On a windy day, my neighbor's wind turbine makes more power than she needs, so she makes hydrogen with that power and stores it up for a calm day when she needs it, or she can sell it back to the grid. 

Hydrogen News

WELCOME TO MAINE'S CONVERSATION ABOUT HYDROGEN AND FUEL CELLS

Hydrogen is the lightest element in the universe.  It also holds a great deal of potential energy, which makes it a versatile energy storage medium that can be produced on-site, transported or even mixed with natural gas to create a cleaner energy supply. Let's talk about how we can use hydrogen (H2) to help us meet Maine's energy needs.

 

a hydrogen fuel cell

A hydrogen fuel cell at NREL

 
 
Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Industry Growing in Northeast
04/20/2016 - 9:20pm

Northeast Electrochemical Energy Storage Cluster logoOn March 17, 2016, the Northeast Electrochemical Energy Storage Cluster (NEESC) announced the results of a recently-commissioned, independent IMPLAN economic analysis of the region's hydrogen and fuel cell industry. The study's findings suggest that the hydrogen and fuel cell industry in the Northeast region experienced growth over the last four years. Factors evaluated in the study included: employment, revenue and investment, labor income, and state and local tax revenue.

NEESC is a project administered by the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. (CCAT). Joel Rinebold, Director of Energy Initiatives at CCAT said of the study, ”We were very pleased to see growth in the industry here in the Northeast given the competitive nature of the industry and the significant recruitment efforts from other countries.”

Read more on the NASDAQ Globe Newswire

Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credits Extended 5 Years
12/26/2015 - 10:59am

solar panels image courtesy of the humble farmerOn December 15, 2015, the US Congress approved an extension of the Residential Renewable Tax Credit, originally set to expire at the end of 2016, for another five years. The tax credit enables homeowners and small businesses to claim 30% of the cost of solar, small wind, fuel cell and geothermal systems against their taxes. 

Read more about the tax credit from the US Department of Energy. Read Senator Charles Schumer’s announcement of the extension in the Westfield Republican.

Image courtesy of the humble Farmer.

E2Tech Hosts its First Expo Oct. 1
09/28/2015 - 9:45pm

Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine E2TechThe Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) and its partners are pleased to host the inaugural E2Tech Expo on October 1, 2015. Events include keynotes from a Fortune 50 company and a venture capital firm; its first-ever “E2Tech Talks” on Maine’s local and global food movements; a high-level plenary panel on cleantech markets, technologies, and public policies; workshops on energy policy, workforce development & career connections, sustainability in the supply chain, and cluster development and seed funding; and dozens of tables featuring environmental and energy companies, products, services, and resources.

You may see the agenda and register here.

Alternative Fueling Station Finder App for iPhone Released
11/14/2013 - 4:08pm

Pearson Fuels in San Diego offers multiple alternative fuel options image Courtesy of DOE/NRELOn November 7, 2013, the US-DOE's Clean Cities announced the launch of a free iPhone app that locates fueling stations offering alternative fuels, including electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, E85, propane, and hydrogen. Developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the app is available for download through Apple's App Store.

Read more from Clean Cities. Image courtesy of DOE/NREL.

U.S. Senators Re-Launch Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus
08/07/2012 - 9:47pm

In a U.S. Senate policy briefing held on July 28, 2012, 2 democratic and 2 republican senators announced plans to re-launch the bipartisan Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus. The caucus will promote the continued development and commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the United States. 

The event follows US Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu's statement of support towards hydrogen and fuel cell technology; which was made public in June, 2012. Read the full story on EV World.

Fracking Wells Closed in Wake of Earthquake
01/04/2012 - 1:09pm

Ohio's Natural Resources Department has ordered the indefinite closure of four wells used for hydraulic fracturing or fracking, a controversial process for extracting of natural gas, in the wake of a series of small and one magnitude 4.0 earthquake in and around Youngstown in recent weeks. 

"They will (not open) until we are satisfied that the process can be safely resumed," said Andy Ware, a spokesman for the department.

Over 44% of Maine's electricity is generated from natural gas, so we may be complicit in causing these quakes. See the full article on CNN.

Maine Citizens for Clean Energy Forms to Float 2012 Ballot Initiative
10/28/2011 - 12:26pm

A coalition of businesses and organizations gathered in Bangor on October 27, 2011 to launch a petition drive to put a ballot initiative on the 2012 ballot that would require Maine’s utilities to get 20 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020.

“In Maine, as in much of the country, construction work has taken the brunt of this Great Recession,” said Hermon resident Scott Cuddy, a journeyman electrician. “We need help now. We do not want a handout, we want a job. Our jobs come from projects. When a new area of development is identified, we need to exploit that area as soon as we can. Alternative energy generation is just such a field.”

Read all about it in the Bangor Daily News or in Mainebiz.

Scientists Discover How to Convert Sunlight and Water into Hydrogen Fuel
05/11/2011 - 3:33pm

In steps toward a clean energy economy, scientists have discovered a cheap and efficient way to make hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water.  A team of scientists, led by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, found out how to split water into its components, which are hydrogen and oxygen.  What they did was paired a specific catalyst, called a molybdenum sulfide, with an electrode that absorbs light to split the water molecule into parts.  Catalysts speed up the rate of a chemical reaction and an electrode is a collector or emitter of an electric charge.
 
Hydrogen is a fuel that is filled with energy and releases water when it is used.  Most hydrogen is produced from natural gas, which usually results in carbon dioxide pollution.  However, there is an alternative use of hydrogen called photo-electrochemical (PEC) water splitting.  PEC is a cell that absorbs solar energy and splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.  This process requires a catalyst to increase the rate of splitting water molecules.  Platinum is a catalysts that works and is currently used, however, it is extremely expensive and this makes it difficult to use the catalyst constantly.  The team continues to find a more efficient catalyst and more efficient ways for the PEC cell to absorb light.
 
For more information on the process of turning sun and water into hydrogen fuel please click here.

Researchers Confirm Sunlight-to-Hydrogen Process Works
02/14/2011 - 6:08pm

neutron-scattering analysis model for sunlight to hydrogen conversion Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a system that can convert visible light into hydrogen fuel. The process was inspired by plant photosynthesis. The researchers envision energy-producing systems similar to photovoltaic cells that generate hydrogen fuel, similarly to the way plants and other organisms convert light to energy.

Read the full article on the ORNL website.