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Energizing Technology: Expectations of Fuel Cells and the Hydrogen Economy, 1990–2005
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. (Umeå Studies in Science, Technology and Environment)
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. (Umeå Studies in Science, Technology and Environment)
2013 (English)In: History & Technology, ISSN 0734-1512, E-ISSN 1477-2620, Vol. 29, no 1, 33-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although fuel cells have been considered promising technology since the nineteenth century, fresh expectations – expressed by engineers, company leaders, politicians and journalists – began to flourish in the 1990s later on associated with the vision of a ‘hydrogen economy.’ Inspired by research in the history and sociology of expectations, the present paper analyzes this recent history of global fuel cells and hydrogen potentials as played out in the USA, EU, and especially Sweden. It is demonstrated that automotive shows, the mass media, and forecast projects were significant arenas in promoting and circulating the idea that fuel cells represented energy efficient and clean technology that almost by necessity would be utilized in the ‘vehicles of the future.’ This paper also highlights the framing of water both as a potential source of energy and as a symbolic purifying bath that would restore an environmentally friendly society, interpreted as an ecomodern utopia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2013. Vol. 29, no 1, 33-53 p.
Keyword [en]
expectations, fuel cells, hydrogen economy, discourse, ecomodern utopia
National Category
History of Technology
Research subject
History Of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-67121DOI: 10.1080/07341512.2013.778145ISI: 000319042900003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-67121DiVA: diva2:610870
Available from: 2013-03-13 Created: 2013-03-13 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Hultman, MartinNordlund, Christer
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf