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Hydrogen economy sustainable in 15 years

But pursuing a range of alternatives would cut carbon emissions sooner, an NRC study says

5:11pm, July 17, 2008

With substantial investments, hydrogen could become a competitive fuel within 15 years, but the fastest way to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles will be to pursue a wider “portfolio” of new technologies, a panel of experts asserts.

Once hydrogen becomes competitive, it could virtually displace gasoline by mid-century, and related carbon dioxide emissions in the United States would be down to 20 percent of current levels, says the National Research Council study, released on July 17. “You could potentially, in the best case, eliminate all oil from U.S. transportation, and most of the carbon dioxide emissions,” said Michael P. Ramage, who was the executive vice president of ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co. and chaired the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council panel. He spoke during a press briefing announcing the study.

Meanwhile, for the next 15 to 20 years, hydrogen will have little impact o

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