This article presents a critical analysis of all the major pathways to produce hydrogen and to utilize it as an energy carrier to generate heat or electricity. The approach taken is to make a cradle to grave analysis including the production of hydrogen, the conversion of hydrogen to heat or electricity, and finally the utilization of that heat or electricity for a useful purpose. This methodology shows that no currently available hydrogen pathway, irrespective of whether it uses fossil fuels, nuclear fuels, or renewable technology as the primary energy source to generate electricity or heat is as efficient as using the electric power or heat from any of these sources directly. Furthermore, electric vehicles using batteries to store electricity are shown to be more efficient and less polluting than fuel cell powered vehicles using energy stored in hydrogen.

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