mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Surprise! Another California Green Policy Flop


California’s “Hydrogen Highway” is a road to nowhere. About a decade ago, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called for the state to invest more than $50 million in the program, which was to lead to the creation of 100 hydrogen fuel stations capable of serving 2,000 fuel-cell vehicles. Today, the state has a whopping total of nine hydrogen stations serving about 200 fuel cell cars.

If you’re wondering what went wrong, don’t think too hard. Reuters reports:

“The general economic thesis of the renewable energy sector hasn’t changed,” said Karl Miller, chairman of Newco Energy Acquisition Holdings, LLC, which acquires energy-related assets. “It’s still a heavily subsidized industry. It requires a major federal tax credit to make it work.” It still doesn’t appeal as “a capital market investment,” he said.

The usual green assumptions, projections, and policy-errors are on full display here. The companies involved in this program were poorly managed, too reliant on government subsidies, and thrown completely for a loop by the US shale boom and the rise of cheap green technology imports from China.

[Green California image courtesy of Shutterstock]

Features Icon
show comments
  • orangbaru

    I’m curious what energy source was to be used to feed the refueling stations? Solar & wind or new nuclear?

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service