Books  Environmental Studies  Energy 

Tomorrow's Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet

By: Peter Hoffmann

360 pages, 28 illustrations

MIT Press

Paperback | Mar 2012 | Edition: 2 | #198034 | ISBN-13: 9780262516952
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NHBS Price: £23.99 $32/€27 approx

About this book

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. An invisible, tasteless, colorless gas, it can be converted to nonpolluting, zero-emission, renewable energy. When burned in an internal combustion engine, hydrogen produces mostly harmless water vapor. It performs even better in fuel cells, which can be 2.5 times as efficient as internal-combustion engines. Zero-emission hydrogen does not contribute to CO2-caused global warming. Abundant and renewable, it is unlikely to be subject to geopolitical pressures or scarcity concerns. In this new edition of his pioneering book Tomorrow's Energy, Peter Hoffmann makes the case for hydrogen as the cornerstone of a new energy economy.

Hoffmann covers the major aspects of hydrogen production, storage, transportation, fuel use, and safety. He explains that hydrogen is not an energy source but a carrier, like electricity, and introduces the concept of "hydricity", the essential interchangeability of electricity and hydrogen. He brings the hydrogen story up to date, reporting on the latest developments, including new hydrogen and fuel-cell cars from GM, Daimler, BMW, Honda, and Toyota. He describes recent political controversies, including Obama administration Energy Secretary (and Nobel laureate in Physics) Steven Chu's inexplicable dismissal of hydrogen--which puts him at odds with major automakers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and others.

Our current energy system is a complex infrastructure, and phasing in hydrogen will take effort and money. But if we consider the real costs of fossil fuels--pollution and its effects, international tensions over gas and oil supplies, and climate change--we would be wise to promote its development.

Peter Hoffmann has produced a timely and essential reminder that a future dependent upon hydrogen presents the universal, wealth-creating, clean alternative energy system to power the 21st century and beyond. `We the people' should trump the priorities of short-sighted politicians who create barriers to the clean, affordable energy future fully explained in 'Tomorrow's Energy'.
- John Hofmeister, Founder and CEO, Citizens for Affordable Energy, Inc.; Former President, Shell Oil Company

"Peter Hoffmann does an excellent job of outlining the current and future state of hydrogen technology, from the vast technological, economic, and environmental benefits, to the political and social impediments that have prevented its progress along the way. This should be required reading for policy makers, academics, and anyone interested in creating a truly sustainable future for our planet."
- Jeremy Rifkin, author of "The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy and the World".

"Hoffmann's familiarity with hydrogen is evident in this very readable, timely book---including the promise and disappointments. The continued lack of global action on climate change, makes it even more imperative to decarbonize our energy and transportation systems and deploy zero emissions technologies. Hoffmann makes the technical case that hydrogen can play this role; politics, policies and economics will decide whether this comes to fruition."
- Alan C. Lloyd, President, International Council on Clean Transportation

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Peter Hoffmann is editor of "The Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Letter". He is former Washington correspondent for McGraw-Hill World News and the author of "The Forever Fuel: The Story of Hydrogen".

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