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The Hype About Hydrogen (paperback) by Joseph J. Romm Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate

Is hydrogen the silver bullet that will solve our energy and environmental problems? The conventional wisdom-among groups including environmentalists, mainstream media commentators, industry analysts, American car makers, and even President Bush-seems to be that emission-free hydrogen fuel cells will rescue us in a matter of years, or at most a decade or two.

Not so fast, says Joseph Romm. In The Hype about Hydrogen, he explains why hydrogen isn't the quick technological fix it's cracked up to be, and why counting on fuel cells to sweep the market is not a viable strategy for combating climate change. Buildings and factories powered by fuel cells may indeed become common after 2010, Romm argues, but when it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions from transportation, a crucial sector, hydrogen is very unlikely to have a significant impact until after 2040. Since the climate can't wait that long, we must act now to speed the adoption of energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies that are already commercially available.

The Hype about Hydrogen offers a hard-nosed, highly readable analysis of the politics, business, and technology of hydrogen and climate protection. At a time when it's often hard to separate science from spin, Romm offers a hype-free explanation of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, reveals the practical difficulties of making the transition to a hydrogen economy, and shows why, given increasingly strong evidence of the gravity of climate change, neither government policy nor business investment should be based on the belief that hydrogen cars will have meaningful commercial success in the near or medium term.

JOSEPH J. ROMM helped oversee hydrogen and transportation fuel cell research in various positions in the Department of Energy during the Clinton administration. Currently the Executive Director of the Centre for Energy and Climate Solutions.


Code No. 011467, 238 pages, ISBN 1559637048, $34.95

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