President Bush has announced a $1.5 billion program in hydrogen production for the automotive industry. This is in addition to the present $0.25 billion U.S. research and development program on the same subject. Our Department of Energy has developed a mission sharing agreement with the European Union for them to work on methods for producing the hydrogen from renewable sources while the US concentrates on reducing carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal to produce the energy needed for producing hydrogen from water.
The basic problem the automotive industry has in changing from gasoline engines to fuel cell power supplies is that there are no hydrogen supply filling stations available.
As Jeffrey Ball put it in his Wall Street Journal article of March 7th, ?Which should come first? A clean car or the clean fuel?? He goes on to write that General Motors and Royal Dutch Shell Group will launch a fuel-cell demonstration project in the Washington area. I was told several years ago that the Royal Dutch/Shell Company had no interest in zero-point energy (ZPE). Instead, they had decided to concentrate their alternative energy resources on: photocells, wind energy and biofuels. The Ford Motor Company told me that they will not consider outside inventions.
We have decided to concentrate our efforts on developing a seven-kVa unit for home power supplies in developing nations. This same size unit should be adequate for service stations initially ? before the market gets large. The beauty of using ZPE power supplies is that there is no fuel cost. ZPE is free to everyone and has no pollution by-products. At the present time, I pay two cents a kilowatt-hour as a fuel surcharge from Florida Power and Light. A converter can separate hydrogen from oxygen 24 hours a day and 365 days a year at only the cost of the collector, separator and storage system. The ZPE collector has no moving parts to wear, and should last 100 years or more.
If the electric power industry elects to stay with coal-powered generators, we can be of help there also. We are in the process of setting up a joint program with a turbine development company to design, test and build relatively small units. These will be suitable for locating in distribution stations to augment the electric power from coal with ZPE power so that a coal-power station can distribute twice the amount of power and burn half as much coal at little additional cost.
Our Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham, has announced a $1 billion coal-fired power station designed to test various means for capturing and storing carbon dioxide. The purpose will be to develop the technology for removing carbon dioxide from the combustion stream. This will make coal generation power stations non-competitive with nuclear even if the total nuclear costs are included. Our combined ZPE-turbine will drop coal costs by two-thirds.
When Secretary Abraham testified before Congress on February 25th, he was asked about his plans for tapping our emergency reserves. His response was ?Only if there are severe disruptions and only after consultation with other major energy consuming nations. We would consult with the International Energy Agency before we would make a decision. It?s a matter of process.? As of this writing, I pay $1.679 a non-leaded regular gallon at our local BP self-service station. I wonder what nation will tell our Secretary that it is now time to tap our reserves?