Back in January I gave a keynote address at the Northwest Energy Innovation Summit in Boise, Idaho on the topic of Empowering Excellence in the Smart Energy Ecosystem.  Other speakers at this excellent forum included former CIA Director James Woolsey, GE Power and Energy president Steve Bolze, Rocky Mountain Power president Rich Walje and the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner Woodrow Clark. Good company to say the least. Kudos to organizer Mark Rivers who did a great job pulling this conference together with its focus on global energy, including:


  • Impact, trends and applications to the American Northwest;
  • Highlights and discussion of innovation in the energy sector, as new technology, resources and ideas emerge; and,
  • The marriage of venture capital, technology transfer and public investment as a new generation of energy entrepreneurs emerge.

There were many great sessions on renewable energy and the problems and opportunities that lie ahead.


During the conference though, an interesting thought occurred to me and unfortunately only now am I getting around to giving it more attention.


My thought: Where has all the talk about Hydrogen as a fuel source gone? It’s been eclipsed by wind and solar. (And even nuclear seems off the reservation in recent talks about renewables, but that’s the topic of another blog!)


Anyway, what struck me was that not once at the Summit did any of the distinguished speakers mention hydrogen as a fuel.


Now I am far from an expert concerning hydrogen energy but I think the fact that today, almost all the world's hydrogen is produced by "reforming" fossil fuels by creating carbon dioxide emissions, contributing to global warming, and continuing the world’s dependence on oil.


Why isn’t hydrogen given more credit a source of energy? A quick search offers sites with great information about the potential for hydrogen from Alternative Energy News. It’s certainly worth the time to review that site as a refresher course as more energy options are put on the table for discussion in the broader energy debates. – Jon Arnold, Managing Director, Microsoft Worldwide Utilities