De waterstof-oplossing

RHINECLIFF, NY – Over de hele wereld worden regeringen en bedrijven voortdurend opgeroepen grote investeringen te doen in wind- en zonne-energie, geothermische energie en biobrandstoffen. Maar in de Verenigde Staten, anders dan in Europa en Azië, wordt nauwelijks gediscussieerd over waterstofenergie en brandstofcellen als technologieën die het hele systeem zullen veranderen. Dat moet veranderen: deze schone, hernieuwbare energiebronnen beloven niet alleen de emissieloze opwekking van elektriciteit, maar ook emissieloze brandstof voor auto's en vrachtwagens, de grootste vervuilers van allemaal.

Ondertussen hebben velen gehoord van de plannen van de grote autoproducenten – waaronder Honda, Toyota en Hyundai – om rond 2015 op de markt te komen met auto's die op waterstofbrandstofcellen rijden. Daimler, Ford en Nissan willen in 2017 dat soort auto's introduceren. Duitsland wil vóór 2015 minstens vijftig waterstoftankstations bouwen als het begin van een nationaal netwerk, en Japan en Korea hebben soortgelijke plannen aangekondigd.

Maar de grotere en grotendeels onbelichte boodschap is dat sommige Europese landen, in het bijzonder Duitsland, projecten hebben gelanceerd die duurzame energiebronnen als zonlicht en wind combineren met waterstof voor de opslag van energie, waardoor schone, emissieloze en stabiele elektriciteitsnetwerken mogelijk zijn, die geen steenkool, olie of kernenergie vergen.

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