Recommendation 2: Fundamental and exploratory research should receive additional budgetary emphasis, and the DOE should develop a careful plan for evaluating, funding, and validating emerging technologies for hydrogen production, transportation, storage, and end-use.


The nation’s current hydrogen production, transportation, and utilization system is very safely managed. The introduction of hydrogen into the commercial supply and consumption sectors of the economy, however, will present a number of new safety issues, due to hydrogen’s wide explosive range and extremely low ignition energy. In addition, safety considerations can affect the choice of technology pathway. Accordingly, safety considerations must be an integral part of DOE’s hydrogen program.

Recommendation 3: The committee recommends that DOE make a significant effort to address safety issues, and it supports DOE’s plans to incorporate safety considerations into its various hydrogen research, development, and deployment programs.


A transition from the current U.S. energy system to one based on hydrogen will be extremely difficult and challenging and will require a national coordinated effort across DOE’s programs and the private sector. The private sector players in that new system will likely include a number of existing industries along with some entirely new companies. Considerable benefit can be gained from the experience and potential contributions of existing industry as well as new companies that may come into being along the way.

Recommendation 4: The committee strongly supports the DOE in its efforts to integrate its various hydrogen-related RD&D programs across the applied energy programs, the Office of Science, and appropriate private sector participants in the planning and development of hydrogen technologies and systems, and it recommends that DOE continue to leverage the knowledge and capabilities of the private sector. The committee further recommends that the Office of Science be integrated better into hydrogen program planning to help facilitate the needed exploratory research mentioned in Recommendation 2.

Michael P.Ramage,


Committee on Alternatives and Strategies for Future Hydrogen Production and Use


[1] U.S. Department of Energy. National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap. November 2002.

[2] National Research Council. Review of DOE’s Vision 21 Research and Development Program: Phase 1. National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.2003.

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