Hydrogen – Solar PDF Print E-mail

Hydrogen is made by splitting water (H2O) with electricity that has been produced from sunlight passing through solar cells. This process is called PV-hydrogen. Wind produced electricity could also be used.


PV means photovoltaic (foto-vol-tay-ick) - photo for light and voltaic for electricity. The "PHOTOVOLTAIC EFFECT" converts sunlight into electricity that's used to split water to hydrogen.


Using solar or wind to produce hydrogen via the electrolysis of water provides a means both of storing solar energy and of transporting it efficiently thousands of kilometers from the windy or desert areas where it is harnessed. Hydrogen is a clean-burning gaseous fuel that is easier and cheaper to move than oil, coal, or electricity. Moreover, hydrogen can provide the large amounts of concentrated energy needed by today's factories, homes, and transportation systems. It can be used, for example, to run automobiles using a fuel cell.


The solar/hydrogen combination could become the cornerstone of a new global energy economy based on renewable resources. All the world's major population concentrations are located within reach of sunny and wind-rich areas. The U.S. Southwest, for example, could supply much of the country with either electricity or hydrogen fuel. The pipelines that link the gas fields in Texas and Oklahoma with the industrial Midwest and the Northeast could carry hydrogen to these regions. While it is true that renewable energy sources are regionally concentrated, they are far less so than oil, where two thirds of proven world reserves are in the Persian Gulf area.


For Europe, solar power plants could be built in southern Spain or in North Africa. From the latter, hydrogen could be transported into Spain at Gibraltar or into Italy via Sicily, following existing natural gas pipelines. Within Europe, today's pipeline and electrical grids make it relatively easy to distribute solar energy. To the east, Kazakhstan and the other semiarid Asian republics could supply much of the former Soviet Union's energy. For India, the sun-drenched Thar Desert in the northwest is with easy range of the rest of he country. For China's 1.1 billion people, solar electricity could be generated in the country's vast central and northwestern desert regions.



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