Review 

Hydrogen Power on the Cheap — Or at Least, Cheaper, Scientific American 

Cheap way to 'split water' could lead to abundant clean fuel, The Guardian 


Megan E. Phelps is a freelance writer based in Kansas. She enjoys reading and writing about all things related to sustainable living including homesteading skills, green building and renewable energy. You can find her on .

megan phelps
8/8/2008 2:43:31 PM

KristenM, Thanks for sharing that Gristmill link. I absolutely agree that we should be taking advantage of the technologies we already have, including PV and CSP, rather than waiting around to see what new technologies develop. But I do think it's too early to say that there's no place for hydrogen in the picture somewhere down the road.


kristenm
8/6/2008 8:49:19 PM

I'm with Gristmill on this one. This isn't big news. Hydrogen is a bad, bad, bad alternative to the other renewable energy options on the table (PV Solar needs a breakthrough in batteries, but CSP Solar is well on the way towards being able to power our grid, and wind is at least *safe*). How does this solve anything? Hydrogen is unstable. Hydrogen fuel cell technology is way behind battery technology and very expensive. It is totally impractical and a stupid, stupid, stupid waste of time given the progress of both PV and CSP technology in the last decade. Check out what Gristmill has to say about it: http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/8/4/13531/71482


matt foster
8/4/2008 3:11:32 PM

This is a great report. I do find it odd that only one out of the four articles mentioned hydrogen fuel cell cars. For me that's where the real story is. I mean the solar angle is important, but there have been ways to store that energy, all be it batteries are dangerous and expensive and fly wheels have expensive up front costs. It's the cheap infrastructure to produce fuel for hydrogen cell cars that this is going to have the biggest impact.