Hydrogen and Renewables (Tom Wind, Energy Consultant)
Are the answers to our energy problems blowin' in the wind? Tom Wind (yes that's his real name) evaluates the resource.
Transcript: Hydrogen and Renewables
One of the big limitations of renewable energy such as sunshine and wind is that it's intermittent. If you rely on it as a power source, there are periods of time when it doesn't produce very much power or no power at all. And to fully develop the renewable resources, we have here in the United States, we're going to have to develop means of storing power. Today you can store power in batteries. such as you have in your car or your flashlight, but it's very expensive to do that. It's not economically feasible to do that on a large scale. but researchers are working on using hydrogen as a means of storing energy and when that comes about, a wind turbine would generate electricity, and the electricity would be used to break down water into hydrogen and oxygen, and the hydrogen would be stored, in either underground caverns such as natural gas is stored now, or in big tanks. Then that hydrogen would be used whenever it's needed. It could be used to fuel automobiles. Automobiles are now being developed to use fuel cells which can use hydrogen. Or it can be used in fuel cells for generating electricity for the grid. Or it could be used to power a combustion turbine. When scientists, when they perfect the means of breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen in an economical manner, so that we could store energy so that when the wind doesn't blow, we'll have the stored hydrogen to either generate power through fuel cells or some other means. When that day comes, when it becomes economic to do that, then it will really open up areas such as this to continued and further development of wind energy.