The Emerging Hydrogen Economy and the Quest for Faster Horses

Edited By Tim Lindsey

Published 27 January 2021
Imprint Taylor & Francis Group

From Faster Horses to Model Ts: Shortcomings of Today’s Energy System Legend has it that when Henry Ford was asked if he developed the Model T in response to customer demands, he famously responded: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” This quote has been used for 100 years as a metaphor to describe the paradox between what customers perceive that they want based on their own life experiences vs. what could be possible based on current science and technology. Today’s energy transformation is caught in a similar paradox. The “faster horses” offered by cheap natural gas and oil need to be replaced with technology that can minimize greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. Many people think that current wind, solar, and battery technologies can answer the call, but challenges persist with respect to performance and cost.

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