ARB Research Seminar
This page updated June 19, 2013
Electric Energy: The Potential Show Stopper for a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Fleet
Paul Kruger, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Stanford University
November 04, 2002
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA
Also presented in El Monte on September 12, 2002
The 3000-year human quest for abundant energy has accelerated markedly since the industrial revolution in the past 300 years with rapidly increasing consumption of energy per unit of "useful" work. The present age of electrification of the world is barely 100 years. The United Nations forecast growth of population from six billion people to nine billion people in the next 50 years augurs an even greater acceleration of demand for electric energy. With the added continuous human demand for a clean and safe environment, and with new demands coming into view for the "electronic way of life," a new environmentally friendly transportation system of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and perhaps a new method to distribute electric power by hydrogen super cooled transcontinental electricity grids, the ability of electricity generating capacity in the Unites States to meet the combined demand could be exceeded by the year 2025. This is just beyond the long-term forecasting period of our government agencies. It is now time to be planning for the necessary primary energy resources to sustain the historic irreversible growth of human civilization.
Paul Kruger is professor emeritus at Stanford University where he has been on the faculty since 1962. He was active in energy and environmental engineering research and education even before passage of NEPA in 1970. His research efforts included meteorological characterization of radioactive fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s, applications of nuclear technology to civil engineering practice, development of geothermal energy as an alternate non-fossil primary energy resource, and for the past 15 years, has focused on the need for hydrogen fuel as an energy vector parallel to electricity for air quality improvement and long-term energy sustainability.
Dr. Kruger is a fellow of the American Nuclear Society, served as Chairman of the Environmental Engineering Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers, served on California Governor Jerry Brown's Task Force on Geothermal Energy, headed (on leave from 1974-75) the Interagency Task Force on Geothermal Energy at the National Science Foundation and the succeeding Energy Research and Development Administration. He has been a consultant to the Electric Power Research Institute and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Unitec Institute of Technology in New Zealand where he is assisting in the development of the hydrogen fuel project within the Sustainable Energy Program.