Arno's EnergyIdeas (11)
About hearings and conferences in the USA
Parallel to this year's annual conference of the US National Hydrogen Association in early April, another event, held in Washington, DC, received in the German media little or no attention: The hearing of representatives of the five largest US-American oil companies - Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Chevron and ConocoPhilips before the “House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming" of the American Congress. In 2007 these five companies achieved a combined profit of US $ 123.3 billion, equivalent to 8.4% of their total turnover of nearly US $ 1,500 billion. At the time of the hearing the price of oil (light, sweet, crude) quoated US $ 100.98 per barrel.
The oil companies were requested for a commitment to the future, to use ten percent of their profits, which would be $ 12.33 billion, in the development of alternative energies. The oil company representatives had problems, to make any concessions in this direction. Stephen Simon, senior vice president of Exxon Mobil, told the panel: "... the best and brightest scientists and engineers in my company have probed alternatives, but found none able to replace significant quantities of oil in the near future... "
The question is: How can this man be helped, in view of the current "peak of Oil" debate? Current activities, like switching to natural gas, the sequestation of CO2 from coal, or even the production of synthetic fuels from agricultural products, to replace crude oil, make, in fact, in the long run, no real sense. Because you have to be more "smart" and, above all, more sustainable, to achive worthwhile results. Hopefully, the 14th Group Exhibit on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells at the Hannover Fair in the next week will show approaches towards a solar-guided hydrogen society.
Back to the annual conference of the US National Hydrogen Association (NHA), which this year took place in Sacramento, CA, under the motto: "Ramping up Commercialization" with topics such as: "Government as Early Adopters". Sacramento, on what does this town reminds us? Exactly, the capital of California is the headquarter of Govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Capitol is just four blocks away from the Conference Center. Who was missing was the Govenor, which is actually known, to be a supporter of hydrogen and "initiator" of the California Hydrogen Hyway.
We were there, and have searched for hydrogen fueling stations. One has just been opened, other hydrogen fueling stations along the California Hydrogen Hyway are still at work and / or intended for a "fleet" of one vehicle initially, others were already dismantled.
Informative were the Hydrogen Expo USA and the Ride and Drive, both ran parallel to the conference. I was most impressed by the power supply of the registration desk with a GenCore installation from Plug Power Inc., with hydrogen supply from bottles and electricity generation by a PEM fuel cell system.
I am happy to start a dialogue on these and other "EnergyIdeas".
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