Antonio Abaya, a writer for the Manila Standard in the Philippines, has been ready for hydrogen fuel cells since checking out a fuel cell briefing in 1995. In an article that tries to reframe some of the recent bad news about how humans are wrecking the environment, Abaya writes about carbon-free power. Without question, he says, we need to stop using carbon-based fossil fuels. This won't be an easy process, but it has to move forward. Two countries, Iceland and Sweden, armed with money, small populations and plentiful alternative energy sources (geothermal in Iceland, hydroelectric in Sweden), are moving away from carbon to hydrogen. The rest of the world should look to these two countries for inspiration, Abaya said, suggesting that Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo would do well to send technical teams to establish cooperation to develop these alternatives.

Abaya says hydrogen is better than other alternative energy sources. Biomass and ethanol still produce carbon dioxide when burned. Nuclear fusion is currently a pipe dream, decades away from practical implementation. Solar and wind cannot produce enough energy in a small enough area. Fuel cells, though, are advanced, can't cause catastrophic accidents, and emit nothing but water vapor. The problem is that it costs so much more to generate the electricity in a fuel cell than using, say, coal. But, given the recent Stern Report suggesting $294 billion dollars be spent to combat global warming, fuel cells should receive priority funding.

[Source: Manila Standard Today / Antonio C. Abaya]

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