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Thursday, October 11, 2007
Hydrogen - Driving the New Economy in California

California's Hydrogen Highway

The State of California Executive Order S-7-04, signed on April 20, 2004 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, approved the creation of a blueprint document called the California Hydrogen Highway Network. It was a history setting move by California and established a clear step forward for the State and the rest of the world towards energy efficiency and the possibility, for the future, of virtually zero emissions transport. The Blueprint document was released one year later in May 2005.

California's Hydrogen Highway Blueprint is an infrastructure and technical implementation plan for the establishment of the availability of hydrogen fuelling stations throughout the State and the development of new automobiles and trucks, like fuel cell vehicles, to use this infrastructure. Previous articles in theirEarth Motoring, have shown that automobile manufacturers, like Honda Motor Company, are very close to being able to offer mass produced fuel cell vehicles (see Honda FCX Concept) that will be able to use this infrastructure once it is ready.

The California Blueprint is an excellent outline of all of the implementation requirements for establishing Hydrogen as a base fuel for transport, and it was worked on by a large implementation committee including representation from the State, automobile manufacturers, and the bulk gas and petrochemical industries.

The other element that is excellent about this Blueprint document, forged by the leadership of California, is that it recognizes that the true final outcome of this plan, is the need to create hydrogen gas by renewable energy methods, like wind and solar power. It even outlines in summary the design of some fuelling stations to produce hydrogen by using on-site methods powered by wind or solar energy.

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