More than 1500 professionals from the international hydrogen industry were gathered at the World Hydrogen Energy Conference (WHEC) in Essen 16th-21st of May 2010. Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can play role a low carbon economy. WHEC 2010 focused on the possibilities that hydrogen can play within the transport sector.
The trade fair section was open to students and general public who had the opportunity to test drive hydrogen cars. Hydrogen cars (picture 1) looks like normal cars, however, they run quietly and free of emissions.
Innovation Norway in Hamburg and HyNor as well as other Norwegian companies participated at the trade fair. HyNor is responsible for the coordination of the hydrogen highway from Stavanger to Oslo. In total 50 players from industry, regional authorities and organizations, including Innovation Norway, participate in HyNor project. Until now, there are hydrogen stations in Oslo, Drammen, Stavanger and Grenland. Head of HyNor Bjørn Simonsen attended both the fair and the conference, and said that WHEC is a good opportunity to present HyNor and the Norwegian industry. With new filling stations in Oslo, Lillestrøm and Stavanger next year, he believes that 2011 will be a very exciting year for the Norwegian hydrogen industry.
Opportunities for the Norwegian industry in Germany
Germany has a political framework in place to support development of hydrogen and a number of large German automakers and energy companies have agreed to develop hydrogen cars and a network of filling stations. Both busses and boats powered by hydrogen are for example in use in Hamburg already. These initiatives create opportunities for Norwegian companies. Hydrogen Technologies, a subsidiary of Statoil and a leading supplier of hydrogen generators based on water electrolysis (a process that split water into hydrogen and oxygen), did for example deliver generators to a filling station that opened in Berlin May 12th.
Further, Germany also has ambitious plans to increase electricity production based on renewable energy. Norwegian hydropower and electrolyse technology can be used to balance supply and demand in a future European super-grid.