Authors: Ali Fujino , Dave Lang, Kevin Mahaffy
Date Submitted: March 31, 2009
Article Type: Discourse

Freeing America (and the world) from its dependency on fossil fuel has become an urgent need. This is acknowledged at virtually every level of governmental, scientific, geo-political, sociological, and cultural research and study. Therefore, this white paper will not dwell on establishing the importance of this issue. Rather, it will address one scheme for emancipating ourselves from fossil fuel dependence, which, while high-risk, is also high-reward.

Freeing our nation from fossil fuel dependency may be achievable in a unique way by combining wind power harvesting with hydrogen production in a new paradigm. This envisions a modification of the conventional “Hydrogen Economy,” termed the “Hydrogen Assisted Economy” (HAE). The HAE retains all the benefits of the conventionally proposed Hydrogen Economy while eliminating its drawbacks; this is accomplished in part by utilizing a totally non-polluting, renewable, natural source of power to fuel our economy. Vital to this are the techniques now being envisioned for oceanic wind power harvesting that eliminates most of the drawbacks of land-based wind power harvesting, while maximizing harvest yield. These techniques offer both high-risk and high-reward. Other than minimal private contributions, this area of research has not been funded to date.

The Hydrogen Economy?

In his 2003 “State of the Union” address, President Bush made a strong public statement for support and cooperation with the Europe an na t ions conc e rning development of the so-called Hydrogen Economy. Much has been written about the possibility of a hydrogen economy. In short, “an economy that derives most of its energy needs from hydrogen.” Such a definition is of course misleading since hydrogen serves merely as a medium for conveying energy from intrinsic sources of its origin to the point of end-use, and is, in and of itself, not an intrinsic energy source (such as is pet roleum, solar flux, wind, t ide, geothermal, nuclear, etc.). Hydrogen must be created at the expenditure of actual intrinsic energy sources before it can fulfill its role in the economy. The generic concept of an energy conveyor has been even further exemplified by proposals to use other media in this role; for example, the “Lithium Economy” (where lithium facilitates electrical storage devices as an energy conveyance), or the “Liquid Nitrogen Economy” (whereby the low heat content of liquid nitrogen is used to run “Stirling engines” to produce useful work), or the “Electron Economy” (in which energy is conveyed to points of need via electrical transmission), etc.

Page Number: 66
PDF Link: Discourse Issue