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The prospects for renewable energy are
enhanced through the use of hydrogen energy systems in which hydrogen is an
energy carrier. As easily accessible fossil fuel supplies become scarcer and
environmental concerns increase, hydrogen is likely to become an increasingly
important chemical energy carrier. As the world’s energy sources become less
fossil fuel-based, hydrogen and electricity are expected to be the two dominant
energy carriers for the provision of end-use services, in a hydrogen economy.
Thus, hydrogen energy systems allow greater use of renewable energy resources.
In this paper, the role of hydrogen as an energy carrier and hydrogen energy
systems, and their economics, are described and reviewed.
Net-zero energy buildings and communities,
which are receiving increasing interest, and the role of energy storage in them,
are described. A net-zero energy building or community is defined as one that,
in an average year, produces as much energy from renewable energy as it
consumes. Net-zero energy buildings and communities and the manner in which
energy sustainability is facilitated by them are described and examples are
given. Also, energy storage is discussed and the role and importance of energy
storage as part of net-zero buildings and communities are explained. The NSERC
Smart Net-zero Energy Buildings Research Network, a major Canadian research
effort in smart net-zero energy buildings and communities, is described.