Florida Ventures Into Hydrogen

Are we witnessing the dawn of a brave new world? Two amazing stories out of Tallahassee signal first steps away from dependence on oil, and could just be the beginning of a new era in the world of energy production.

Since the adoption of early automobiles, gasoline and fossil fuels have become an integral part of the American way of life and a crux upon which our economy relies upon. Hydrogen technologies, theorized for years, are now going mainstream, as realities of the cost of oil and the emissions that consumption brings, puts the issue on Governor Bush’s radar.

“Florida is one of just a handful of states making a significant commitment to this cutting-edge ‘next generation’ energy technology. Today’s investment in pollution-free hydrogen technology will guarantee a stronger, healthier environment and economy for future generations.” – Governor Jeb Bush

Two recent articles from Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) herald the exciting developments

Florida Sets Sights on Clean Hydrogen Energy

February 18, 2005 — On Friday, we broke ground on Florida’s first hydrogen energy station, setting the stage for our state to become a national leader in the development of hydrogen energy technologies. We have also earmarked $15 million in this year’s budget proposal to encourage investment, test and demonstrate the cutting-edge technology, and provide tax incentives. This investment paired with the Hydrogen Energy Technologies Act, will accelerate the commercialization of pollution-free energy and transportation technology in Florida.

Florida Purchases World’s First Commercial Hydrogen Shuttle Buses

February 18, 2005 — Florida purchased the world’s first hydrogen shuttle buses in early January at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show. Ford Motor Company expects to begin commercial production of the E-450 shuttle buses later this year. They will come equipped with a 6.8-liter V-10 internal combustion engine that runs entirely on hydrogen. The only emissions that come from the tailpipe will be water vapor.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush said, “Hydrogen is the most abundant element on Earth. Using hydrogen as a renewable power source decreases America’s dependence on foreign oil, protects air quality, and diversifies our economy.”

The shuttle purchase follows 18 months after Bush established the state’s hydrogen program, H2 Florida. The buses will go into service in 2006 in central Florida. For details, see the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s January 9 press release.

We here at GreenBrevard are very excited by these developments. They signal the beginning of a shift that has to happen, with spin-offs and benefits that we can only just start to see. Imagine a future where cars don’t pollute the air. Imagine a future where energy needs are resolved locally, not held hostage by out of control prices and diminishing supply. Many believe that Hydrogen is the long awaited solution to the conflict we have, between our love for the automobile and concern about responsible use of resources and pollution reduction.

Governor Bush deserves and DEP deserves praise for this first step. Contact them, and your local representatives, and accelerate the push to Hydrogen.
Contact: Linda Long at DEP (850) 519-2897

Post Facto: Not much progress has occurred since 2005. In 2021, there are no Hydrogen filling stations in the State of Florida.

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