The White House has responded to the need of reducing oil dependency by launching a
. However hydrogen is not an energy source
is a carrier of energy. For hydrogen to replace fossil fuels, extremely large-scale programs of solar power, wind power, fission, or fusion must be
developed to produce it. Unlike Iceland where there is plenty of geothermal energy to support a hydrogen based economy the Bush White House has a
President Bush promises that fuel-cell cars will be free of pollution. But if he has his way, the cars of tomorrow will run on hydrogen made
from fossil fuels.
If the move away from oil dependency is through hydrogen, I am not aware of plans to invest in the alternative energy infrastructure that such an
economy would necessitate. In addition to creating employment in new sectors, investment in those alternative energies would help reduce oil
dependency in and of themselves much faster, while laying the ground work for hydrogen vehicles when the time comes. If that IS what we want to
replace the outdated internal combustion engine?
Other countries are already well on their way to reducing oil dependency.
Germany is experiencing a boom in solar energy following the introduction of the Renewable Energies Laws. "Germany was the fastest growing major
photovoltaic market in the world in 2003. According to estimates, the German solar market generated total revenues of over 800 million euros in
2003." They are growing so fast that Germany was facing shortage of solar cells due to shooting demand in the domestic market. They are already
looking to outsource production. Source
Meanwhile in the US:
The cost of installing solar energy is finally within reach for many Americans, but people who have waited for this seemingly opportune time
are being told to move to the back of the line. U.S. manufacturers of solar panels are sending products to the lucrative German and Japanese markets,
casting a shadow over the domestic solar industry. Source
The Europeans are also ahead in wind energy and achieving 30-40% yearly growth rates.
Germany is leading the European expansion, commissioning 1,896 MW of wind energy in the first nine months of 2002, with Spain in second place
with 742 MW. Countries which have made good progress after a relatively quiet spell include the Netherlands. France moved into tenth place in the
league table with 131 MW. Austria celebrated its 100 MW landmark on the back of one of the highest situated wind farms in the world - at 1,900 metres
in the Styrian Alps. source
In an older report on the Wind Market, Greenpeace reported that China, India, Africa and South America were also investing.
In Canada we have an installed wind capacity of 341 megawats that is in many cases an investment by Provincial Electric Crown Corporations, which is
sort-of government support (source
). And there is a private market as well
In the US there is also a burgeoning private market (example
) as well as some larger projects like this one:
Sierra Solar Commissions Largest Residential Photovoltaic System in California at 57 KW!
The Republicans have got it all wrong in my humble opinion. The Bush administration's answer to oil dependence is using tax dollars to support
hydrogen without a renewable infrastructure and securing foreign oil supplies.
[edit on 4/9/2005 by Gools]