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The Hydrogen Illusion -New Book by Samuel Furfari

These are the explanatory notes from the Amazon Kindle page, copied with permission of Professor Furfari.

In June 2020, Germany announced its ‘Hydrogen Strategy’. A few weeks later, the European Commission followed up and launched its own. This turned out to be nothing more than a copy-paste of that EU Member State document, Germany being a leader in the energy transition field. Since the money for the recovery plan is freely available, all professional subsidy hunters are rubbing their hands, as it allows them to grab some of the financial windfall for their own benefit, but at the expense of future generations.

Professor Samuel Furfari

Having spent my whole work career in the field of energy and pollution reduction–among which 36 exciting years at the European Commission–I was quite disappointed that my former employer suddenly decided to discard its officials’ and European researchers’ 50 years’ experience and know-how and have embarked on a dead-end road, just because it is politically correct, trendy and there is money to spend.

Sound public policy should be scientifically correct, effective, well thought-out and mindful of public funds. It goes without saying that the public opinion will give a hearty welcome to this attractive solution, through which the EU hopes to enhance its negative aura. While some of my energy-science-fiction-loving friends told me about their enthusiasm at the news, my old energy colleagues from the European Commission could not refrain sharing their disappointment with me. This is the reason why I have decided to put down on paper what I have learned during my professional career.

I would like to show what a strategic mistake it is to call the so-called hydrogen policy a ‘strategy’. This book begins with an explanation of how, through sheer ignorance of science and more particularly chemistry, we hear and read about anything and everything on energy nowadays.

I am giving my credentials as a chemical engineer, an ex-senior official at the European Commission and a university professor in the first chapter to show my seriousness and justify that ‘I know what I am talking about’.

As it happens, I too believed in the hydrogen illusion until the harsh reality of chemistry–as the numerous experiments and research projects financed by the European Commission and others have shown–reminded me that it was a dead end.

Three chapters explain in a simple but rigorous manner what hydrogen is, how it is produced, and why it is increasingly used around the world. This basic product of the industrial chemistry is essential in so many aspects of our daily lives. Technical explanations and chemical formulas, intended for the advanced reader, are placed in footnotes to avoid confusing the reader. No specific knowledge of science is required to read further. The central part explains precisely why all the dreams about hydrogen and other policies, such as biofuels, decided upon by policy-makers who deliberately choose to ignore science, are doomed to failure. And yet some of the high-ranking politicians have been scientists … one can only conclude that the power of politics prevails over science.

We will show that the use of hydrogen to store and then produce electricity, but also as a fuel, will not happen for so obvious economic and safety reasons that it is astounding to see European government leaders being dragged into such a bizarre ‘strategy’. But why on earth don’t administrations warn their decision makers or why aren’t them listened to?

We will see that this illusion is, above all, a mistake used to cover up a previous mistake on intermittent renewable energies. Throughout this book, the failures of experiences will illustrate in a concrete and referenced way the points discussed. The conclusion is obvious to me: this costly political mistake, which is all the easier to make as those responsible will no longer be in charge when time comes, is certain to fail.

Available in English and French.

1 Comment

  1. Peter F Gill

    Hi Sam: You may remember that I worked with you in the 1980s when I was running the consortium of companies developing coal water mixtures for industrial use. At the time you probably connected me more with the British Babcock company rather than any of the other consortium members. Happy days before the world went mad on the anthropogenic global warming agenda. I will have to get and read your book. It may well be a a useful addition to one of the updates of my booklist “Books that tell a different story” that can be found in several places on the internet. Regards Peter F Gill

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