Science

New Hydrogen-Carbon Economy May Solve Climate Change Challenges

Hydrogen Resurfaces As A Powerful Tool To Solve The Challenges Of Climate Change

The Earth’s most abundant element can become humankind’s lifesaver.

Hydrogen-Carbon Economy
proonsite / Pixabay

“Creating the New Hydrogen-Carbon Economy” is the theme of AREI’s Energy Summit in Aspen-Snowmass.

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Aspen, COIt’s certainly not yet “mainstream,” but some are calling it the "Green Hydrogen Revolution"– the possibility that hydrogen can be the future of green energy.  The American Renewable Energy Institute (AREI) is fully behind the efforts primarily being driven by Japan and Australia.  The role of hydrogen in powering the world’s energy needs will be explored during the 16th annual American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) Summit, August 14-17, 2019,  in Snowmass Village, CO, a program of AREI.

The theme for this year’s annual AREDAY Summit and Impact Film Festival is "Creating the New Hydrogen-Carbon Economy: The Politics of Change.” It will be held at the Viceroy Resort, 10 miles from Aspen. This speaker series has been convening since 2004 as one of the largest in-person brain trusts of the global renewable energy industry, attracting climate change decision-makers, change agents and thought leaders from diverse sectors.

AREI’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, Chip Comins, says he and AREI President Sally Ranney chose hydrogen as their focus because, "Hydrogen is the only energy source that will provide baseload power in a predictable, reliable, resilient and deliverable way at the required frequency now provided by coal, oil and gas.” The demand for energy continues to grow, with analysts forecasting our energy demand in 2050 will be 30-40% higher than today, even if we become much more energy-efficient. Our fossil fuel dependency hasn’t changed in 35 years with only one-fifth of the world’s electricity being produced by renewable energy.The advent of5G will also significantly add to global energy demand.

“While there is no silver bullet, there is silver buckshot,” says Comins. “The answer is all of the renewable energy options working together and collaborating as strategic partnerships.” Right now, only three of 26 low carbon innovation areas – solar PV/onshore wind, energy storage and electric vehicles are commercially competitive and on track to deliver their share of the climate objectives set out at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). "Hydrogen offers an elegant solution” to the environmental stress the planet is experiencing, says IEA.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe.  Not only is it odorless and nontoxic, it also has the highest energy content of all fuels.  It can be used to transport and store energy, which means its applications are numerous, from transportation and utilities to buildings and neighborhoods. But first, it must be “extracted” from diverse sources. The best way forward to do this is to separate hydrogen from water by one or more methods including electrolysis to make green hydrogen using some form of renewable energy.

One of the bright stars in this field is Star Scientific Unlimited, a company in Australia investing $85 million to create a technology called the “HERO – Hydrogen Energy Release Optimizer,” a new energy source.  Here’s how they describe it: "Hydrogen and oxygen are fed into the HERO system where they interact with a proprietary catalyst to generate heat which is used to create zero emission energy. The temperature reaches in excess of 700 degrees Celsius to meet the baseload and peak power demands. The hydrogen will come from green sources and will create zero emissions.”  Andrew Horvath, Executive Chairman of Star Scientific, will be presenting on this topic at the AREDAY Summit.

The AREDAY Summit will feature 100 diverse speakers participating in dozens of panel discussions, armchair conversations, keynote addresses and top-level networking events.  The purpose of the dynamic AREDAY Summit is to provide a platform for high level, cross-sector networking that results in investments, collaborations, strategic alliances and new initiatives.

In addition to the Speaker series, AREI will simultaneously sponsor Impact Film, a solutions-oriented film festival designed to motivate the community to engage in climate change issues and protect the planet for future generations. The Hydrogen Age will be screened at the opening reception of the AREDAY Summit on August 14 at the Viceroy Resort. Interestingly, this Leonard Nemoy-narrated film kicked off the film festival in 2004, AREDAY’s first year of the Summit.

Most of the daily events at the Summit will be held at the LEED Gold-Certified Viceroy Snowmass Luxury Mountain Resort, where a limited number of rooms will be available for attendees. Registration costs range from $350 to $1,250 with special rates for students, non-profits, governments and a single day ticket.


About AREDAY – The AREDAY SUMMIT is a program of the American Renewable Energy Institute (AREI). It has taken place annually in Aspen or Snowmass, CO since 2004. The agenda includes a multi-day speaker series and IMPACT FILM.  AREDAY offers attendees the opportunity to engage with clean energy world leaders from the public and private sectors, including the fields of finance, politics, solar, wind, biofuels, geothermal and leading-edge energy technologies. Participants have included President Jimmy Carter, the Prime Minister of Australia and the President of Iceland.  For more information, call 970-930-8002 or visit AREDAY.net.

About AREI – The American Renewable Energy Institute (AREI) is a registered 501(c)(3) organization based in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley.  Focused on fostering actionable solutions around climate change, its programs emphasize the “Six E’s” – Energy, Environment, Economy, Education, Employment and Equality – which run as threads throughout the organization’s core initiatives.  These include the annual AREDAY SUMMIT, American Climate & Education Literacy Initiative (ACELI) and RENEW program.