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Hi Harmy

Me
The Hydrogen distribution infrastructure will be a big question mark in the near term.

You
Not sure why you see this as a problem.

Not a major practical problem Harmy.....more a question of chicken and egg to start with. Petrol stations are likely to be the mass market venues for hydrogen distribution and those distribution companies are unlikely to want to fund the equipment and infrastructure that will be needed until there is a proven market and a sure return on capital.

The very first thing that needs to happen of course is the production of a really practical, inexpensive/or highly subsidised, reliable fuel cell vehicle to be widely available and having a good driving range. Add to this a practical on board storage system that does not take much longer to fill than a current gas tank and then we are starting to get to a potential point of take off.

Although the technology is getting much better we still don't seem to be that close to a mass market vehicle yet. The majority of early vehicles are therefore likely to be buses etc. that are really experiments by public or goverment bodies that are willing to subsidise the venture in the cause of learning more(and looking good)

Actually, the processing and storage of pure hydrogen in large quantities is also not a cheap activity in many areas of the world. Interesting that you mention New Zealand in your previous example because when I was there a couple of years ago it struck me that NZ could be a good place for hydrogen generation. The reason of course is a seeming abundance of cheap geo-thermal power with which to generate the electricity needed.

Iceland particularly could be onto a winner in Hydrogen generation in the future, as long as the best means of storage and transport are used. I have been watching a particular American company for a long time now that may turn out to have the best integrated approach to the fuel cell question but even they are being a little careful in what data they realease publicly just yet.

There is a potential half-way house to the chicken and egg problem of distribution of hydrogen whilst we wait for the fuel cell technology to come to fruition. BMW among others are getting ready to market a hydrogen burning Internal combustion engine vehicle. This works pretty much the same as its petrol brother with just a few adjustments. They will have to get at least a minimum of hydrogen distribution infrastructure in place to make it a practical proposition but at least the cost and reliability of the vehicle should pose no real obstacle.Unfortunately it is not as "green" as a fuel cell vehicle might be but it has definite advantages over its petrol brother.

The obvious first locations for this are maybe Germany or say California if the required incentives and legislation were in place. It will take some pump-priming form the authorities but as we have already agreed I think....we have to start somewhere, and the sooner the better.

Sorry for the rather long post, I had just meant to address your main question but I do tend to get carried away at times.

Jon
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