Study: Hydrogen Could Replace All Oil in 50 Years

John Davis

A new study shows that hydrogen-powered vehicles have the potential to eliminate the use of all petroleum from American transportation in the next 50 years.

This story from says the National Research Council study also recommends biofuels should be used in the meantime:

In a press call with reporters, the Department of Energy’s Mike Ramage analyzed the findings of the study, which focused on the best case outcomes for the use of hydrogen energy by the year 2023. Best case means that “technical hurdles are solved – vehicles are cost- effective, and that consumers will buy them,” Ramage said.

“In the best case, by 2023 hydrogen could be economically competitive,” Ramage said.

In the short term, over the next 15-20 years, Ramage urged the continued use of biofuels, noting that they “would have most likely impact on oil reduction and carbon dioxide reduction.” However, as technology allows hydrogen to maximize its potential, hydrogen will overtake biofuels and have a “dominant effect” on the industry, Ramage said.

“Hydrogen by itself in this best case scenario could eliminate 60 – 70 percent of oil and carbon dioxide from transportation system by 2050,” Ramage said. Combined with biofuels and other environmentally friendly solutions, Ramage said “you could potentially in the best case eliminate all oil from U.S. transportation.”

Ramage adds hydrogen fuel cells are only a decade away from being commercially-viable. The article goes on to say that a diverse renewable energy plan is needed that uses all available resources.