Not to stir the poo, but it's a damn shame some of you won't be alive 20 years from now to learn how shortsighted you're being today...
The biggest problem with hydrogen is that it's too damned easy to come by. In my part of the world both water and sunlight have been known to fall from the sky, often in great abundance. Wire a solar cell to a hydrogen still and anyone with a Popular Mechanic's understanding of the construction arts and electrolysis can manufacture hydrogen using off the shelf parts.
Yeah, but solar panels are expensive, hydrogen is explosive, it's cheaper to use conventional energy sources, yadda, yadda, yadda.
When horseless carriages became popular it was argued they were dangerous because some could attain speeds of 20 miles per hour or more. Then someone had the first accident and proved the point. At least a horse is smart enough not to run into a brick wall, but a Model T? Not so much...
In the latter part of the 19th century gas lighting was known to be dangerous but some folks preferred it over candles or lanterns. Brighter, cleaner, less odor, and cheaper than the next big thing... Incadescent electric lighting. But somehow electric lighting caught on despite vintage arguments similar to what I see here.
Edison and Westinghouse fought PR battles over the safety of AC vs DC because everyone knew electricity was too dangerous for home use and the choice was over the lesser of two evils. Then people started buying electric fans, toasters, refrigerators, Victrolas, Radiolas, etc and there was no going back.
Sure... Hydrogen can explode. As can natural gas and gasoline. Yet both are routinely transported by pipeline, rail and truck. Funny thing about hydrogen... Since it's so much lighter than air it dissipates more readily than natural gas or propane, and it damn sure won't run down a street and collect in a sewer line like gasoline will.
But... Somehow... We've managed to build millions of gas stations and automobiles over the past 100 years without serious consequence. The Ford Pinto and original Mustang excepted, but it can be argued that was more of a corporate ethics issue than the nature of the fuel.
Another problem with hydrogen is that anyone can build a production facility anywhere without undue concerns over local pollution and carbon footprint regs. It's inherently clean, much more so than coal or petroleum, and requires no drilling, waste disposal, or location convenient to a natural deposit of hydrocarbons. A hydrogen plant doesn't stink like a refinery and that opens up a near infinite number of possibilities for local production by private industry and municipal governments.
Which reduces the transportation overhead. That's called a Win-Win situation. But... It's a threat to the multinational oil cartels, therefore it must be a bad idea.
As for the technology, Texas Instruments pioneered the integrated circuit because they could sell the equivalent of a 741 op-amp to the DoD and NASA for something like $300 each back in the day. Captive market, as both were willing to pay a premium for light and small components for their avionics. Price a 741 op-amp today. Do you think the same progression won't happen in solar and fuel cells? Like it has in most every electrical / mechanical consumer product...?
You ain't seen nothin' yet... Unless the oil lobbies continue to exercise their choke hold on alternate fuel R&D legislation... And the hell of it is, if the US had the guts to get serious about oil independence 30 years ago we probably could have been there by now.
For once, let's not continue to make the same shortsighted mistakes. It's too important this time.
And whatever happened to the old Amateur Radio tradition of garage-based R&D ?
Guess we outsourced that in the 80's...