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John Lounsbury
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John Lounsbury, Managing Editor and Co-founder of Global Economic Intersection, provides comprehensive financial planning and investment advisory services to a small number of families on a fee only basis. He has a background which includes 34 years with a major international corporation, 25... More
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Global Economic Intersection
  • Hydrogen and Dope Dealing 3 comments
    Aug 18, 2009 11:57 AM
    Dope pushers develop new customers by giving out free samples to get people hooked.  While the motivation may not be demonic, as the action of a drug dealer could be viewed, Shell (Royal Dutch Shell ADR, RDS-B) is giving away hydrogen in New York.  I'm sure they are not without a profit motive.  If you try it and like it, they certainly will start charging for it in the future.

    The Shell activity is reported by the MIT Technology Review (here) in a very short note.  They report that a second hydrogen refueling station opened in July at Kennedy Airport, joining a station opened previously north of the city.  A third station is due to open later within New York City.



    What isn't mentioned in the article is where the customers are coming from (or will come from).  How many hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (or other applications) are there in the greater New York City area?  Is this simply a case of testing the philosophy of "build it, they will come"?  Maybe we could call this Shell's field of dreams.
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Comments (3)
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  • Moon Kil Woong
    , contributor
    Comments (11015) | Send Message
     
    It worked for Microsoft, Google, and others. Don't underestimate the power of free. Even though there may be bels attached it never fails to entice. Af for a true hydrogen economy, it is the stuff of dreams. I hope they are sincere and not trying to somehow undermine the market moving in this direction. I have the tendency never to trust an oil company.
    18 Aug 2009, 12:25 PM Reply Like
  • John Lounsbury
    , contributor
    Comments (3970) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Moon - - -

     

    Agree about trust. The big problem I have with hydrogen is that it is basically an energy storage medium. Unless waste (or extremely low cost) energy is used to produce H2, the economic and eccological factors don't add up. With energy that can not be gotten into an electrical grid economically, but is very cheap or being dissipated, hydrogen production makes sense. This is an area that is not being actively pursued because the demand for hydrogen is not yet visible.
    18 Aug 2009, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • renim
    , contributor
    Comments (1047) | Send Message
     
    hydrogen is a red herring, the practical steps to post oil vehicular energy is either natural gas based (ala pickens plan) or electric (better place/ nissan leaf et al)
    19 Aug 2009, 08:29 AM Reply Like
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