The Trouble with Fuel Cells

Ouch-inducing recent comment from Ulf Bossell, chair of the European Fuel Cell Forum conference. In discontinuing the European PEFC (polymer electrolyte fuel cell) Forum, he said the following:

“The best sustainable solution is obtained by linking renewable electricity sources directly to the energy needs of consumers by means of efficient power transmission lines. A hydrogen infrastructure is not needed for solving the energy problem.”

“You and your colleagues have developed a magnificent technology, but the fuel needed to make it work is not offered by nature. The energy problem cannot be solved by creating artificial fuels. The laws of physics speak against a hydrogen economy, and physics cannot be changed by wishful thinking, political initiatives, research programs or venture capital.”

[via Clean Break]


  1. Will Travis says:

    What a bunch of baloney! Gasoline is not natural nor is electricity (unless you try to catch lightning bolts). Of course it takes energy to make energy but use hydroelectric power to make the hydrogen, or wind farms, or geothermal, or solar. Multiple sources of diverse COx-free energy can be combined into one efficacious hydrogen distribution network just like the major natural gas pipes across this country. Did Ulf Bossell have some bad weinershnitzel for lunch?

  2. Franklin Stubbs says:

    Nah, he’s probably right. Building out a hydrogen network would be an expensive (and dangerous) pain in the ass.
    It’s more likely we develop solutions where the innovation is at the power plant or the refinery.

  3. weren’t there plans to produce and store ethyl acohol and produce the hydrogen out of it IN THE CAR? sounds like a good solution… alcohol can easily produced from plants.