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Nuclear energy will be key to the clean, economical, large-scale production of hydrogen from water as a fuel for transportation and industry.
Problems inherent with fossil fuels are avoided with energy production using hydrogen. Per unit of fuel, hydrogen fuel cells in vehicles are about twice as efficient as combustion energies. Unlike conventional engines, fuel cells emit only water vapor and heat. 50 million tons of hydrogen are produced for global consumption per year. The goal of the U.S. Department of Energy is for hydrogen to produce 10% of our total energy demand by 2030.
When used as an energy carrier, 9 million tons of hydrogen could power 20-30 million cars or 5-8 million homes. If we develop the production of hydrogen fuel to its full potential, we can reduce our demand for oil by over 11 million barrels per day by the year 2040. Only nuclear energy can produce hydrogen at large enough scales to meet future demand while avoiding the release of greenhouse gases.
DID YOU KNOW
- Hydrogen, when produced from fossil fuels, is no solution for energy independence or environmental compatibility
- Wind, solar, and geothermal do not possess the energy density to generate sufficient hydrogen
- The transition to a nuclear/hydrogen economy can begin today with electrolysis
- Should the nuclear/hydrogen vision materialize then uranium resource depletion becomes important
Center for Nuclear Science and Technology Information of the American Nuclear Society
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