Appendix B Statement of Task

This study is similar in intent to a 1990 report by the National Research Council (NRC), Fuels to Drive Our Future, which evaluated the options for producing liquid fuels for transportation use. The use of that comprehensive study was proposed by DOE as the model for this one on hydrogen. With revisions to account for the different end-use applications, process technologies, and current concerns about climate change and energy security, it will be used as a general guide for the report to be produced in this work. In particular, the NRC will appoint a committee that will address the following tasks:

  1. Identify and evaluate the current status of the major alternative technologies and sources for producing hydrogen, for transmitting and storing hydrogen, and for using hydrogen to provide energy services especially in the transportation, but also the utility, residential, industrial and commercial sectors of the economy.

  2. Assess the feasibility of operating each of these conversion technologies both at a small scale appropriate for a building or vehicle and at a large scale typical of current centralized energy conversion systems such as refineries or power plants. This question is important because it is not currently known whether it will be better to produce hydrogen at a central facility for distribution or to produce it locally near the points of end-use. This assessment will include factors such as societal acceptability (the NIMBY problem), operating difficulties, environmental issues including CO2 emission, security concerns, and the possible advantages of each technology in special markets such as remote locations or particularly hot or cold climates.

  3. Estimate current costs of the identified technologies and the cost reductions that the committee judges would be required to make the technologies competitive in the market place. As part of this assessment, the committee will consider the future prospects for hydrogen production and end-use technologies (e.g., in the 2010 to 2020, 2020 to 2050, and beyond 2050 time frames). This assessment may include scenarios for the introduction and subsequent commercial development of a hydrogen economy based on the use of predominantly domestic resources (e.g., natural gas, coal, biomass, renewables [e.g., solar, geothermal, wind], nuclear, municipal and industrial wastes, petroleum coke, and other potential resources), and consider constraints to their use.

  4. Based on the technical and cost assessments, and considering potential problems with making the “chicken and egg” transition to a widespread hydrogen economy using each technology, review DOE’s current RD&D programs and plans, and suggest an RD&D strategy with recommendations to DOE on the R&D priority needs within each technology area and on the priority for work in each area.

  5. Provide a letter report on the committee’s interim findings no later than February 2003 so this information can be used in DOE’s budget and program planning for Fiscal Year 2005.

  6. Publish a written final report on its work, approximately 13 months from contract initiation.

The committee’s interim letter report and final report will be reviewed in accordance with National Research Council (NRC) report review procedures before release to the sponsor and the public.



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Appendix B Statement of Task This study is similar in intent to a 1990 report by the National Research Council (NRC), Fuels to Drive Our Future, which evaluated the options for producing liquid fuels for transportation use. The use of that comprehensive study was proposed by DOE as the model for this one on hydrogen. With revisions to account for the different end-use applications, process technologies, and current concerns about climate change and energy security, it will be used as a general guide for the report to be produced in this work. In particular, the NRC will appoint a committee that will address the following tasks: Identify and evaluate the current status of the major alternative technologies and sources for producing hydrogen, for transmitting and storing hydrogen, and for using hydrogen to provide energy services especially in the transportation, but also the utility, residential, industrial and commercial sectors of the economy. Assess the feasibility of operating each of these conversion technologies both at a small scale appropriate for a building or vehicle and at a large scale typical of current centralized energy conversion systems such as refineries or power plants. This question is important because it is not currently known whether it will be better to produce hydrogen at a central facility for distribution or to produce it locally near the points of end-use. This assessment will include factors such as societal acceptability (the NIMBY problem), operating difficulties, environmental issues including CO2 emission, security concerns, and the possible advantages of each technology in special markets such as remote locations or particularly hot or cold climates. Estimate current costs of the identified technologies and the cost reductions that the committee judges would be required to make the technologies competitive in the market place. As part of this assessment, the committee will consider the future prospects for hydrogen production and end-use technologies (e.g., in the 2010 to 2020, 2020 to 2050, and beyond 2050 time frames). This assessment may include scenarios for the introduction and subsequent commercial development of a hydrogen economy based on the use of predominantly domestic resources (e.g., natural gas, coal, biomass, renewables [e.g., solar, geothermal, wind], nuclear, municipal and industrial wastes, petroleum coke, and other potential resources), and consider constraints to their use. Based on the technical and cost assessments, and considering potential problems with making the “chicken and egg” transition to a widespread hydrogen economy using each technology, review DOE’s current RD&D programs and plans, and suggest an RD&D strategy with recommendations to DOE on the R&D priority needs within each technology area and on the priority for work in each area. Provide a letter report on the committee’s interim findings no later than February 2003 so this information can be used in DOE’s budget and program planning for Fiscal Year 2005. Publish a written final report on its work, approximately 13 months from contract initiation. The committee’s interim letter report and final report will be reviewed in accordance with National Research Council (NRC) report review procedures before release to the sponsor and the public.