Hydrogen from Sunlight: A Path to Energy Independence
If America decides to build its energy economy upon hydrogen as a storage medium, there remain three key obstacles to its success: production of hydrogen from renewable sources, safe and efficient storage and distribution, and efficient fuel cell systems. Many different strategies have been proposed to address each of these problems. I will paint a broad picture of the hydrogen economy idea and then focus on one specific strategy (photoelectrochemical water splitting) for addressing the renewable production obstacle. I will also describe my research project in the context of this strategy. My talk will include an honest assessment of both the promise and the pitfalls of a hydrogen-based energy economy.
Our banquet speaker will be Ken Menningen, a professor from UW - Stevens Point. He recently took a sabbatical at NREL (national renewable energy lab) in Colorado, and will present an overview of hydrogen as a renewable energy source, and some of his latest research work.