Tomorrow's Energy

Tomorrow's Energy

Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet

By Peter Hoffmann

Foreword by Tom Harkin

How hydrogen—nonpolluting and easy to produce—could become the fuel of the future.





How hydrogen—nonpolluting and easy to produce—could become the fuel of the future.

Hydrogen is the quintessential eco-fuel. This invisible, tasteless gas is the most abundant element in the universe. It is the basic building block and fuel of stars and an essential raw material in innumerable biological and chemical processes. As a completely nonpolluting fuel, it may hold the answer to growing environmental concerns about atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide and the resultant Greenhouse Effect. In this book Peter Hoffmann describes current research toward a hydrogen-based economy. He presents the history of hydrogen energy and discusses the environmental dangers of continued dependence on fossil fuels. Hydrogen is not an energy source but a carrier that, like electricity, must be manufactured. Today hydrogen is manufactured by "decarbonizing" fossil fuels. In the future it will be derived from water and solar energy and perhaps from "cleaner" versions of nuclear energy. Because it can be made by a variety of methods, Hoffmann argues, it can be easily adapted by different countries and economies. Hoffmann acknowledges the social, political, and economic difficulties in replacing current energy systems with an entirely new one. Although the process of converting to a hydrogen-based economy would be complex, he demonstrates that the environmental and health benefits would far outweigh the costs.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262082952 320 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 34 illus.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262582216 320 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 34 illus.


Tom Harkin.


  • This book has everything the reader needs to know about hydrogen.

    Foreign Affairs

  • Peter able to communicate well for those new to the field.

    New Scientist


  • Hoffmann conveys both hydrogen's history and coming hurdles. Balance and completeness distinguish the book. No other book compares.

    Jesse H. Ausubel

    Director, Program for the Human Environment, The Rockefeller University

  • Peter Hoffmann has succeeded in writing a comprehensive history of hydrogen as an energy carrier along with an evaluation of its current status, so that the reader can judge the progress made to date in developing hydrogen as a supplement to electricity in delivering energy without environmental degradation. I do not know of any other book that covers this full range of hydrogen energy issues.

    C. E. (Sandy) Thomas

    Vice President, Energy and Environment, Directed Technologies, Inc.

  • How many times have valuable contributions to scholarship—written and oral—been compromised because of inadequate communication? This is far less likely to happen if economists read and think about the issues discussed in William Thomson's book.

    John Pencavel

    Department of Economics, Stanford University

  • One of the most engaging pieces of pedagogical writing that I have ever encountered.

    Suzanne Scotchmer

    Department of Economics and Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

  • This excellent book reveals the numerous opportunities hydrogen offers for satisfying modern energy needs.

    Hermann Scheer

    President, EUROSOLAR

  • Peter Hoffmann is a keen observer who has kept his finger on the pulse of global hydrogen and fuel-cell developments. His critical insights and knowledge are elegantly packaged in this very readable and highly recommended book. The author lays out the possibilities and challenges—can we as a society respond with the necessary vision and commitment?

    Alan C. Lloyd

    Chairman, California Air Resources Board

  • Smil has the best macroscope of all current energy analysts.

    Jesse H. Ausubel

    Director, Program for the Human Environment, The Rockefeller University


  • CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 2012