Read more reader reponses to DN Editor-in-Chief John Dodge's "Get Energized about Energy" column in the August 11 issue as well as Design News' exhaustive hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and fueling infrastructure package.
The fact remains that we put more energy into producing hydrogen than the hydrogen yields. So it is an energy storage method, not an energy source.
And it isn't a very efficient one either, except volumetrically (joules/cm³).
It also remains that methane reformation is not carbon neutral, as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are byproducts.
Methane reformation does have the advantage that all the carbon is "freed" in one place; which might make it reasonable to capture and sequester it.
Electrolysis is carbon neutral, but requires even more energy than reformation.
Until we get an adequate SOURCE of energy that is carbon neutral (such as geothermal or fusion), we might as well continue using coal, oil, and natural gas.
Hydrogen provides a bridge technology between a clean energy source and a mobile application that may be better than a rechargeable battery.
It is therefore worth developing the technology, so that it is ready when the energy source is ready.
But the widespread adoption of it BEFORE the clean source exists scares me.
It will only make things worse.