A CARBON-FREE ENERGY SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND AIR POLLUTION PROBLEMS: HYDROGEN
When we look at how humans have used energy throughout history; we see that they first used wood for fire. This was followed by the Industrial Revolution, and the use of coal and oil to fuel a variety of energy sources. Then natural gas was introduced, and the carbon content of the fuels have continued to decrease ever since. Presently, carbon-free energy solutions are needed in order to both meet the increasing global energy demands and reduce the negative environmental impacts of current energy systems. This is not possible without hydrogen.
In 1874 Jules Verne, a famous science fiction author, who made predictions far beyond his time, expressed his opinion on water-borne energy production systems, as follows:
“…I believe that water will one day be employed as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen which constitute it will furnish an inexhaustible source of heat and light. Water will be the coal of the future.” Jules Verne, The Mysterious Island, 1874
Today with increasing population, expanding habitats and developing technologies, global energy demands have increased steadily over the years. The global warming effect is caused by fossil- based power generation methods, which have been used as mankind’s primary source of energy production for more than a hundred years. Currently, the environmental impact of global warming is observed in air, water, and soil pollution and has reached a very serious level. In order to ensure that Earth is livable for future generations, these negative effects on the environment need to be reversed, thus interest in alternative energy systems and technologies has increased. To create a sustainable future, it is necessary to design and develop energy solutions that do not have carbon emissions, have fuel efficiency, are environmentally friendly, and have high energy conversion efficiencies. Therefore it is critical, to use environmentally friendly fuels, such as hydrogen, within the continuity of renewable sources of energy, such as solar and wind energy. This has caused a significant increase, worldwide, in scientific research and development in the production of hydrogen from renewable resources. These production design teams are looking not only at its production, but its safe storage and distribution, as well as using its high energy fuel cells for sustainable electricity production. The use of hydrogen-assisted energy systems has become widespread most notably in the transportation, portable, and fixed energy systems; as well as in various fields with individual and widespread power requirements. R&D activities, in these fields, have also begun increasing significantly.
The World Hydrogen Energy Conference (WHEC) is the most prestigious international conference in the field of hydrogen energy. The conference is organized by the International Association for Hydrogen Energy (IAHE). IAHE was formed in 1974 by a group of researchers known as the “Hydrogen Romantics” under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Nejat Veziroğlu. The first thematic hydrogen energy conference was held in Miami from March 18 to 20, 1974, where many widely accepted terms such as “hydrogen energy” and “hydrogen economy” were established. For this reason, March 18th was declared as “World Hydrogen Day” by the International Hydrogen Energy Agency. After this conference, the first WHEC was held in Miami, Florida in 1976, and after that, the WHEC has been held regularly every two years in different locations around the world. Today’s energy problems can be solved without damaging the environment, and this can only happen via carbon-fee approaches. In this context, WHEC conferences play an important role in the international arena of the development and dissemination of innovative carbon-free energy systems worldwide.
The 23rd World Hydrogen Energy Congress will be held in Istanbul between July 5 and 9, 2020. The 23rd World Hydrogen Energy Congress will be organized by the Turkish National Hydrogen Technologies Association. As the President of the Turkish National Hydrogen Technologies Association and the Vice President of the International Hydrogen Energy Agency, Prof. Dr. İbrahim Dinçer has taken the responsibility of the Conference Chairman. Together with the organization committee, universities, public institutions and international companies operating in the field of hydrogen energy. Prof. Dinçer is putting every effort to ensure that this conference will be among the most successful events organized in this field thus far. WHEC-2020 is the most comprehensive congress in the field of hydrogen energy held in Turkey.
Professor Dinçer is an internationally respected scientist in the field of energy efficiency, new generation power systems and technologies, and hydrogen applications. A total of 5,000 participants from academia, industry, and government institutions are expected to participate in the WHEC-2020.
In this 5-day conference, the latest developments in hydrogen production, storage, distribution, use, and strategy will be discussed in order to solve the energy and environmental issues in today’s world. Additionally, national and international companies working in the field of hydrogen and fuel cells will have the opportunity to exhibit their products. Considering the fact that hydrogen energy technologies will be very critical solutions to global energy challenges, it is expected that WHEC-2020 will be a very fruitful event.
Detailed information on WHEC 2020 is available at www.whec2020.org.