Another challenge is that at the moment hydrogen production facilities are limited in size and scope. The process of extracting hydrogen from sea water is possible, yet highly expensive, with our current methods. It also requires its own energy inputs, again touching on the problem of possibly remaining reliant on fossil fuels. An energy provider would much rather focus on an existing strength, producing electricity from reliable sources, than delve into a new, riskier technology.
All in all, with the rise of electric vehicles, we need to be aware of crowding out other potential energy alternatives. Who knows whether the hydrogen economy will be viable. But we have to be aware that electricity produced through traditional carbon-based sources of fuel is not leading to a sustainable energy future.
John Hoffmire teaches at SaÏd Business School at the University of Oxford.
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