Energy potential of hydrogen dominates international conference in Rio

World Today

The World Hydrogen Energy Conference – WHEC 2018 –took place in Brazil this week for the first time ever. Experts from all around the globe met to discuss the potential of hydrogen and fuel cell technology in Rio de Janeiro.

CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco has more.

Paulo Emilio de Miranda, chairman of the 22nd edition of the conference and head of the Brazilian Hydrogen Association, said the country had the possibility of producing large amounts of this alternative energy source that can be produced from water.

Miranda, presented a prototype of a 100 percent Brazilian technology bus that uses three clean power sources and is is ready to be adopted by the market: “One source is that the vehicle is a plug in type vehicle. In addition to that, the vehicle has fuel cell and hydrogen on board and also every time the vehicle breaks, kinetic energy is transformed into electric energy,” he explained.

Asian and European countries are also working at full speed on the industrial development of hydrogen vehicles.

China Energy President, Wen Ling, unveiled China’s particularly ambitious, multi-layered hydrogen plans for the future.

“We plan at least by 2020, to have one thousand to five thousand fuel cell cars in operation and at least one thousand refueling stations and by the year 2030 we predict at least one million vehicles” announced Wen.

The conference has been running since 1976, long before the science of climate change became a global concern. French geologist Alain Prinzhofer, of the University of Paris, said hydrogen can now be found in its pure state: “We have discovered that natural hydrogen does exist on earth, that it does exist in large amounts and its exploitation is very easy. It is shallow. It is cheap to exploit and it gives a clean source of energy that we can use directly without any preparation before.”

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. As a gas, its energy potential is unlimited, experts say, and has grown to be an important part of the global energy mix. The pace is only expected to accelerate ahead of the next conference, set to take place in Copenhagen in 2020.