Alternative Energy? All Roads Lead to Natural Gas

By June 2, 2006Energy

During all the debates on energy these days, folks love to talk about alternative sources of energy. Mark us down as in favor, by the way. As some of the biggest consumers of energy, manufacturers have a vested interest in finding alternative sources, and in also making sure we continue to tap our enormous domestic supplies. It’s not an either/or proposition. We need to be doing both.

One of those new sources you hear about pretty often is hydrogen. There’s a reason for that — it’s stable, we can’t run out of it and it’s emission-free. What’s not to love? The President has committed to perfect hydrogen technology by 2020.

However, you don’t just pick hydrogen out of the air. It is produced from materials that contain hydrogen. but you need something that enables you to isolate the hydrogen and collect its energy. That substance is natural gas. As you well know, we 420 trillion cubic feet of it in the Outer Continental Shelf, 85% of it subject to a federal moratorium.

Here’s an op-ed from the Washington Times on this topic from a few days ago by our old friend and energy warrior Rep. John Peterson (R-PA). In it, he says:

“The law of supply and demand tells us increasing the natural gas supply will lower the price. And the law of common sense tells us a lower price will go a long way toward helping kick-start our national hydrogen agenda into full gear. From there we will need a combination of technological advances and investments in a hydrogen energy infrastructure if we’re to succeed. But before any of that can happen, we need access to domestic supplies of natural gas. And we need them right now.”

Like we said, all roads lead to natural gas, even the road to hydrogen.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Curt Grimmer says:

    You make a very good point. A supply of hydrogen will need to be developed along with the needed vehicle technology. Also required will be the vehicle fueling infrastructure. We should encourage the continued development of compressed natural gas vehicles (NGV’s) that use (CNG) compressed natural gas. They both require similar infrastructure as they both meter, store and flow a gas. CNG infrastructure could be upgraded to dispense hydrogen later. NGV’s conserve energy in that they allow to use of existing technology to be used much longer and the emissions are much lower in NGV’s.